I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint,
my heart is like wax,
it is melted within my breast,
my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws,
you lay me in the dust of death
Some might say euthanasia is wrong, it is murder, it is an inhumane act. But is it not inhumane to see another person’s unbearable suffering and not release them when they long to be released? Is it not cruel to watch a person in a vegetative state, with no brainwaves showing, fed by a machine, “breathing” with the help of a machine and not let them be liberated from their pain? Prolonging one’s suffering when an easier, more painless way out is possible is not “the right thing to do”. Giving the person the choice of release is. Euthanasia is.
What is euthanasia? The basic definition of euthanasia is the practice of ending a life so as to release an individual from a painful, incurable disease or intolerable suffering. There are said to be two types of euthanasia: passive and active. Passive euthanasia is “stopping (or not starting) some treatment which allows a person to die, the persons condition causes his or her death” (Mackinnon, 12). An example would be “withdrawing a respirator or feeding tube” (Landau, 80). “Passive euthanasia is a brutal death. Allowing someone to starve to death and die of thirst, the way we do now, is barbaric”. “That’s what the Nazis did in the concentration camps” (quoted in Manipulating Life, 33).
Active euthanasia on the other hand is an act of “merciful killing”. It is defined as “The act of administering a lethal drug, or using other means that cause a persons death” in case of incurable terminal illness (MacKinnon, 126). Euthanasia is not murder. It has a “good purpose and should be evaluated as humanely filling a void created by our sometimes inhumane modern society” (Hollard).
Most people consider euthanasia come new, recently developed procedure. For them it comes as a surprise that euthanasia has existed for a long time. The English word “euthanasia” is taken from the Greek “euthanatos” meaning “good or easy death.” For the Romans and Greeks, dying decently and rationally mattered immensely (McCuen, 15). It is amazing that our society today is all concerned about independence and personal freedom, yet it does not allow a dying person stay in control of the situation. Unlike us, “people in classical antiquity had ‘tolerance of the freedom to leave’, which permitted the sick or suffering to terminate their lives” (McCuen, 17). In the ancient world society was not concerned with prolonging an empty, meaningless existence full of suffering, they would rather have a shorter but brighter, more enjoyable, fuller life. For Greeks and Romans “it was important that the person died a “good death”, in a psychologically balanced state of mind, under composed circumstances, in a condition of self-control” (McCuen, 18). In that time a person’s choice...