Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide Yes or No
HCA322: Health Care Ethics and Medical Law
Instructor: Keysha Knights
July 22, 2013
Yes or No
Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, physician-assisted suicide (dying) , doctor-assisted dying (suicide), and more loosely termed mercy killing, basically means to take a deliberate action with the express intention of ending a life to relieve intractable (persistent, unstoppable) suffering. Some interpret euthanasia as the practice of ending a life in a painless manner. Many disagree with this interpretation, because it needs to include a reference to intractable suffering (Nordqvist, 2010).
When breaking down euthanasia there are two different types passive euthanasia and active euthanasia. Active euthanasia is a state where a patient is given a lethal injection, while passive euthanasia involves withdrawing life support systems from a patient (Anonymous, 2011). Active euthanasia basically is when the physician gives the patient medication to help end their life. Passive euthanasia is when treatments for the patient’s condition are stopped and ultimately ends in the patient’s death.
When it comes to euthanasia or physician assisted suicide I can understand both sides of the debate but in the end I feel that it should be legal under certain circumstances. If a person is terminally ill I feel they should have the right to have a choice to end their life instead of suffering. A doctor’s job is to help the patient and their pain. The right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and dignified death bears the sanction of history and is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. The exercise of this right is as central to personal autonomy and bodily integrity as rights safeguarded by this Court's decisions relating to marriage, family relationships, procreation, contraception, child rearing and the refusal or termination of life-saving medical treatment...