Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Dangers in Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Dear readers: Rachel Davis asked me if she could write a guest column for this blog. I agreed and after some editing this is the article that she has contributed.

This is a good article for discussing issues.

The question of assisted suicide is more concerning than she has presented. Assisted suicide is not suicide (per se) because another person is directly and intentionally involved with the act. Therefore the issue is whether or not society should allow one person to be directly and intentionally involved with causing the death of another person? For the sake of public safety and to protect people who are more vulnerable from elder abuse or subtle pressure, it is imperative that society not legalize assisted suicide.

As for euthanasia, it is a horrific idea, whether there are consequences or not. Euthanasia is when one person directly and intentionally causes the death of another person, usually by lethal injection. This is rightly, a form of homicide. It is absolutely unsafe for a society to give another person the right to intentionally and directly cause your death.

Rachel Davis is completely correct that these issues concern death and the right we have to take a life other than our own.

Here is the article:
The Dangers in Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

By Rachel Davis

Euthanasia, assisted suicide, the death penalty – these are a few nagging issues that will never be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction. They all concern death and the right we have to take a life other than our own. Suicide is different in that it at least concerns your willingness to live or let go of life for some reason or the other; but when it comes to euthanasia, the line that demarcates right from wrong becomes extremely blurred.

It’s the same murkiness that clouds the death penalty. Those in favor of the death penalty argue that hardened criminals who murder and commit other crimes with no regret whatsoever and in cold blood deserve to die, but who are we to decide their fate? Are we not becoming murderers ourselves by passing decrees to end lives?

The same argument can be made in favor of assisted suicide – why is it legally and ethically wrong to help someone who does not want to live commit suicide? Why do they have to suffer unnecessary pain and indignity? Why do they have to depend on other people to take care of them when they know they don’t have much longer to live? Is it not better and more humane to allow them to die peacefully now than in pain and agony a few months or weeks from how?

The issue of euthanasia however is not that simple or straightforward. Yes, there are a few cases that do deserve sympathy and approval, but for the most part, it’s the caregivers of terminally ill patients who influence their patients’ decisions – they make either subtle or overt suggestions regarding euthanasia and how it’s a choice they can exercise if they want to. In the states and countries where it’s legal, there is no way of determining if the patient really wants to end it all or if they’re doing it because they don’t want to be a burden on their caregivers any more. Some of them are even pushed to make this decision because of the inheritance they leave behind – these elderly and terminally ill patients are brainwashed into believing that death is the best way out for them.

While euthanasia per se is not such a horrific idea, it cannot be legalized the world over without serious consequences. Death and murder (yes, assisted suicide is in a way murder) cannot be taken lightly when someone stands to gain from the demise – it may be just a caregiver’s way of regaining their lives again, but that does not give them the right to decide on someone else’s death.

By-line: This guest post is contributed by Rachel Davis, she writes on the topic of Radiology degree. Link: http://radiologydegree.com/

She welcomes your comments at her email id: racheldavis65@gmail.com.

1 comment:

eligelavida said...

Nowadays society judges on the basis of criteria of productive efficiency, so old or sick people are not needed. Life is good as long as it brings pleasure and well-being and suffering seems like an unbearable setback.

The problem of suffering challenges faith, but we have to understand that life is always a good.

"Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action" (Evangelium Vitae).