Euthanasia: Is it Ethical

While doing research on the topic of Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide, I have come to see that people have a hard time believing that this should be an option for people who have terminal illnesses. Euthanasia is the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma and Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) is The voluntary termination of one’s own life by administration of a lethal substance with the direct or indirect assistance of a physician. Though euthanasia and PAS are 2 different things, they still offer the same help for patients who are going through a life-threatening illness. There are many aspects, that can help everyone involved with this treatment. No matter how hard the situation gets, knowing that your loved one won’t have to wait for the suffering to begin, can help you realize how good having that treatment as an option. While commiting suicide is not ethical, would you rather have your loved one continue to get sick and suffer or would you want them to end their life in a peaceful manner surrounded by the people they love? Here are a few reasons why Euthanasia and PAS are ethical options for people with terminal illnesses:

1.The patients pain and suffering will end. With terminal illnesses, the more they progress the more painful things become and the more sick the patients get. Therefore, having PAS or Euthanasia as an option, in case things get to painful or if they don’t want to prolong the suffering they know if coming, can benefit them in the long run. According to John DiBaise, who wrote Euthanasia and Quality of Life: Critique of a Subjective Standard, states to consider quality of life in relation to specific treatments so long as these focus on the burdensomeness and usefulness of the treatments rather than the value of a person’s life. Meaning that if you focus on how beneficial the treatment is instead of the value of life the person is at, at that moment you can see how much help it will be for them in the long run. Even though it may be hard to let someone go, you wouldn’t want to see them suffering and not having the best outlook on life.

2.The patient’s family’s pain can be reduced When thinking about someone who has a terminal illness, you’re more focused on how they are doing, what they are going through, and what they need in order to cope with their sickness. You don’t necessarily think about how the family of the patient is doing or whether or not they have accepted the fact that eventually they will lose their loved one. With families who have people with a terminal illness, they want to hold on to their loved one for as long as they can. Having that feeling means that they won’t necessarily think about what is in the best interest of their loved one. They just think that Euthanasia or PAS will take their loved one away from them too soon, and that there is a sliver of hope that they will get better. But that sliver of hope is what prevents the family from doing what might be in the best interest of their family member. When people talk about Euthanasia and PAS they will develop a better understanding and realize that having that as an option is a good choice to have. Ezekial Emanuel, who wrote the article Whose Right to Die? America Should Think Again before Pressing Ahead with the Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Euthanasia, states At first glance, this seems quite logical. Most people have probably heard of or witnessed medical situations and said to themselves, I would prefer to be dead than endure that’. If the family puts themselves in their loved ones shoes, they will realize that that may be their best option and they will have peace of mind knowing that they won’t be suffering if they go through with that treatment.

3.Patient can die with dignity and in a humane way. In Oregon, they have the Death With Dignity Act. The Death With Dignity Act is an end-of-life option that allows certain terminally ill people to voluntarily and legally request and receive a prescription medication from their physician to hasten their death in a peaceful, humane, and dignified manner. In 2014, a women by the name of Brittany Maynard announced that she had decided to go through with Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS). Maynards story touched people across the world, and opened up discussion about PAS and the benefits that go along with it. In an article by People Magazine, Maynard opened up about her choice to die with dignity and what her thoughts are. In the article by Nicole Egan, Maynard states They try to mix it up with suicide and that’s really unfair, because there’s not a single part of me that wants to die. But I am dying. Maynard realized what was happening to her, and she didn’t want to wait for things to get worse. She knew that eventually she was going to die, and she didn’t want to prolong that fact and let the suffering come. Making this decision was hard for Maynard. It wasn’t a decision that was easy for her to make and it wasn’t a decision that she just wanted to do one day. She didn’t want to let her family see her continue to get sick and gradually wait for everything to get more painful. For Maynard to be brave enough to make the decision to take her own life, that impacted a community she never thought would be so touched and affected. Her decision opened gates to those who also have terminally illnesses, and it gives them a chance to live and end their life in the way they want to.

4.Ultimately the patient’s choice. Life and death, love and loss, inferior and choice. All of these words mean something and all of them can be connected with PAS and Euthanasia. We all go through life differently, all of us don’t live and go through life the same as everyone else. We go through hard times and end up having to make decisions we never thought we would have to make. Choosing between living with a terminal illness and go through all the pain and suffering that comes as they get closer to dying or making the choice to end your life before the pain and suffering becomes too unbearable to handle. That is ultimately the patient’s choice and it is something that they have to right to choose. No one would want to make someone suffer and be in pain when they know that there is a solution that can help them. In the article, An Ethical Analysis of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Rejecting Euthanasia and Accepting Physician Assisted Suicide with Palliative Care, written by Benjamin Shibata, it states Sometimes it is used to prolong the life of someone. But, as the end of life approaches medicine starts to lose its power to help and heal. People who are pro euthanasia believe this process to be humane and in respect to the individuals request to end their life and end the pain that they are going through. Knowing that their pain and suffering will end, but their life here will end is something that is hard for them to grasp, but they know that it is their best option and will save both them and their family in the long run.

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