The Mercy Killers Essay

1607 words - 6 pages

The poem, To the Mercy Killers, by Dudley Randall is by far a poem which tackles the subject of euthanasia right up to its target: the “Killers”. The “Killers” are unfairly portrayed in a negative light, evoking pity for the terminally ill. For most, it is the cause of so much division in terms of beliefs evolving into a never ending moral dilemma, being the natural victims of the absolute conditioning of society. Euthanasia or mercy killing is a confusing subject that tackles the moral, legal, medical and ethical issues. It’s so confusing that even the Randall is somewhat baffled too, about which side to take, although the last line settles everything with: “Do not put my life. Let me still glow” (14), when there is nothing bright about the idea of being robbed off, of the life as a human.

Life in its simplest sense is a characteristic that distinguishes the animate and self-sustaining creations of the universe from the inanimate ones. Death, once human emotion and sentiment is removed from the idea, is only the ceasing of such characteristics. Life in a human is clearly far more complex compared to the other existing forms on this planet. The ability to think, along with the possession of higher conscious and greater awareness of its surroundings, makes a human somewhat special in certain aspects. The life of a human is differentiated by its intelligence and the experiences that are stimulating. Pain, an experience felt by a human and restricted to the living world, is an indicator of damage and in many cases the very cause for death. Most living organisms are blessed with the ability to detect pain and use it involuntarily to avoid its own destruction or death. For a human, pain could be emotional, psychological or physical; and as it can be observed in society, pain is very subjective. No amount of empathy will let one truly feel what the other is really going through. Given that, the poem “To the mercy killers” by Dudley Randall in short is not only a paradox but is highly biased. As far as the message against euthanasia is concerned, Randall’s “mercy killers” in modern society have only benefited human, only to be criticized due to primitive ideologies.
The characteristic ‘life’ is given exaggerated emphasis in the poem using words such as “pray”, “kindly” and “glow”. The poem uses unfair advantage it has over human emotion for the victory of its idea. The evocative nature of the poem is very misleading and tends to impair logic. Amongst all the commotion of death and despondency, one may fail to realize that death is not only rewarding to the one seeking it but is a good deed on the part of the “mercy killers”. The ideas within the poem assume that ‘life’ is always worth sustaining. It does not realize that certain dimensions of life do not really have a “glow” to it. This cannot be understood by anyone other than the cancer patient or a terminally ill, who is sure to die, except slowly and painfully. This is a biased perspective...

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