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Todays Problems: Euthanasia
Posted 04 January 2006 - 10:58 AM
very controversial theme, which is very present in the media today, I want to
provide an introduction to this topic.
I hope the "Whats News" section is the right place for it... because it is a new
theme in our sociecty... and I think that everyone should cope with it...
Definition of death?
Death: In former days, a person was regarded as “dead”, when his or her heart
stopped beating. But with the course of time, and with all the modern technology
and medicine, it is possible to keep the heart beating. So there is a new definition
for death: A person is dead, when there is no more any electrical activity in the brain.
What is euthanasia?
Generally, it means gentle and easy death for usually terminal ill people. Other
expressions for this term are mercy killing, or relief people from unbearable suffering.
Facts about euthanasia?
In most of the world’s countries mercy killing is forbidden and illegal, but most of
the people, living in those states, support the idea of euthanasia. More and more
patients (mostly terminal ill ones) have the wish to die with dignity and without
pain and suffering. So, it’s a moral and legal question for the state. The reason,
which makes this problem actual, is, that the people all around the world live
longer because of better health care. So there are more elderly people in our
Generally there are 2 opinions:
• Terminally ill people must be given the “right to die” when they want to end their
lives. No one else should be allowed to make the decision if a patient should go on
living or should be killed, only the ill people themselves. “The right to die with
dignity” is the main phrase in this controversial topic. The patients should choose if
life-prolonging machines should keep them alive or not. Generally the patient
should have a “comfortable” death, which means, that they should be released
from great pain and unless suffering.
• Letting patients die is the same like killing them. All human life has the same
value, no matter what life it is. So nobody should be allowed to practise passive
or active euthanasia.
Types of euthanasia:
a) Active euthanasia
Active euthanasia is illegal in nearly every state on earth. The Netherlands want to
make certain types of active mercy killing legal, which means that doctors will not
be punished anymore when the help a person to die. Of course the patients must
have the clear wish to die, so that the medicals are able to inject lethal injections
in their bodies. In Germany the families of terminally ill persons may buy poison
for them, which can be taken by the patient. But active euthanasia is still forbidden.
Passive euthanasia means, to stop the medical treatment of a patient, when it is
the only way to keep him/her alive and when there are no other forms of cure. To
turn of this live prolonging measures is the most accepted “style” of mercy killing.
But the biggest problem of this topic is, that nobody can be 100% sure, that a
patient wants to die. For example mentally ill or paralysed people are not able to
make a right decision. So what will happen to them and who should decide it?
Excerpt anf comment to the article "The right to die"
(Spotlight article, December 1995)
A father killed his terminally ill and disabled daughter, because he thought it was
the best way to help her. The law said: “…to treat such a child as a person of
lesser status or dignity than others is a heavily defence of the human right!” The
father was sentenced to prison. This case was a victory for all the disabled all
around the world. These say, that for the first time in history, the interest of
disabled people were followed. In questions like “euthanasia yes or no” only
the “ordinary” people are asked, not the disabled. The groups which support the
handicapped people fear, that times like the nazi regime will come back, when
only the physically and mental healthy were allowed to live.
Opponents of euthanasia support the idea of the “hospice movement”. A hospice is
similar to a hospital nut there are some basic differences.
A hospice provides:
• Support systems for terminally ill patients and their families.
• Furthermore it regards dying as a normal process
• The people who work there try to relief the patients from any kind of pain
• It helps the sick people to live as actively as possible until their death
• And a hospice helps the family of the patient to cope with the difficult situation
In a hospice the people are informed about death and dying and also about going
on living. Information about death is very important, because most of the patients
who want to die are not informed enough to make the right decision to live or to
In Oregon in the year 1994 the “death with dignity law”, which allowed doctors to
give lethal injections, was introduced, bud it quickly disappeared in 1995. It was
against the constitution of the United States.
In some cases assisted suicide isn’t very successfully and effective because in
some cases the “quick death” didn’t work. The patients had a hard and painful
In Britain more than 90% of the total population are in favour of allowing doctors
to end the lives of terminally ill people, but (of course) the people must have the
wish to die.
In the Netherlands the situation looks something different. There the law permits
active euthanasia under strict controlled conditions. The medicals have to follow a
28-point checklist and the ill person has to tell the doctor the wish to die under
presence of witnesses.
When patients are in a coma, it’s very difficult to make a decision. They are
unable to say what they want. So the “Right to die” could become the duty to die!
During the 2nd World war the disabled had no rights and their duty was to die.
Generally the patient him or herself, the family and the doctors have to decide if
the patient should go on living or not.
Euthanasia – What to you think?
Generally euthanasia means “good death”, but has become to mean a “hastened”
or “assisted” death.
Public opinion is behind euthanasia and nearly 70% say, that doctors should be
allowed to end the lives of terminally ill people. At the one hand, the law says, that
active euthanasia is a crime and because of that forbidden. At the other hand,
passive mercy dead, which means that all life-prolonging measures should be
turned off, is not an offence. But a distinction between those two kinds of
euthanasia is very difficult to make. The right distinction will not always be made
by the law, the judge or the patient himself. Death is something very personal and
should be respected by society.
I really dont know for myself whats the "right" way... everybody has do decide
it for him/or herself...but..
..the danger of "murder" exists...and it is really a danger...
Greetings from Austria
Posted 04 January 2006 - 01:01 PM
But I don't know myself if euthanasia should be allowed or not, same for aborts or in prison the death penalties.. personally I let others decide and don't want to think about it, but what is bad that I agree with both opinions, I mean with both sides which maybe leaves me neutral..
Posted 04 January 2006 - 02:42 PM
it possably had a stroke.
it couldnt move the back half of its body, it apreared to be parilysed.
however, it could eat and drink if the food was placed directly in front of it.
she took it to the vet.
everyone agreed that the only humane thing to do, was to put it to sleep. (lethal injection, painless)
rather than let it continue to live in pain for the few days it had remaining.
Ending its life was considered more humane, and ethically he correct thing to do.
not giving it a lethal injection was considered to be cruelty.
HOWEVER... the guinne pig did not ask for the injection, and the guinnee pig did not give its concent or permission.
On the Other hand, a Human, who is fully capable of asking to die, giving concent and permission, is not allowed to do so in most countries.
It doesnt make sence.
I think peoples emotions, and in-ability to understand someone elses situation cloud there judgements in there areas.
What if the authoities tried to solve the urder problem by adding procedures for this type of thing.
perhaps a form, that needs to be signed by the person wishing to die, a doctor, and several un-related witnesses , psychologist / nurse / oter doctors / police officer.
Or maybe the problem here is religion.
religous politicians will not legalise it because their chosen religion conflicts with it.
In this case, i would ask the politicians o respect the beliefs of the parties involved, and let the individual concerned decide what his or her religion thinks about it, and choose to follow, or ignore it.
Posted 04 January 2006 - 03:16 PM
I personally favor active euthanasia, shall we say "within limits", as i pointed out above. I don't see what good there is in keeping someone alive who wants to die, and they know they'll die anyway in a year or so, but in the meantime they have to keep up the treatments, prolonging their agony and making things harder on everyone else as well, plus spending insane amounts of cash that, in the end, came to nothing. If the person is unconscious or otherwise unable to make a decision one way or the other, then the responsibility should rest with the immediate members of the victim's families, in consultation with a doctor or two, to ascertain whether there actually are chances of recovery. All i can say is, i hope that by the time i'm old enough to go into a hosptial the laws will have changed and it will be an accepted and legal way to die. I don't relish the idea of sitting around in a rotting body waiting for it to naturally expire. It'd be like driving a car with a burning engine, but you just keep going because you don't have the sense to shut off the engine and thumb a ride. Possibly the reason some prefer this is fear of the unknown, but hey, sooner or later it'll come, so why not sooner?
All in all, good essay, Harry. Unbiased treatment of a highly charged issue.
Posted 04 January 2006 - 04:17 PM
Euthanasia, like abortion has no business being in the hands of people who are not directly effected by the outcome. It perponderance here in these forums merely suggests the right to contriversy, not a solution. After all, unless you have experienced frst hand the destain and agony of these 2 life altering events, how then can one truely make an informed opinion, or let alone a choice for another, who is?
Posted 04 January 2006 - 05:32 PM
Posted 04 January 2006 - 06:48 PM
BTW - this is turning into an extremely interesting discussion. Keep it up folks
Posted 11 January 2006 - 05:37 AM
*Yeah, I'm not reallly sure how to exactly explain what I'm trying to convey to you with the whole "after the poison has entered the persons blood..." thing...
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