Euthanasia

There are lots of issues that need to be addressed when talking about euthanasia - this can be related to moral values, religions and ethics.

Euthanasia directly disrespects the religious sectors' love for life.

Thomas Aquinas documented and condemned all forms of suicide. Church and religious people agree with him that euthanasia (whether assisted or not) violates one's natural desire to live. It harms other people. Euthanasia, according to them, opposed what has been taught in every religion that life is the gift of God and is thus only to be taken by God (http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/s/suicide.htm,2004).

Euthanasia will surely reduce the pressure to improve curative or symptomatic treatment. If euthanasia had been legal 40 years ago, it is quite possible that there would be no hospice movement today. The improvement in terminal care is a direct result of attempts made to minimize suffering. If that suffering had been extinguished by extinguishing the patients who bore it, then we may never have known the advances in the control of pain, nausea, breathlessness, and other terminal symptoms that the last twenty years have seen. If people will have accepted euthanasia, decades of years ago, then there might have undercut the urgency of the research efforts that led to the discovery of those treatments. If euthanasia will be socially accepted now, people may well delay by decades the discovery of effective treatments for those diseases that are now terminal (Brock 1999).

Hope and the will to live are all being neglected. Every doctor can tell stories of patients expected to die within days who surprise everyone with their extraordinary recoveries. Indeed, to suggest that euthanasia is a legitimate option as soon as the prognosis is pessimistic enough is to reduce the probability of such extraordinary recoveries from low to zero (http://www.*****/Politics/97.htm,2004).

Euthanasia will definitely increase fear for hospitals and doctors. Despite all the efforts of health education, it seems there will always be transference of the patient's fear of illness from the illness to the doctors and hospitals that treat it. This fear is still very real and leads to large numbers of late presentations of illnesses that might have been cured if only the patients had sought help earlier. To institutionalize euthanasia, however carefully, would undoubtedly magnify all the latent fear of doctors and hospitals harbored by the public. The inevitable result would be a rise in late presentations and, therefore, preventable deaths (http://www.*****/Politics/97.htm,2004).

Societal acceptance will be greatly endangered. It must never be forgotten that doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators have personal lives, homes and families, or that they are something more than just doctors, nurses, or hospital administrators. They are citizens and a significant part of the society around them. People should be very worried about what the institutionalization of euthanasia will do to society, in general, how will the civilians regard murderers? (Brody 1988).

But for more of the pro-euthanasia, they see it as a practice of every citizen's freedom of choice along with the chance to die with dignity (Callahan, 1993). If one is terminally ill, suffering from too much pain because of the disease, why will he/she not be allowed to rest in peace? Besides, why let loved ones, who are still in their active lives, suffer also because of somebody? For the pro-euthanasia, one suffering is enough and they feel that by letting that sick person to choose what he really wanted of his very minimal life is the only consolation that they can be given to them.

Part 2

Immanuel Kant on Suicide/Euthanasia

He who contemplates suicide should ask himself whether his action can be consistent with the idea of humanity as an end in itself. If he destroys himself in order to escape from painful circumstances, he uses a person merely as a mean to maintain a tolerable condition up to the end of life. But a man is not a thing, that is to say, something which can be used merely as means, but must in all his actions be always considered as an end in himself. (http://www.euthanasia.com/kant.html,2006).

Kant does not totally imply if he is pro-euthanasia or not. He just stated that considering euthanasia may be because of varied reason. However, one thing that is very much related to the views on euthanasia stated above is Kant's perception that a person who will commit suicide just chose a tolerable method of ending his life.

Therefore, as for Kant, euthanasia will be the choice of some people, because they would want to end further suffering of their loved ones. It is a choice that when committed, will result to a better ending. It may not be reversible or changeable once done, because there is just one possible ending and that is death, but whoever may decide to doing it, thinks that it is for the best.

Levinas there is no ethical case for suicide or assisted suicide. Death cannot be assumed or chosen - not only because suicide is a logically and metaphysically contradictory concept but also because in the choice of death ethical responsibility turns into irresponsibility..." (Nuyen, 2000)

Levinas totally disagrees with the idea of euthanasia. Like the common perceptions of those who are against euthanasia, Levinas argues that nobody has the right to decide for the death of somebody else (Nuyen, 2000). Even if the decision comes from the loved one, a relative, a family member or even the son/daughter or the wife/husband of the sick person, euthanasia or assisted suicide should never be an alternative.

As for Levinas, death is nobody's responsibility. It may be true on some point. It is God who made each and everyone of us and only Him should decide on when, where and how to end it. However hard the person may be suffering in bed because of whatever sickness, God has his plans and nobody should interfere with that.

Melanie Mills

Mills did not fully state that she is against euthanasia or not. However, she stated that there should be boundaries and/or compromises (Mills, 2006). If euthanasia will be socially and legally accepted, then there are other forms of crimes and other attempts of suicides should be accepted too. In short, there should not be double standards when dealing to actions related to death and suicides.

Mills has a very strong point in her statement. Euthanasia is an assisted suicide. It deals with death. It involves decision-making on whether to allow somebody die or not. Euthanasia is comparable to some other forms of suicides and killings. Hence, it is just to be expected that if euthanasia will become socially and legally acceptable, issues regarding the acceptance of other forms of suicides and killings will be raised. The society, the medical professionals nor the courts could not claim that treatment with the euthanasia case is or should be different. If one is to be accepted, it should b done with other related cases as well.

John Rawls

As for John Rawls, euthanasia is just a decision which anybody is entitled to. For him, if one is competent enough to decide on what to do with his body, his life or his sickness, then he should be allowed to act with his desired decision. However, if such decision is done impulsively as a result of varied emotions, then the state has then the right to intervene (Rawls, et. al, 1997).

John Rawls point-of-view when it comes to euthanasia is very objective. He does not agree nor disagree. What he, and his colleagues, had pointed out are the legalities that should be imposed once an act of euthanasia has been done. The reasons and how it was committed should be evaluated so as to understand whether euthanasia is really the necessary alternative. If not, the legal system has the right to stop or penalize the person who decided for it. If it really is the last and best resort, then nobody will be penalized.

Part 3

The word Euthanasia originated from the Greek language; "eu" means "good" and thanatos means "death." The term euthanasia normally implies that the person who wishes to commit suicide must initiate the act. However, some people define euthanasia to include both voluntary and involuntary termination of life. One of the most common forms of euthanasia is the so-called physician-assisted suicide. This process is done through a physician who supplies all the information necessary for committing suicide (e.g. A prescription for lethal dose of sleeping pills, or a supply of carbon monoxide gas) to a person, so that they can easily terminate their own life. The term "voluntary passive euthanasia" (VPE) is becoming commonly used. One writer suggests the use of the verb "to kevork." This is derived from the name of Dr. Kevorkian, who has promoted VPE and assisted at the deaths of hundreds of patients. Originally he hooked his patients up to a machine that delivered measured doses of medications, but only after the patient pushed a button to initiate the sequence. More recently, he provided carbon monoxide and a…