How does the playwright Brian Clark present the conflict between Ken Harrison and his doctors whose life is it anyway? The play whose life is it anyway by Brian Clark
Extracts from this document...
How does the playwright Brian Clark present the conflict between Ken Harrison and his doctors whose life is it anyway? The play whose life is it anyway by Brian Clark was made into a stage play and film. The television play was made in 1972 and the stage plays in 1978. In the play," written by Brian Clarke, the intense argument of committing Voluntary Euthanasia is discussed. The main point of the play, Ken Harrison, once an imaginative, devoted sculptor, is involved in a terrible car crash. Following a long operation, Ken is paralyzed from the neck down; he is informed that he may never be able to move his body ever again. Brian Clark in a similar way uses different characters to show a different view of Ken's possibilities. Dr. Emerson thinks Ken's life is precious and should be kept at any cost, no matter what Ken's wishes are. Dr. Scott also wants Ken to stay alive but values Ken's opinion and thoughts more than Dr. Emerson, she thinks sympathy a lot. Dr. Travers shows a view on Ken's problem, he sees it the same way as Dr. Emerson, and thinks of it as a mental patient wanting to commit suicide, and is happy to back up Dr.
Emerson, the attending physician, believes that Ken is just depressed and that if given time will choose to live. He states, "It is impossible to injure the body to the extent that Mr. Harrison had and not affect the mind." From his experience, he thinks that Ken will change his mind later on. In Act two the events change later on: in order to prevent Ken's discharge and death, Dr. Emerson seeks to have Ken committed to the hospital as mentally unstable, but Ken's lawyers apply for a writ of habeas corpus which would free Ken to leave the hospital and finish his case. Ken tries to take a different view of his situation, explaining to the judge how little he can do. He cannot even, in his words, manage the "basic primitive functions," which before the accident he would have taken for granted. Ken sums up his opinions into a single sentence: "I find the hospital's persistent efforts to maintain this shadow of a life an indignity and it's inhumane." It is obvious that Ken is speaking from the heart. In his emotional speech he uses a good statement - "If I choose to live, it would be appalling if society killed me" - to try and prove to the judge a different statement - "If I choose to die, it is equally appalling if society keeps me alive".
After Dr Scott leaves, Dr Emerson he gives ken valium at his most vulnerable point without consent. It is clear to the audience that ken is thinking about his future and doesn't want his mind affected by the valium "please let me make myself clear I specifically asked refused permission to stick that needle in me and you didn't listen" kens tone of voice and speech make us feel that euthanasia is becoming his decision. The lights out at the end of the play represents kens decision to follow euthanasia if the light would have been left on then he may have decided to live. Euthanasia should not be made legal because it will be easily misused unnecessarily. Euthanasia would not only be for people who are "terminally ill", it will become non-voluntary. I also believe that Euthanasia is a rejection of the importance and value of human life. Emotional and psychological pressures could become overpowering for depressed or dependent people. If the choice of euthanasia is considered as good as a decision to receive care, loads of people will feel guilty for not choosing death. Financial considerations, added to the concern about being a burden could serve as powerful forces that would lead a person to "choose" euthanasia or assisted suicide. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ben Chambers
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Euthanasia section.
Found what you're looking for?
- Start learning 29% faster today
- 150,000+ documents available
- Just £6.99 a month
- Join over 1.2 million students every month
- Accelerate your learning by 29%
- Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month