If the terminally ill parent focuses on his right and desire to die because the disease makes his life meaningless, it is possible to try to shift the parent’s attention from the quality-of-life perspective to the sanctity-of-life orientation in order to help him discuss the life as not meaningful or meaningless, but as the gift or a kind of blessing (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, p. 262).
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From this point, the child’s role in the parent’s self-deliverance should not be associated with any variant of euthanasia or assisted suicide. Thus, it is almost impossible for adult children to become willing to assist the parent in self-deliverance performed as a variant of the suicide.
Those persons, who choose to focus on their right to die as one of the human rights, can be discussed as the followers of the quality-of-life perspective because stating that their life is not worth living, these persons concentrate on the quality of their daily feelings and sufferings (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, p. 262).
It is impossible for these persons to live a life full of sufferings because they cannot discuss this life as meaningful for them and for the society. The followers of such a philosophy could become the patients of Dr. Jack Kevorkian who assisted terminally ill patients in relieving their sufferings while committing the physician-assisted suicides (Murphy, 2011, p. 4).
Kevorkian stated that he did not kill patients, but he performed the ‘suicide on demand’ which could relieve patients’ sufferings (Murphy, 2011, p. 4-5).
The problem of the assisted suicide is closely associated with the problem of letting persons die. Nevertheless, the line between the acts of killing and letting die is subtle, and it is possible to state that the adult child who assists the parent in self-deliverance actually kills the terminally ill parent.
The death becomes preferable to life when pain and sufferings cannot be born by people (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, p. 262). The parent can focus on the death because of not seeing the perspectives in struggling any more.
However, it is important to pay attention to the fact that the parent can assess his quality of life only subjectively, while focusing on the moments and aspects which are important for him.
To discourage the parent’s actions and intentions, it is necessary to tell the parent about the perspectives which are seen for the others because everyone’s life has the significant quality, and it is necessary to look at the point from many perspectives (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, p. 264). This approach can work, if the parent feels the love of his family, and he can see the chance to relieve the pain.
The other approach is the necessary focus on the sanctity-of-life perspective which can contribute to changing the parent’s decision more than the focus on the quality-of-life approach. The parent should remember that his life and sufferings have the great meaning while discussing the life as the divine gift.
A human has no rights to decide about the moment of his death because the person’s obligation is to concentrate on protecting and prolonging the life (Leming & Dickinson, 2011, p. 262).
The final stage of the process developed to discourage the parent’s actions and decision is the demonstration of the importance of the parent’s life for all the family because of the parent’s focus on the quality of his living.
Leming, M., & Dickinson, G. (2011). Understanding dying, death, and bereavement. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Murphy, T. F. (2011). A philosophical obituary: Dr. Jack Kevorkian dead at 83 leaving end of life debate in the US forever changed. The American Journal of Bioethics, 11(7), 3-6.