The end of a loved one’s life is a very emotion filled time for everyone close to them. Services like hospice care and life support cause great upset in society due to the massive variance between cultures in society. These beliefs clash so harshly that it proves to be a significant obstacle when defining laws about end of life care. I think this is a fascinating topic, not only because of its controversial nature, but the fact that it very directly affects all of us. Eventually, all of us will have to obey the laws we set earlier in our lives regarding our death.
Euthanasia is one of these controversial topics. The word itself is derived from the Greek words for “good” and “death”, inferring that it is what the victim wants. Interestingly enough, this word has the exact opposite reaction in society. On one hand, many people believe that people deserve the right to end their life. If the quality of your life is only suffering, then the victim should have the right to end it. Euthanasia is almost always associated with negative connotations because of its “murder” like actions. This is because it is referred to as more active killing, versus simply letting the victim die. Then it seems more like a crime, which is huge argument for making assisted suicide illegal.
Assisted suicide is closely related to euthanasia yet very different. If the patient performs the final act that ultimately kills them, it is considered assisted suicide. Controversy surrounds this method of death due to the fact that someone aids a “wrong act”. The line between assisted suicide is also a very blurry one. It can be very close to murder if the patient is too weak and is therefore taken advantage of. The major benefit of assisted suicide is that it maintains dignity for the victim. The ability for the victim to make his/her own decisions makes the grief much easier to handle after death.
End of life is a very troubling time for both the victim and everyone around them. This is why these decisions based around end of life ethics are need to satisfy everyone’s desires. Because of the many restricted laws in our current end of life system, most people suffer against their will. This is not only unethical, but just plain wrong. I intend to examine these methods of death, pursuing what is most ethical.
Potential Works Cited:
Boisvert, Marcel. “Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” The Permanente Journal 16.2 (2012): 75–76. Print.
Soh, Tze Ling Gwendoline Beatrice et al. “Distancing Sedation in End-of-Life Care from Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” Singapore Medical Journal 57.5 (2016): 220–227. PMC. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
Bascom P. End-of-Life Ethics. JAMA. 2006;296(3):336-341. doi:10.1001/jama.296.3.339