Is euthanasia morally right and should human beings be allowed to decide how and when their lives end? According to Duhaime (n.
d), euthanasia is the killing of a terminally ill or severely crippled person by painless means. Euthanasia has grown to become a highly debatable topic, with people such as doctors and members of the clergy giving their personal opinion on the issue and whether or not it should be legalised. I for one oppose euthanasia, for it would lead to the decline of care towards the terminally ill, compromise the doctor patient trust relationship, it would have serious effects on doctors who were involved, and the patient medically speaking might still have a chance of survival.
Ever since euthanasia has become a popular topic for debate some people have witnessed and even experienced a decrease in care by the hospitals towards people who suffer from a terminal illness. Doctors and nurses would use euthanasia as a way to free beds for patients who suffer from curable illnesses, which is exactly what happened in Brazil. Dr.
Virginia Soares de Souza was accused of seven murders after euthanising terminally ill patients to free up hospital beds. Apparently Dr.Virginia believed that euthanasia was a great way to solve the problem of “bed block” in hospitals or in other words a better way to free up hospital beds. A similar issue occurred in the Netherlands where there was a confirmed case of a patient euthanised to free up a hospital bed. In addition euthanasia gives the hospital a reason to reduce its care team without actually getting in trouble. For example, in 2006 the Geneva hospital reduced its already restricted care staff from two full time doctors to one doctor after the hospital allowed euthanasia.
(Pereira, 2011a, 2011b)Euthanasia compromises the sacred trust established between the doctor and the patient. The trust between a doctor and his patient is very vulnerable and fragile, anything could easily break that trust and create a wall between them, which in turn leads to the discomfort of the patient and makes it harder for the doctor to provide the proper care that the patient deserves. For instance, Oregon resident Kathryn Judson told the press about hearing her husband’s doctors suggest he think about euthanasia. Kathryn says that ever since she heard that conversation “I feared to leave my husband alone with the doctors and nurses.
” Not only does euthanasia compromise the doctor-patient trust it also destroys the important trust relationship developed between doctors and other doctors. Dr.Ben Zylicz an oncologist had a patient who was afraid the she would get euthanised, but Dr.
Ben assured her that he wouldn’t allow it. However, one day when he left for his lunch break, he got a call from the nurse saying that his patient was euthanised by another doctor. When Dr.
Ben asked the doctor why did he do it, he told him “I needed the bed urgently and she would have taken a week to die.” (Richmond, n.da, n.db) These situations have made it very difficult for patients to trust their doctors and for doctors to trust their colleges especially in countries where euthanasia is legal. For example, it was found that in Belgium, where euthanasia is legalised, patients and their family members were scared that the patient would get euthanised without their consent. Euthanasia has not only effected the lives of the patients and their families but also the lives of the doctors who assisted in the suicide.
In the Netherlands doctors who assisted in the suicide or the euthanasia of their patients stated that they would not do it again and stated that it has a lot of serious negative impacts on the doctor. The leader of Holland’s euthanasia movement Pieter Admiraal stated that, “we as humans would never get used to killing someone whether they wanted it or not, with euthanasia our nightmare comes true.”. Pieter Admiraal’s statement shows that even the people who support euthanasia know that it would negatively impact many people especially the person assisting the suicide or the euthanasia which is almost always the doctor. Euthanasia and assisted suicide takes a negative emotional and psychological toll on the involving doctors. For example, in 1995 405 Dutch doctors were interviewed after they assisted in a suicide and were asked if they were experiencing any feelings of discomfort or burdensome feelings and would they ever do it again 48% that helped in euthanasia and 49% assisted in a suicide felt discomfort.
50% of euthanasia and 49% of assisted suicide felt burdensome and 95% of the doctors would not do it again. (Stevens, 2006a, 2006b).On the other hand, many people support euthanasia stating that when a person is terminally ill, meaning that there is no hope medically speaking, and is in great pain the patient should have the right to be euthanised if asked for it. However, Medicine has evolved through the years because of technology and incredible doctors who made it their mission to find cures and treatments for many illnesses. For example insulin which is used to manage diabetes was discovered in 1922. Without insulin diabetes wouldn’t have been manageable and a lot of people would have died.
A more recent advance was in 2006 when a vaccine that targeted a cause of cancer was developed. For instance, 67 year old Harold Steffen was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a cancer with a 20% survival rate, began to feel much better ever since he participated in an experimental pancreatic cancer treatment. The treatment was given to him every three weeks and says that it’s much milder than chemo and it kept his cancer in control.
Another example is the development of a cure for patients who are suffering from a deadly intestinal disease. (Sagon, 2014a, 2014b) Advancements like this prove that there is hope for every terminally ill patient suffering from any kind of disease.In the end, I’m against euthanasia because it has many impacts or effects. First, it reduces the care that terminally ill patients rightfully deserve and gives the hospital an excuse to lack its care facilities and staff without getting in trouble. Next, it creates a lack of trust between doctor to patient and doctor to doctor that results problems in the workplace. It also impacts the psychological and emotional health of the doctor.
Lastly, the medical field has been advancing so fact in the recent years that there is hope for everyone suffering from a terminal illness. These reasons prove that euthanasia is morally wrong and shouldn’t be legalised.