Importance of Euthanasia

It allows people to be free of physical pain, followed by mental suffering. One of the most famous euthanasia debates revolves around Dax Cowart, who was almost burned to death in a propane explosion. His hands, eyes, ears, and lips were burned off, he spent years in physical pain, wishing to die. Does he have the right to die, be free of his physical pain and mental sadness? Or is it better that he now continues to live, blind, deaf, divorced, alone, and has attempted suicide numerous times?

Euthanasia (origin: Greek; meaning "good death”)refers to the practice of ending a life in a manner which relieves pain and suffering.

According to the House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics, the precise definition of euthanasia is "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering."

“An action or omission which of itself and by intention causes death, with the purpose of eliminating suffering.” (EV 65)( Euthanasia is categorized in different ways, which include voluntary, non-voluntary, or involuntary and active or passive.

Ex: When the patient brings about his or her own death with the assistance of a physician, the term ”assisted suicide” is often used instead.( VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA is conducted with the consent of the patient is termed voluntary euthanasia.

Ex: Child euthanasia is a controversial form of non- voluntary euthanasia that is applied to children who are gravely ill or suffer from significant birth defects.( NONVOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA is conducted where the consent of the patient is unavailable.

INVOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA is conducted against the will of the patient is termed involuntary euthanasia.

PHILIPPINE SETTING

Euthanasia is not legal here in the Philippines but some are using Euthanasia or mercy killing on terminally ill patients and most of them are poor. They have no other choice but to use Euthanasia to stop the patient from suffering from pain.(9.

DATA/ NUMBERS/FACTS

Only 2 out of 10 terminally ill patients survives because of proper medications. The remaining 8 out of 10 is sentenced to Euthanasia. A survey in the United States of more than 10,000 physicians came to the result that approximately 16% of physicians would ever consider halting life- sustaining therapy because the family demands it, even if believed that it was premature. Approximately 55% would not, and for the remaining 29%, it would depend on circumstances.

This study also stated that approx. 46% of physicians agree that physician- assisted suicide should be allowed in some cases; 41% do not, and the remaining 14% think it depends.

STAND OF THECHURCH

In the most recent version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2003), all forms of suicide and euthanasia remain strictly prohibited, but questions of moral culpability and eternal salvation are left open. Paragraphs 2280-83 of Article 5 (On the Fifth Commandment) address suicide Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life.

We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life.

It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law. Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide. We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.

Paragraphs 2276-79 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church address euthanasia and related issues: Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible. Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over- zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; ones inability to impede it is merely accepted.

The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected: Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable. Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.

True compassion leads to sharing another’s pain: It does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear. Even when not motivated by a selfish refusal to be burdened with the life of someone who is suffering, euthanasia must not be called “false mercy”, and indeed a disturbing ‘perversion’ of mercy.

CONCLUSION

Public opinion polls show solid majority support for limited legalizat The assisted suicide/euthanasia debate is still in its infancy, with the ultimate outcome very much in doubtion, but the polls also demonstrate that popular support drops significantly when specific details of legislative proposals are examined. One thing is clear: euthanasia/ assisted suicide controversy is likely to be a significant source of societal contention and political argument for many years to come.

SOURCES

  1. Euthanasia
  2. Euthanasia - refers to the practice of ending a life in a painless manner. Many different forms of euthanasia can be distinguished, including animal euthanasia and human euthanasia, and within the latter, voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide have been the focus of great controversy in recent years.
  3. The term euthanasia comes from the Greek words "eu"-meaning good and "thanatos"-meaning death, which combined means “well-death” or "dying well". Hippocrates mentions euthanasia in the Hippocratic Oath, which was written between 400 and 300 B.C. The original Oath states: “To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.”
  4. Despite this, the ancient Greeks and Romans generally did not believe that life needed to be preserved at any cost and were, in consequence, tolerant of suicide in cases where no relief could be offered to the dying or, in the case of the Stoics and Epicureans, where a person no longer cared for his life.
  5. English Common Law from the 1300s until the middle of the last century made suicide a criminal act in England and Wales. Assisting others to kill themselves remains illegal in that jurisdiction. However, in the 1500s, Thomas More, in describing a utopian community, envisaged such a community as one that would facilitate the death of those whose lives had become burdensome as a result of "torturing and lingering pain".
  6. Euthanasia by consent Euthanasia may be conducted with consent (voluntary euthanasia) or without consent (involuntary euthanasia). Involuntary euthanasia is conducted where an individual makes a decision for another person incapable of doing so.
  7. Euthanasia may be conducted passively, non-actively, and actively. Passive euthanasia entails the withholding of common treatments (such as antibiotics, chemotherapy in cancer, or surgery) or the distribution of a medication (such as morphine) to relieve pain, knowing that it may also result in death (principle of double effect).
  8. Passive euthanasia is the most accepted form, and it is a common practice in most hospitals. Non-active euthanasia entails the withdrawing of life support and is more controversial. Active euthanasia entails the use of lethal substances or forces to kill and is the most controversial means. An individual may use a euthanasia machine to perform euthanasia on himself / herself.
  9. Choice: Proponents of VE emphasize that choice is a fundamental principle for liberal democracies and free market systems Quality of Life: The pain and suffering a person feels during a disease, even with pain relievers, can be incomprehensible to a person who has not gone through it. Even without considering the physical pain, it is often difficult for patients to overcome the emotional pain of losing their independence
  10. Economic costs and human resources: Today in many countries there is a shortage of hospital space. The energy of doctors and hospital beds could be used for people whose lives could be saved instead of continuing the life of those who want to die which increases the general quality of care and shortens hospital waiting lists. It is a burden to keep people alive past the point they can contribute to society, especially if the resources used could be spent on a curable ailment.
  11. Professional role: Critics argue that voluntary euthanasia could unduly compromise the professional roles of health care employees, especially doctors. They point out that European physicians of previous centuries traditionally swore some variation of the Hippocratic Oath, which in its ancient form excluded euthanasia: "To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.." However, since the 1970s, this oath has largely fallen out of use.
  12. Moral/Theological: Some people, including many Christians, consider euthanasia of some or all types to be morally unacceptable. This view usually treats euthanasia to be a type of murder and voluntary euthanasia as a type of suicide, the morality of which is the subject of active debate. Necessity: If there is some reason to believe the cause of a patient's illness or suffering is or will soon be curable, the correct action is sometimes considered to attempt to bring about a cure or engage in palliative care.
  13. Feasibility of implementation: Euthanasia can only be considered "voluntary" if a patient is mentally competent to make the decision, i.e., has a rational understanding of options and consequences. Competence can be difficult to determine or even define. Consent under pressure: Given the economic grounds for voluntary euthanasia (VE), critics of VE are concerned that patients may experience psychological pressure to consent to voluntary euthanasia rather than be a financial burden on their families. Even where health costs are mostly covered by public money, as in various European countries, VE critics are concerned that hospital personnel would have an economic incentive to advise or pressure people toward euthanasia consent.
  14. Christianity The declaration on Euthanasia is the Roman Catholic Church's official document on the topic of euthanasia, a statement that was issued as by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1980.
  15. Catholic teaching condemns euthanasia as a "crime against life". The teaching of the Catholic Church on euthanasia rests on several core principles of Catholic ethics, including the sanctity of human life, the dignity of the human person, concomitant human rights, due proportionality in casuistic remedies, the unavoidability of death, and the importance of charity.
  16. With regards to no voluntary euthanasia, the cases where the person could consent but was not asked are often viewed differently from those where the person could not consent. Some people raise issues regarding stereotypes of disability that can lead to non-disabled or less disabled people overestimating the person's suffering, or assuming it to be unchangeable when it could be changed.