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Euthanasia: Biologically Dead Or Technologically Alive

1668 words - 7 pages

Marc Weide’s mom decided she wanted to die and her death was scheduled in less than a week. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and after having several nights of unbearable suffering, decided she preferred to die sooner than later. Her decision was spontaneous, and the answer she received was sooner than expected. She had to plan her funeral, her goodbyes and her last days in less than a week. Her family knew they could not interfere, not with her decision, and certainly not with the end of her life. It was her call, or at least they thought so. It was her right whether to stop living or to deal with her excruciating suffering. No one could judge her because no one could really understand what she was going through. The pain for one is not the pain for all. Because of this, she said, “I, Mieneke Weide- Boelkes, am terminally ill. As soon as this medication loses its efficacy I request euthanasia.”
Euthanasia, also known as mercy killing or physician-assisted suicide, according to the medical dictionary, means “to take a deliberate action with the express intention of ending a life to relieve intractable (persistent, unstoppable) suffering.” (Medilexicon). There are two types of euthanasia and two different methods to do it within those types. The first one is voluntary euthanasia, which is made under the patients consent and requires competence of it. The second one, is involuntary euthanasia which is made by a relative of the patient because the patient is incapable of doing it itself. Furthermore, there are two different methods of carrying out this ‘mercy killing’, an active and a passive approach. The active procedure is in which lethal substances or external forces are used, the passive technique, is when the patient is already being sustained with life-support machines and is no longer biologically alive so his or her life is intentionally ended through the withdrawal of life-supporting machines. It is a controversial issue since it has moral, ethical and compassionate arguments surrounding the matter.
Euthanasia has been a polemic subject since long time ago and it seems like there is no possible solution that will satisfy both, the medical and religious principles along with the moral and deontological ideas. Because of this, it is illegal in many countries. On one hand, physicians and clergy members argue about how death is sacred and only God can take life away from people. On the other hand, philosophers and certain people claim that it is their own life, therefore their own decision. As Mieneke said, “It seems strange to me that in all other respects human beings are seen as being responsible for the life that they live but they can’t decide to stop living.” (Weide). After understanding both perspectives on the matter, I believe that euthanasia, the practice of “putting to death a person with an incurable or painful disease intended as an act of mercy” (Medilexicon) should definitively not be legalized because no one...

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