The ethical grounds and practice of euthanasia has been deliberated ever since the world originated. In ancient Greece, the meaning of euthanasia literary stands for good death but its characterization modifies as time goes by. Ancient medical practitioners communicate with their Greek gods through prayers to end one’s suffering by ending his or her life peacefully (Gailey, 2003, p. 27). The connotation about euthanasia changed through modern times.
Today, the American Medical Association (AMA) under its Code of Medical Ethics denotes that it is the process of administering a lethal amount of agent to a person or patient for the rationale of alleviating the patient’s terminal and unbearable suffering (Cebuhar, 2006, p. 67). Euthanasia is a major issue of today’s society. Furthermore, it is not only an existing concern of medical practitioners, but also directed by politics and religion as well. Different findings from medically inclined research and religiously moral paradigms primarily set the criterion in continuous and up to date incidence of ethical arguments regarding euthanasia.
The article would likely convey the issue whether medical practitioners have the right to practice euthanasia. Moreover, the writer also highlights the diverse standpoint of different affairs of state, religious sections and medical organizations. This piece of writing provides its reader with properly documented findings to support the writer’s point of view on the subject of euthanasia. All of us have conflicting lines of reasoning when it comes to the subject of euthanasia. Hence, we must stand for what is morally accepted universal norm.
Medical practitioners must not encourage and practice euthanasia even if the patient is terminally ill or in state of unbearable pain. Medical Perspective on Euthanasia Medical practitioners are under oath and it is highly recognized in The Oath of Hippocrates that any doctor must not give lethal medication to his or her patient even if the latter requested for it. Medicine is an art intended to provide panacea among people who needs medical attention. American Medical Association (AMA) takes its stand against the issue of euthanasia and to physician-assisted suicide (PAS) (School of Law, 2006, p.
98). AMA has taken its part and holds its strong position in advocacy opposing to the case of doctor-assisted suicide as it takes it ground in the 9th Circuit. The AMA believes that there is an incontestable substantiation that distinguishes the necessity to provide the public an access to superior palliative care. Furthermore, AMA discounted any need for the idea of physician-assisted suicide. Physicians execute an imperative act of saving life and restoring health and they are bounded by rules that govern in protecting life.
Their credibility and their authority are well trusted by their patients. Thus, their image remains in a pedestal (School of Law, 2006, p. 98). There is still a responsible alternative way to alleviate a patient’s agony whether they are to be found in hospice or at the comfort of their homes. Imparting knowledge to physicians on how to deal with their patients regarding alternative treatment is one way of improving the doctor-patient relationship. For this reason, the pursuit of euthanasia by the patient will be most likely being eliminated. According to Carlos F.
Gomes, MD, Ph. D. , ignorance and fear of the patient often drives the latter to ask for a physician’s help in ending his or her life (Hillyard and Dombrink, 2001, p. 27). If a patient will be given a well-organized option that is effectual in containing his or her pain, then almost certainly euthanasia will be out of the context. Modern medicine is now capable of giving options to patients in dealing with their pain and illnesses. Many doctors around the world are now well trained in educating their patient on how to effectively manage and control pain.
With the means of genuine considerations and documented aggressive medical treatment including drug administration, these will not terminate the patient’s life, but rather restrict the attack of pain (Hillyard and Dombrink, 2001, p. 27). Science has already proven its worth in finding ways to come up with effective and safe drugs for human consumption. On the contrary, there are still instances in some parts of the world like in The Netherlands where doctors resort to euthanasia even without the patient’s desirability or understanding (Bernat, 2008, p. 207).
When the doctors in The Netherlands believe that they can do nothing to cure a patient, their only option to help the patient is by waving euthanasia to take part. Such scenario is devastatingly alarming and it definitely goes against the virtue of The Oath of Hippocrates. Different Religious Conviction about Euthanasia The Roman Catholic Church theologians express their bold disapproval of euthanasia and perceived that executing such is a mortal sin. Even Pope John Paul II strongly disapproves the practice of physician-assisted suicide (Dyck, 2002, p. 102).
He believes that euthanasia is a serious contravention in commandments of God although the motive and the purpose of doing so are comprehensible. However, it is still morally degradable to know that a person bestowed with a gift to save lives will also be proficient in killing people. The Catholic Church, therefore, believes that there is only one God who is responsible and has the rights in telling a man if it’s his or her time to meet his or her maker. Jewish primarily stand against euthanasia collectively. But according to them, there are also considerations to look upon.
Based on Jewish accepted wisdom, physician-assisted suicide is a great denial of what really belongs to God and that is life (Pollack, 2001, p. 15). Quite the opposite of their main standpoint, Jewish people astonishingly allow the withdrawal of life-support systems in a patient’s body if a physician assumed that there will be no improvement on the patient’s condition. The Jewish sect also allows and acknowledges the use of life-threatening medications that will alleviate pain and at the same time, lead the patient to peaceful death.
In other words, Jewish may be in between of falling in or not with the use of euthanasia to help the dying patient. The Protestant’s religious belief when it comes to euthanasia comes in several points of views (Sugarman and Sulmasy, 2001, p. 248). Some of the Protestant people presume that euthanasia is not a good man’s act while others consider it as a means to do a merciful act. Those who are not in favor of euthanasia credibly emphasize that nobody must play as God in determining as to when a human existence should be terminated or not.
On the other hand, those who are in favor of euthanasia argue that it will serve good things to a dying man. They reckon that euthanasia should be legalized to slash out a person’s demoralizing and degrading situation. Some would have contended that one’s dignity and personality have a superior significance than what we call life (Sugarman and Sulmasy, 2001, p. 248). Religious cluster already extended over their views and judgment on the emergence of euthanasia in medical practice.
Their stance is obviously supported and sustained by the teachings and biblical arguments found in the Holy Scriptures – no one is above God to control man’s subsistence. Political Judgment: Some Says Yes but Many Still Says No Most of the countries in European continent already legalize and included euthanasia as part of medical practice. There are several stories that reveal how European countries are liberal when it comes to the issue of euthanasia (De Cruz, 2001, p. 397). In France where physician-assisted suicide is well recognize, a former female teacher ended her life by consuming a lethal amount of barbiturates.
While in Belgium and Luxembourg, surveys revealed that there are numbers of foreigners who comes to Belgium to take advantage of the European Law on euthanasia (Keyes, 2007, p. 899). The physician assisted the patient to choose his time and place of death. Although Belgium is a Catholic country, its political federation believes in the sanctity of euthanasia. Despite the fact that some states in the United States already legalize euthanasia, majority of the states considers it as a demoralizing act.
Many advocacies have been funded to educate people about the drawbacks of euthanasia. It will still take time before politics and government branches stand in unison against physician-assisted suicide. The time is ticking very fast and every short while means a life terminated by a simple shot of lethal agent or by just mere deactivation of life-support system. Politics formulate the law of men. But let us not forget that we are also bounded by the laws of God, which is far greater than anything else. Conclusion
Euthanasia must not be encouraged and practiced by anyone from the medical field. Science has been doing its job for years to come up with an effective alternative patient care in terms of bedside care and drug therapy. Medical practitioners vow down to give and secure life to anyone who needs medical attention. Religious sects also speak up and present their judgment. Politics and the government must also do their part in keeping euthanasia illegitimately, although some parts of the globe already legalize it.
Man’s law in killing people through euthanasia still falls on the state of murder. There is only one law that must reign over people when it comes to taking someone’s life and that is the law of God. Works Cited Bernat, James L (2008). Ethical issues in neurology. USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Cebuhar, Jo Kline (2006). Last things first, just in case… : The practical guide to living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care. USA: Murphy Publishing, LLC De Cruz, Peter (2001). Comparative healthcare law.
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