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Euthanasia (Essay Sample)


argumentative essay ABOUT EUTHANASIA

Euthanasia is the act of ending someone’s life deliberately to relive the person from suffering. Normally, termination of someone’s life occurs when the patients do not seem to get well or when they are suffering from incurable disease. Euthanasia is common in the United States among other countries. However, the act of euthanasia has always caused debate in the United States. While some people are for euthanasia, others disagree with the act of ending someone’s life deliberately. Euthanasia has raised controversy in the United States because of different views on societal, cultural, and religious ethics (Fletcher, 7). There are two main types of euthanasia; active euthanasia and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia refers to ending life of the affected person deliberately through any active process like injecting them with an overdose of sedatives. Contrary, passive euthanasia is the process where the patient withdraws from the medication that helps them to cope with the disease leading to death. The patient or the family of the patients are the ones who decide on the type of euthanasia to go through. Euthanasia usually has different effects to the family including disputes in the family, financial pressure and regrets among others. Arguably, instead of carrying out euthanasia on a patient, there is application of other alternatives to save the life of the patient. One of the main alternatives is ease of pain. Instead of terminating the person’s life, the doctors should offer medications to reduce pain of the patients. Secondly, there is the depression treatment mechanism. Normally, a patient might opt for euthanasia simply because they are going through depression. Treating depression will help on such situation, since the patient will cope with the sickness (Carrick, 4).
This paper highlights the issue of euthanasia tackling the impacts of euthanasia, effects of euthanasia and the alternatives for euthanasia.
The Effects of Euthanasia on Family
Euthanasia has various effects on the family of the affected patients. Normally, the effects of euthanasia are negative as highlighted below.
Firstly, there is family conflict. Family conflict refers to a situation where there is misunderstanding within a family. Euthanasia like many other issues too causes family conflict. Despite the fact that the patient themselves might suggest for euthanasia, the family members will have different opinions on the issue. While some family members will support it, others will be against the whole act of euthanasia. Regarding this, family conflict will develop within the patient’s family (Fletcher, 15). After the death of the patient, those who were against the euthanasia act will start to blame those who supported the termination of the patient’s life. This conflict might be between the children of the family, parents, brothers and sisters or any other close member. In the process of family conflict, hatred is developed and this might cause breakups among the family members. In a situation where a father supports euthanasia against one of the children of the family who is suffering while the mother is against is the best example. Focusing on this, the mother will remain bitter with the father of the family and might even opt to divorce him just because of that. This is why it is important to consult all the family members and agree before carrying out euthanasia on a member of the family.
Secondly, there is financial conflict. Financial conflict is a situation whereby a person is struggling to cope up with the bills due to lack of enough money. Euthanasia too might effect to financial pressure on the family on different point of views. Firstly, when euthanasia is performed on a family member who was the breadwinner, the family might start to suffer financial crisis. In most American families, the father acts as the main provider of the family. This implies that he is the one who provides basic needs for the children and the family as a whole. However, the provider might fall in with an incurable illness leading to euthanasia. Despite the fact that the will have saved him from pain and suffering, the family will start to suffer. The children might even drop out of school and the family go for days without anything to eat just because the main provider is gone. Additionally, the family might spend money to as to perform euthanasia on the patient. In recent research, health services in America are becoming more expensive. This affects euthanasia too since the family will have to spend lump sum amount to pay the doctors fee before they carry out euthanasia (Carrick, 17). After performing euthanasia, the family will remain with financial constraints that might affect them for some time before they cope up again. Contrary, financial pressure might also bring a positive point on euthanasia. Normally, keeping someone alive on their last days is much expensive especially when they are under intensive care unit. This implies that performing euthanasia will save them from financial pressure since it is much cheaper.
Thirdly, a family regret is another effect of euthanasia on the family. This is the effect where the members of the family believe they made a wrong choice. In some cases, a person suffers for a long period making the family to settle for euthanasia when the patient comes up with the idea or any other close member. On such occasion, the family members regret later on when they start missing the deceased. Despite the fact that the patient might be suffering, they had better be alive since they bring some fulfilment and hope in the family. However, when you settle for euthanasia, they leave the family and cause emptiness among some family members. This emptiness causes regrets. Additionally, regrets might occur amongst the family members when the deceased was carrying out ideal duties in the family. The best example is when the deceased was a breadwinner as noted above. Basing on that, the family might start to face financial constraints leading to regrets. In order to avoid family regrets, it is advisable the family members take their time and be so sure they are ready to perform euthanasia on a member of the family.
Impact of Euthanasia on Society
Firstly, there is personal autonomy. A better way to ease the depression and the pain is to respect the person’s right to choose the best course of action for their life and their death. Those who are pro-choice, as reported on Villanova’s internet page, believe "the decision how and when to die is one of the most intimate and personal choices a person can make in a lifetime, a choice central to personal formality and autonomy (McDougall, pg 37)." The acceptance for suicide that developed during the ancient classical period to some extent reflected a disdain for weakness, illness and the inability to contribute to society past a certain age. At the same time, however, it also reflected a concern for a "worthy and good life," something that was elusive in the existence of extensive physical decline (Fletcher, 23). In old times, the Greeks and the Romans succeeded in moving suicide out of a dark as well as mysterious realm into the field of public dialogue and discussion. Normally, one would expect euthanasia to be prosecuted as first-degree murder, because there is intent to cause death, which is the definition of murder, and the act is most often planned and deliberate, which is the definition of first-degree murder. However, there is influence on charges of euthanasia principally by other criteria. The fact that the main intension is to relieve suffering; the unpredictable attitude of judges; and technical difficulties in proving the exact cause of death when a person is in any case close to death and taking considerable pain medication. Charges vary from administering a lethal substance, to killing, to homicide. Notably, people fear that if permitted, other people will control on their choice to die. Arguably, maybe this is true, but it is cynical. The issues are more realistic and involve our society’s morals as well as the legal consequences involved in choosing death. Existing wills are also a big part in the legitimate phases of euthanasia. A living will can express a patient’s considerations towards his future medical treatment. Living wills are legal in forty states. They permit everybody capable of making decisions to tell the doctor earlier that they do not wish to be on the intensive care unit.
Secondly, medical research is another impact. Notably, because of advances in medical treatment, people are now able to live longer and delay death. However, the ability to live longer often entails a diminished quality of life for those who suffer from progressive or incurable ailments. A number of factors have fuelled the wish to accomplish greater control over decisions relating to life and death, including; the desire to be spared from persistent suffering; the increased incidence of seriously debilitating diseases such as AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease; and a better understanding of how medical technology can prolong life and affect the dying process. These factors fostered an interest in euthanasia and cessation of medical treatment. More recently, the focus seems to have moved to quality end-of-life care, but that is a health care issue beyond the scope of this paper. Just as there are the euthanasia advocates, there are the detractors of euthanasia that believe that it is giving the right to kill to doctors. Doctors and other medical care personnel take oaths to uphold the values of life. Allowing them to create death would devalue the oath of which they are supposed to uphold. Those who are "anti-euthanasia" believe that allowing euthanasia to continue will be the be...
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