The fundamental question about euthanasia: Whether it is a libertarian movement for human freedom and the right of choice, or an aggressive drive to exterminate the weak, the old, and the different, this question can now be answered. It is both. ” Richard Finesse, Dutch cardiologist What is euthanasia? How does it work? Is it right? Or wrong? Does it do well or worse? As nurses, there will be a time that we too, will be challenged to make decisions about EUTHANASIA.
There is a possibility that we too, will have clients who is in the verge of death or is terminally ill. In these instances, we will have a lot of questions in our minds like “Is this the right thing to do”, “Is this a sin”, or “Is this moral? ” . Other’s decisions might contradict our beliefs and point of views about euthanasia, that’s the reason why we choose this topic. It is so that when we face these times, we’ll know what to do, we know what is morally wrong and what’s morally right, then we’ll understand our clients/patients more.
The term euthanasia comes from the Greek words “e” which means “easy ” or “good” and “thanks” which means death. To put it simply, euthanasia means painless, peaceful death and is also known as mercy killing. It is the deliberate putting to death, in an easy, painless way, of an individual suffering from an incurable and agonizing disease. Passive euthanasia is the allowance of a deadly process, which you did not initiate, to proceed w/o intervention when treatment is futile and no possibility of patient benefit exists.
It is doing nothing to preserve life. It is considered morally permissible. Active euthanasia is initiating a process about death of another person. It requires actions that speed up the process of dying. It is considered morally wrong. Involuntary euthanasia ignores the individual’s autonomous rights and could potentially bring about death of an unwilling victim. It is not easily distinguished from murder. Voluntary euthanasia OCCUrs when patients with decision making capacity authorize physicians to take his or her life.
This however is different from suicide. A person has committed suicide when: 1. That person brings about his or her own death. 2. Others do not coerce him or her to do the action. . Death is caused by conditions arranged by the person for the purpose of bringing about his or her death. DOCTOR DEATH Jacob “Jack” Sovereign commonly known as “Dry. Death”. He was an American pathologist, euthanasia activist , painter, author, composer and instrumentalist.
He is best known for publicly championing a terminal patient’s right to die via physician-assisted suicide; he claimed to have assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He famously said, “Dying is not a crime” In 1999, Sovereign was arrested and tried for his direct role in a case of voluntary euthanasia. He was convicted of second-degree murder and served eight years of a 1 0-to-25-year prison sentence. He was released on parole on June 1, 2007 on condition he would not Offer suicide advice to any other person. Over a period of decades, Sovereign developed several controversial ideas related to death.
In a 1959 journal article, he wrote: ” propose that a prisoner condemned to death by due process of law be allowed to submit, by his own free choice, to medical experimentation under complete anesthesia (at the time appointed for administering the penalty) as form of execution in lieu of conventional methods prescribed by law. ” In 1 987, Sovereign started advertising in Detroit newspapers as a physician consultant for “death counseling”. His first public assisted suicide, of Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old woman diagnosed in 1 989 with Alchemist’s disease, took place in 1990.
Charges of murder were dropped on December 13, 1 990, as there were, at that time, no laws in Michigan regarding assisted suicide. In 1991, however, the State of Michigan revoked Asseveration’s medical license and made it clear that given his actions, he was no longer permitted to practice educing or to work with patients. According to his lawyer Geoffrey Bigger, Sovereign assisted in the deaths of 130 terminally ill people between 1 990 and 1998. In each of these cases, the individuals themselves allegedly took the final action which resulted in their own deaths.
Sovereign allegedly assisted only by attaching the individual to a euthanasia device that he had devised and constructed. The individual then pushed a button which released the drugs or chemicals that would end his or her own life. Two deaths were assisted by means of a device which delivered the euthanizing rugs intravenously. Sovereign called the device a “Attention’ (“Death machine”, from the Greek thanks meaning 9] Other people were assisted by a device which employed a gas mask fed by a canister of carbon monoxide, which Sovereign called the “imperfection” (“Mercy and machine”).