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Euthanasia discussion.

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Introduction

EUTHANASIA: DISSCUSSION ESSAY The word 'euthanasia' derives from the Ancient Greek language meaning 'quick and easy death'. The words in Ancient Greek are 'eu' and 'thanatos' meaning well and death. Euthanasia is quite different to suicide. Suicide is when someone ends their life because they no longer want to live. Assisting someone committing suicide could give you quite a large sentence in jail. Euthanasia is different. Euthanasia happens when someone who is terminally ill with an incurable and painful disease is killed painlessly leading them to a gentle and easy death. A doctor or relative normally kills them because they are unable to move. If they could move and kill themselves, that would make it suicide. There are different cases of euthanasia including voluntary, involuntary, compulsory, passive and active. Involuntary euthanasia is when the patient is killed for his or her supposed benefit contrary to their wishes. This might happen if someone is in a coma after an accident and only machines keep him alive. The doctor or parents may or may not give permission to kill him. Another example is when a woman finds out she is pregnant, she may find out that the foetus has inherited a terminal illness due to abnormal genes. The woman may have the foetus aborted but the foetus would not be able to be consented. Abortion does not become involuntary euthanasia if the baby is aborted but there is no evidence that the baby will or will not live a healthy, long life when born. A different type of euthanasia would be compulsory euthanasia. Compulsory euthanasia is not allowed to be practised in any country in the world. If it was legal, people may be killed because they may be over a fit age or they might have a terminal illness. Compulsory euthanasia was last performed in Nazi Germany in the Second World War. Adulf Hitler thought that if he killed ill, old, mentally challenged, Jews and Blacks, he would have a 'pure' society of Germans. ...read more.

Middle

Ken tells his girlfriend, Pat, that he is 'honoured' and 'moved' by her love but: ' I am no longer someone to love, I am an object' ' I want you to walk out of here and never come back ... If you don't want to torture me- go now... please' When Pat walks out she knocks over a vase. The broken vase represents the broken relationship. Ken dearly loved Pat but he wanted her to live the rest of her life fully and make the most of it. He didn't want her to waste her life looking after him and seeing him every day. If she did that she wouldn't be able to do things like getting a job or having a date. If Ken did die from his own wishes Pat could have a lively life and have fun. This is another good reason for legalising voluntary euthanasia. During the film, an occupational therapist visits Ken; she was trying to convince Ken that he could do different things other than sculpting. He was quite rude to her but she did not retaliate by saying something like 'get lost'. She turned her professionalism cheek to Ken. This means that she acted nice to him even though he was rude to her. This is what he objects to. During the meeting, Ken has an attack and is given air. He tries to commit suicide by refusing the air but his body's survival system locks in and prevents him from doing it. This shows that Ken is serious about dying and he wants voluntary euthanasia. Ken decides to fight for his right to die and employs a lawyer. His main reason is to be discharged from the hospital and be left to die. Dr. Emerson is committed to save his life and wants to claim Ken as clinically depressed. If Ken is claimed as clinically depressed, how can he prove he is sane and win the right to die? ...read more.

Conclusion

If a patient goes to the hospice to be cared for until he dies, it is against their wishes if they wanted voluntary euthanasia. The hospice cannot relieve the pain of a slow death naturally and they can't make the death quick and stressless. If the terminally ill patient was allowed voluntary euthanasia, he could die quickly and painlessly. Some hospices care specially for children and young people. In Oxford there is a children's hospice called Helen House. The aim of a children's hospice should be to make it possible for a family to care for their sick child at home most of the time by; ensuring that available community services are mobilised where appropriate; offering occasional respite care for the child with or without other members of the family; telephone contact and home visits; offering support and help in the choosing of termination and help with the funeral arrangements if asked; continuing to provide support following the death of the child. I feel the hospice movement was not wrong in doing what they do but vast amounts of money would be saved if voluntary euthanasia were made legal. After writing this essay I have learnt a lot about euthanasia that I never knew before and don't think I will forget it either. I feel that voluntary euthanasia should be made legal providing that legal safeguards are taken when a terminally ill patient decides they want to die with dignity. When a patient decides that they want voluntary euthanasia a doctor should see them. If the doctor claims that the patient has no chance of recovery and there is no cure neither potential nor available, the patient should then sign a form that reminds them of all the rules and consequences. After reading and signing the form they sign another in a secure room with no relatives that says the patient was not influenced by family members and he seriously wishes to die. The form should then be approved by a member of the law court for the voluntary euthanasia to be carried out. ...read more.

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