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Euthanasia English Paper

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    Ceniceros 1 Hector Ceniceros English IIIB 22 May 2009 Euthanasia People have the right to stop suffering. Freedom of choice. These are probably the most common reasons people give for being in favor of euthanasia, and although their arguments are valid, how many of these people, who claim euthanasia is right, know euthanasia’s role during World War II? For example, do they know Hitler started his massive killings by doing “racial cleaning” which basically was to euthanize the sick or handicapped?

    How many of them know infant euthanasia is about to be approved in the Netherlands? Doesn’t that baby born with what they call “intolerable deformity of illness” has the right to decide if it is truly intolerable? Yet worse, do they know that, for example in France 74% of the population agrees with infant euthanasia as well as 68% of the Dutch? How far will society go? Is it possible to know if euthanasia is right or wrong? First of all, before attempting to judge euthanasia we must have a clear idea of what it is.

    Merriam-Webster online dictionary describes euthanasia like this: Euthanasia (from the Greek=eu + thanatos=death) is the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy. Euthanasia may be conducted in 3 different ways: Active Euthanasia: Active euthanasia entails the use of lethal substances and forces to kill the “patient” and is by far the most controversial of them all.

    The role of the so- called patient may be involuntary, which might be taken as a murder, or voluntary, in which the physician helps in an assisted suicide. Ceniceros 2 Non-active Euthanasia: This kind of euthanasia entails the withdrawing of life support, such as mechanical respiration or feeding tubes, in order to let the patient die, this kind of euthanasia is pretty controversial. Passive Euthanasia: it entails the withdrawing of common treatments (such as antibiotics or chemotherapy) or distribution of medication (such as orphine) to relieve pain knowing it may result in death (principle of double effect). Several countries have already approved euthanasia under some regulations, that although good, in my opinion, are not enough as they leave some space for “interpretation” from the physician, which can result in people being euthanized in cases were it wasn’t supposed to. The first country to ever approve an euthanasia legislation, The Rights of the Terminally Ill Act of 1995, was Australia; under this act four persons died using a device designed by Dr.

    Philip Nitschke, however the legislation was overturned in 1997 by the Australian Federal Parliament. The United States have also taken several steps toward legalizing euthanasia, for instance, in 1994, Oregon made it legal for doctors to write legal lethal prescriptions to people who are diagnosed with a terminal illness, since then pro-euthanasia bills have been passed in several states, for example, Washington.

    As of today, some forms of euthanasia are legal in Belgium, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Switzerland, some places of Spain, and Thailand among others. It is also important to mention that before these policies were accepted, people were still euthanized in some countries, like for example, the Netherlands, where they gave a 20 year margin to doctors who had applied euthanasia on a patient, or in Belgium, where, before the Parliament legalized euthanasia in late September 2002, several thousand euthanasia acts were carried per year.

    Ceniceros 3 The Act of the Terminally Ill of 1995, above mentioned, had a lot to do with euthanasia policies applied nowadays, for example, in 1999, Albania accepted any form of voluntary euthanasia, while passive euthanasia is allowed if, and only if, 3 or more members of the family agree with it.

    Now, most of these policies are supposed to be pretty effective and all, but still, there are many cases of euthanasia being applied when it was not supposed to, in response to this, Japan presented a new of set policies regarding euthanasia, this policies are probably the only ones I can consider to be acceptable, because they give a solution for almost every single setting a physician may face, and here is sort of a resume of what these policies are trying to implement: In case of passive euthanasia these standards must be et: 1. The Patient must be suffering from unbearable physical pain. 2. Patient must give express consent to stop treatment. 3. Death must be inevitable and drawing near. 4. The physician must have ineffectively exhausted all other measures of pain relief. In case of active Euthanasia these are the conditions: 1. Patient must be suffering from an incurable illness in its final stages, from which the patient is unlikely to recover. . The patient must give express consent to stop treatment and must be preserved prior to death, in case the patient is incapable of giving clear consent, the consent must be prewritten, like in a living will. Now, with that being said and aware of what euthanasia is the question is, are there any reasons why euthanasia should be approved and accepted? Ceniceros 4

    People in favor of legalizing euthanasia often argument that the pain the person is suffering is sometimes impossible to handle, and that even if the pain is not as big, the emotional pain of losing their independence is impossible to overcome, and if you want my opinion, probably the argument on the physical pain is completely valid and sometimes I might even support it even tough I am against euthanasia in most of the cases, but I can hardly believe the “emotional pain” thing, as most of the times people under that situation do not know what they are talking about, and I can definitely assure you that because my grandmother passed a similar situation before unfortunately she passed away; she kept saying she wanted to die but when she was about to pass away, her opinion changed. I am not saying this to criticize my grandmother because she was in a lot of pain and I can totally understand the physical pain argument, but about the emotional pain, I am not so sure.

    People in favor of the so-called peaceful death also claim that by legalizing euthanasia they are doing a favor to society, which in my point of view is a total act of selfishness as they claim it is a burden to keep people alive past their point where they can help society, especially if resources could be used on other stuff, I mean, if you were in that situation, would you disconnect your mother because she is no longer useful to society? Would you let your little sick son die? Seems like most people does not care about this and right now 14 countries have allowed euthanasia practices, this includes: Albania, Australia, Belgium, Canada, India, Japan, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Thailand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ireland, and, last but not least, United States. Although it may not look like it, I just wrote the arguments in favor of euthanasia, and now the “introduction to euthanasia” is over is time to talk about the main theme of this essay, as I am trying to prove why euthanasia should be prosecuted and banned from all countries? laws.

    I will start with a sort of selfish argument, and probably the one is the one I Ceniceros 5 do not agree with, this is that people want to spend the most time with their loved ones until they “kick the bucket. ” Now with that being said, its time to pass to the real arguments, the ones I really favor and support, and first of all, I’ll start by talking about church posture towards euthanasia. Church has long discussed euthanasia, and not including Orthodox Judaism, who accept euthanasia under certain circumstances, all religions prohibits this inhumane practice, specifically the Vatican declared that “crimes against life such as murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or suicide would be condemned. Catholic church, as most religions, claims euthanasia should be condemned because it is a violation to the sanctity of human life and a violation to the person’s dignity, as life ultimately belongs to God and only the Lord can decide whether he wants to preserve it or to end it. With this being said, my research will advance to what I can consider my main argument against euthanasia, the theme which ultimately convinced me about writing this essay about euthanasia, the one I consider the most polemic and controversial, the most inhumane of all of euthanasia types, child euthanasia. I mean, how could doctors even suggest a thing like child euthanasia?

    The whole idea just seems way to grotesque for me to assimilate it, unfortunately, what I am talking about is true, as a matter of fact, is so real that in the Netherlands a bill is about to be passed by which new borns, yes you read right, NEW BORNS can be euthanized if the doctor thinks the baby will not have a normal life due to his “deformity of incurable illness” as it has been described in the act, now I wonder, how far will we go, why do we always have to play God? doesn’t this reach us a bit more to that modern barbarism era? In my particular opinion, these baby has the right to live, to decide whether his “deformity or incurable illness” is truly unbearable, I mean, how do they know if that little baby they “euthanize” (they do not like to use the term kill, I guess they do not like Ceniceros 6 o face the truth) would grow to be the new Stephen Hawking? Do they care if they are killing someone that could do a significant change to this world? I am pretty sure they have not thought about this, they are fascinated with their new option, as a little kid with a new toy, and when a baby who is born with some handicap, they decide to kill him in order to “avoid trouble to parents and to save the baby from an unbearable suffering. ” And actually I can prove my point; When I mentioned this new child euthanasia policies to my father he said he agreed with it, which actually surprised me a lot, he said it could help the parents and avoid the little baby from suffering.

    During that time, my mother was pregnant and a couple of days later they when to the gynecologist (unfortunately she lost the baby about a two ago), and as my mother is 45 years old, the doctor mentioned that due to my mother’s age there was a high percentage of deformity of some sort of brain damage, then the doctor secretly suggested abortion (in this case it could be compared to this kind of child euthanasia) and guess what my father’s answer was to this possibility…he said no, he was his little baby (after my mom lost the baby they told her it was a boy) and he would love him and take care of him no matter the circumstances; what I am trying to prove is that it is pretty easy to judge when being just a spectator, but when it is your turn of being protagonist, things change dramatically and your point of view could take a 360° change. Euthanizing babies is probably the sickest thing I have ever heard in my entire life, I mean, if you really love that baby, would you let it die? re there persons who are really such hypocrites to say they did it because they loved the baby, people fight for what they love, and specifically this type of euthanasia is totally the opposite, they are actually not fighting for what they claim they love, but choosing an easy exit from it, avoiding their responsibilities and getting out of what they may see as unnecessary trouble. Obviously, this is just my point of view and I am not attempting to judge anyone, but this stuff really gets on my nerves and Ceniceros 7 makes me wonder about a lot of things, but anyway, lets keep moving… Gerhard Kretschmar. This name might not sound familiar for most people, but I assure you he played an important role in euthanasia, even though he only lived only a few weeks. Gerhard Kretschmar was the first baby to ever be legally euthanized, that is with the approval of a supposedly called “law”.

    In May 1939, Hitler approved the petition of Gerhard’s parents to apply euthanasia on him, a little baby who was born with several physical deformities. Soon enough, this kind of situation was pretty common all over the Nazi Germany, where babies like Gerhard were sent to “special sections” where they took care of them for a couple of weeks, and then, after people had relaxed a bit about them being internated, they applied a lethal injection on the baby, who was later declared dead due to pneumonia. This is just one example of what I fear the most about euthanasia…its influence during one of the most tragic events in the history of the world, World War II.

    Hitler started his euthanasia’s policies sort of the same as we are having them now a days, with the difference that today the patient can chose, and on Hitler’s time, he got to chose who was going to be euthanized, but as today, he first started with the terminally ill and people who were suffering an unbearable pain, “helping them” to escape from their pain and quickly and effectively, but soon enough, his policies evolved and transformed into cruel acts against humanity and life itself. After Hitler succeeded in “euthanizing” the ill and handicapped, he took it to the next level and started “euthanizing” those who he considered were a disgrace or unworthy of the “superior race,” applying “racial hygienist” policies, which basically consisted on “euthanizing” people who suffered from deformity, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and “imbecility. What started as something meant to be a peaceful option became one of the most tragic events in World History, the Holocaust, the massive killing of 6 million people, and it is an irony all of this started with “euthanasia,” and yet people keep favoring it as if Ceniceros 8 and it is an irony all of this started with “euthanasia,” and yet people keep favoring it as if they had no memory at all. In conclusion, I think that, euthanasia is actually something that might result good, but only in truly special cases, and that it should be extremely regulated and prosecuted if those regulations are not followed, I also think child euthanasia should be totally eradicated and that, before we start something, we should stop and see what the heck we are doing, because it could later be too late to fix the mistake.

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