|Pros and Cons of Euthanasia |
|Lisa Rohn ...view middle of the document...
His entire body has shut down. He cannot breath on his own, his heart is not beating on its own and he lies in a vegetative state. The machine is keeping his body warm and his organs from dying. Your son will never be as you knew him again. While each of these cases is unbearable to even imagine, millions of people must deal with this same harsh reality every year. It is when these trying situations occur that we begin to discuss the concept of “euthanasia”. Euthanasia or the assisting in the death of another human being as a “mercy killing” is widely debated both in the medical, philosophical, and religious realms as well as the general population. Euthanasia can either be a means of letting a person die, or, in some cases, killing them. Whether killing someone out of mercy or allowing them to die is an ethically sound choice varies on a case by case basis. I believe that both mercy killing and allowing someone to die are both morally acceptable and of sound ethics in the correct circumstances. I believe that these circumstances are subject to the conditions of each individual’s particular case and solely the patients’ choice to make.
Science and technology has allowed humans to treat a myriad of diseases that
were previously terminal. The question is no longer of whether prolonging life is possible. Instead, physicians and scientists must deal with a much more difficult dilemma; whether life should be artificially prolonged in the first place. We have looked at the terms “letting die” and “killing”. Though both actions if carried out have the same outcome, their approaches are very different. The term “letting die” refers to a person’s body no longer being able to support itself by performing the basic functions that sustain life. This would mean that an individual can no longer do things such as breath on their own or their heart is being pumped for them because it is no longer working. Due to technological and scientific advances, medical machines have been invented that can and do perform the basic bodily functions of individuals who are unable to perform for themselves.
Often times there are cases where a person is conscious and coherent at the time of imminent death. They can choose to end their lives or be “killed”. Mercy killing, as it is sometimes called, is at often times a consideration of terminally ill patients suffering from cancer and other various terminal diseases. Terminally ill patients are in a position to ask for death for several reasons. One example would be a person suffering from stomach cancer and experiencing the extreme pain that is accompanied with this terminal illness. In this case a person may ask to die to end the suffering. This person would then be killed as an act of mercy. Another situation would be in which a person has Alzheimer’s disease and who knows that they will die from the disease. They are also aware that before they die they will lose all knowledge they posses and will...