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Euthanasia and Suicide Essay

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Updated: May 7th, 2019

Introduction

Euthanasia can be defined as the intentional act of inducing an easy and painless death to a suffering individual or mercy killing. It is closely associated with suicide act which involves an individual deliberately terminating his or her life in most cases without any assistance. There are usually cases of assisted suicide where the individual takes his or her own life intentionally with assistance from another person who may either be a medical practitioner or even a lay person.

The final act that results in the death of the person is however usually performed by the person intending to die after the provision of information, advice and even the ways through which he or she can take his or her life by the assisting individual. Euthanasia can either be active or passive depending on the amount of action a person takes to bring about the intended result / death.

Physician Assisted Suicide

Physician assisted suicide is a process where an individual takes his or her own life on purpose with assistance from a medical practitioner or a physician. Active euthanasia involves causing death of the sick person without his or her involvement but rather through assistance by someone else.

Active euthanasia can be in the form of voluntary euthanasia which is performed upon the request of the patient, involuntary euthanasia where the patient’s life is taken without his or her request and mostly where the patient express non acceptance for termination of his or her life, the main intention being relieving pain and suffering, and non-voluntary euthanasia that takes place with neither the patient’s request nor consent.

Passive euthanasia on the other hand can be termed as literally letting a patient die through carelessness or not providing the necessary care and treatment needed to keep him or her alive.

According to me, physician assisted suicide is more of active euthanasia than passive euthanasia as the physician is actively involved in the termination of the patient’s life without the patient’s participation. There is however a thin distinction since it can be passive where the doctor neglects the patient with the aim of letting him or her die (McDougall, Gorman, and Roberts, 2008).

Legalization of assisted suicide in comparison to Adolph Hitler’s Aryan supremacy world view

Some of the reasons given by medical practitioners for their choice to conduct physician assisted suicide on a patient are; the fact that the person is suffering from a terminal illness which have no cure or where the person has no chances of benefiting from the discovery of a cure for the disease in comparison to his or her life expectancy, and where the person is in too much pain or has become a burden and therefore unacceptable to those he or she rely on for support.

Connor (2009) suggests that the legalization of assisted suicide is comparable to Adolph Hitler’s Aryan supremacy world view. I also agree on this argument since both ideologies results in unnatural deaths of the persons involved and the belief that the individuals are unworthy and a burden to the society and so the solution is their elimination through induction of death.

Conclusion

Although euthanasia is termed as good death and emphasizes on dying with dignity as opposed to suffering and being a burden to others, it should not be used as the solution but other means of reducing pain and ensuring that the patient dies a natural death in dignity should be considered, for instance, hospice care bearing in mind that every person is important and life is divine.

A person should also not be offered with the option of terminating his or her life since he or she is part of the society and the decisions made may have impacts on the society at large.

Reference List

Connor, K. (2009). Expansion of Assisted Suicide to Washington Targets Elderly, Disabled With Death. Retrieved from

McDougall, F.J, Gorman, M., and Roberts, S.C. (2008). Euthanasia: A Reference Handbook 2nd Ed. New York: ABC-CLIO.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Euthanasia and Suicide." May 7, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/euthanasia-9/.

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