Euthanasia has been an ongoing debate for many years. Everyone has an opinion on why euthanasia should or should not be allowed but, it is as simple as having the choice to die with dignity. If a patient wishes to end his or her life before a disease takes away their quality of life, then the patient should have the option of euthanasia. Although, American society considers euthanasia to be morally wrong euthanasia should be considered respecting a loved one’s wishes. To understand euthanasia, it is important to know the rights humans have at the end of life, that there are acts of passive euthanasia already in practice, and the beneficial aspects.
Death is a personal experience and to ensure loved one’s wishes, there has to be the ‘what if’ conversation. It is natural to talk about the possible end with loved ones after marriage and having children. Living wills are obtained and do not resuscitate orders, thoughts of a possible guardian for the children, life insurance, appointing a health care agent, and any other loose ends that will ensure the well being of the family. A health care agent is someone who the patient designates to make medical decisions, if decisions cannot be made generally. The chosen agent should be a person who knows the wishes on the extent of medical care treatment wanted. The appointed health care agent should be someone who is not afraid to ask questions of the healthcare professionals to get information needed to make decisions and be assertive to ensure that wishes are respected. (Healthcare Agents, n.d.).
While the thought of ensuring the patient’s last wishes by a health care agent is present, consider this scenario. There is a 68 year old male patient with a medical history including a heart attack at the age of 51, triple by-pass surgery at 54, lung cancer at 65 years old, which needs to be treated with a pneumonectomy of the left side, and then three years later receives the diagnosis that the cancer has spread to liver and pancreas because he was taken to ER for low blood pressure.
The patient is married, a father of four, and has 12 grandchildren. He is a strong and outgoing individual. His quality of life consisted on being able to do things on his own such as fishing, deer hunting, carpentry; he was mechanical, cut synthetic materials down to sale at the local scrap yard, and spending time with his family. In his younger days, before the decline in health, he was even more ambitious. The patient and his kin were devastated with the diagnosis of lung cancer, but the reality of the near end, was overwhelming when they had learned that the cancer had spread. The patient had been complaining of abdominal pain for several weeks. The few tests that were taken showed nothing in the beginning, but the patient develops jaundice, returns to doctor for more tests. One evening the patient tells his wife that he is not feeling well, worse than before, so the couple goes to the local ER to be checked. This...