The rights and wrongs of euthanasia.
In my essay I will look at the rights and wrongs of euthanasia and look at it from the points of two different major religious groups. The first religion I will look at is Christianity. Christians believe that euthanasia is wrong because each persons suffering is caused because God believes that person has done something wrong and deserves to be punished. The second religion I will look are humanists. Humanists believe euthanasia is ok because no human being should have to suffer.
Euthanasia, which literally means "good death," may be defined as "a mode or act of inducing or permitting death painlessly as a relief from suffering." It is an effort to make possible a "gentle and easy death" for those afflicted with an incurable disease or injury in its terminal stages. It is beneficent euthanasia if, and only if, it results in a painless and quick death, and if the act as a whole is beneficial to the recipient.
Humanists say “To require that a person be kept alive against his will and to deny his pleas for merciful release after the dignity, beauty, promise, and meaning of life have vanished, when he can only linger on in stages of agony or decay, is cruel and barbarous. The imposition of unnecessary suffering is an evil that should be avoided by civilized society.
This is a preview of the whole essay
We believe that our first commitment as human beings is to preserve, fulfill, and enhance life for ourselves and our fellow human beings. However, under certain conditions, a meaningful or significant life may no longer be possible. It is natural for human beings to hope that when that time comes they will be able to die peacefully and with dignity. When there is great distress and the end is inevitable, we advocate a humane effort to ease the suffering of ourselves and others, without moral or legal recriminations.
From an ethical viewpoint, death should be seen as part of a life-continuum. Since every individual has the right to live with dignity—however often this right may in fact be violated—every individual has the right to die with dignity.
Euthanasia presents an ethical problem for patients who know that their condition is incurable or irremediable and their suffering unendurable only if their theology or philosophy has persuaded them that no human involvement in the termination of life is morally permissible. For ethical humanists, euthanasia should be no problem. Pain or suffering is to be endured with as much dignity as patients can summon, as long as there is present a possibility of relief or cure. It is not to be endured when it is completely pointless, as is the case in the final stages of incurable disease.”
Christians believe ” Melbourne, Australia -- A proposal to set up a euthanasia clinic in Melbourne's eastern suburbs should be subject to strict government scrutiny, the Right to Life lobby group said today. Right to Life Victoria president Margaret Tighe said euthanasia campaigner Phillip Nitschke was thumbing his nose at the law on homicide by planning to establish a clinic in Doncaster in Melbourne's east. "Dr Nitschke believes he will be allowed to do as he pleases at his 'death' clinic because of the public statements supporting euthanasia on the part of the Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett," Tighe said in a statement. She said Dr Bertram Wainer established an abortion facility in East Melbourne and challenged the Victorian government to close him down. "Because of the sympathy on the part of then premier Rupert Hamer for legalised abortion, no action was taken and the Wainer clinic flourishes still today," Tighe said. "Will this be a case of history repeating itself?" She said the question now was how the Victorian government would react to Nitschke's proposal. Nitschke, the doctor who spearheaded the Northern Territory's now defunct euthanasia legislation, said yesterday he would open rooms in Melbourne to give advice to terminally ill patients. Nitschke said he would not be performing euthanasia or prescribing lethal doses of narcotics. "That would be construed as assisting in a suicide and the legal risks there are severe," he said. "But I can give them information, I can direct them towards the fast-diminishing sources of the necessary drugs ... illegal sources and black market sources." Nitschke said he would travel to the Netherlands shortly to assess their euthanasia operations and on return planned to open a clinic in Doncaster. Australian Medical Association Victorian president Dr Gerald Segal said what Nitschke planned was "unethical" and against AMA and world medical association policy. "Euthanasia is illegal in Victoria," he said. "He (Nitschke) will find himself in huge strife." Segal said euthanasia advice was unnecessary. "I've had a lot of experience with palliative care and I have always been able to alleviate pain in my patients," he said. – AAP
Overall I agree with the humanists, if somebody is suffering they should be allowed to be put out of their misery or if they are being kept alive by a machine the families should be put out of their misery by turning off the machine if there is no chance of the patient ever recovering. In general I believe that euthanasia is right if it is for the right reasons.