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Brian Clark Uses A Number Of Techniques To Dramatise The Euthanasia

3139 words - 13 pages

Brian Clark uses a number of techniques to dramatise the Euthanasia
Debate in his play, Who's Life is it Anyway

Brian Clark uses a number of techniques to dramatise the Euthanasia
Debate in his play, "Who's Life is it Anyway". Euthanasia is the means
by which a person has the freedom of choice over whether they live or
die. In the play there are two main arguments concerning this issue.
One argument saying that a patient has the right to make this decision
of life and death and on which disagrees and says the patient should
not have this choice.

Two characters in the play represent the two central arguments. First
of all there is Ken, Ken believes that he should have the right to
choose to die, it is his life, he says that his whole life before his
accident was sculpture, and now that he cannot sculpt because he is
paralysed below his neck, he will never be able to sculpt again: 'I'm
almost completely paralysed and always will be. I shall never be
discharged by the hospital.' According to Ken his life is already
over: 'Of course I want to live but as far as I am concerned, I'm dead
already…I cannot accept this condition constitutes life in any real
sense at all.' 'Any reasonable definition of life must include the
idea of it being self-supporting.' Ken only wants the dignity in
death: 'each man must make his own decision. And mine is to die
quietly with as much dignity as I can muster'. Ken also argues that he
is not asking his lawyer to make a choice over his life or death, just
to represent his views to the hospital: 'I'm not asking you to make
any decision about my life and death, merely that you represent me and
my views to the hospital.' Ken argues that the real matter to be
discussed is the indignity at not having a choice in the matter: 'The
cruelty doesn’t reside in saving someone or allowing them to die. It
resides in the fact that the choice is removed from the man concerned.'

After Ken's argument we have a doctor from the old-school of medicine,
who is much more interested in saving people's lives than listening to
how they feel or the rights and choices they should or could have,
they are only interested in black and white medical science, and not
interested in the grey and mentally and emotionally challenging areas.
Dr. Emerson argues that Ken is a human life, and allowing that human
life to die is a waste of a human life: 'Mr Harrison is now physically
stable. There is no reason why he should die.' Dr. Emerson knows that
if Ken is discharged as he would like to be he would definitely die: 'he
couldn’t last a week out of here.' He knows however that Ken has an
argument that could stand up in court and win, would have to admit Ken
under the Mental Health Act if he wants this life to be, as Dr.
Emerson sees it, "saved". 'Can't you see that Mr Harrison is suffering
from depression? He is incapable of making a rational decision about
his life and death.' The two arguments both seem to...

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