Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide
To be or not to be
Life is a precious gift containing a wide spectrum of emotions and experiences that make it so sacred. Emotions and experiences are intertwined and are the substance of ones existence. Yet when the pain outweighs the joy of life one begins questioning whether or not to endure. To be or not to be an extremely difficult question, a query that resides souly in desperation a place of pain and darkness. What brings a person to even consider such an act? What is up ahead or around this individual that feeds the need to bail out? It seems that perpetual pain or loss of ones control are both common reasons for this escape. Euthanasia and assisted suicide have both been topics contemplated throughout the history of human civilization. Whether or not one has the right to take their own life and further more get aid in doing so. Euthanasia can be traced as far back as to the ancient Greek and Roman civilization where it was allowed to help others die(Encarta 98). This practice has followed us through the years and has been rejected accepted and considered throughout the globe. In the United States the first doctor was charged for performing euthanasia in 1935. Harold Blazer was charged for the death of his daughter a victim of spinal meningitis. After caring for her for thirty years, he placed a rag of chloroform over her face until she died, he was acquitted from charges (www.angelfire.com/al/jefspage). In Holland euthanasia and assisted suicide are both crimes punishable with 12 years in prison, yet it has been a common practice (3,600 cases in 1995 alone) for nearly a decade. These laws are rarely enforced providing physicians follow official guidelines (Time.com). Currently in the United States controversy swarms on weather or not to allow euthanasia and assisted suicide. Marian Fredrick stricken with Lou Gehrigs disease, felt her muscles degenerate to the point where she could no longer hold her head up, or speak. Marian then decided to end her life seeking out Dr. Kevorkian, who helped her find a final peace(Proposal B). Should we allow a person who is terminally ill, in constant pain, and on the verge of losing control, the right and the privilege to escape from their fading shell? Should they have the right to seek aid and consolation in this important decision? Absolutely, why should others moral conflictions and dispossessions inflict upon ones choice to end their own suffering. These individuals should also be free to seek aid from a trusted and knowledgeable physician to ensure their final transition is a fluid, painless, and clean one.
One should be permitted under the appropriate circumstances to decide the manner of their own death. By legalizing physician assistance, it not only frees the one fifth of doctors who claim would do it if legal, but it also frees discussions between the patent and their doctor, there by leaving the suffer better informed of his or her options (Cnn.com). Euthanasia and assisted suicide be made legal under federal statute, granting under law that if; an individual voluntary requests to cease their existence they may do so with assistance, providing they meet the necessary guidelines.
The road to implementing this controversial bill would be a difficult one starting with a defined draft of its guidelines and structure. The guidelines would be used to assist in determining if an individual is an appropriate candidate for this final treatment. When considering assisted suicide requests the physician and a certified board would consider a four point criteria: (1. Patient makes a voluntary, informed and stable request (2. The patient is suffering unbearably with no prospect of improvement (3. Loss of dignity (4. Is severely impaired by symptoms and has become a burden (Encarta 98). Further if the patient meets the criteria the physician must file with the state and have a boards signature approval. There after the procedure would be witnessed by a second licensed impractical physician to ensure that the death is humane and voluntary. Next step is gaining a concencess to push the Right to die bill into legislation, initiated by an organized Right to die campaign. This campaign would utilize medias and empathy to inform and win over the masses, through depiction of the intense pain and hopelessness that grips these individuals. The public support achieved will be used to pressure positions to act and introduce the Right to die bill into congress. After the ratification of the bill the needed structures would be introduced containing, checks regulations and certified organizations with in a span of fives years. Once the prescribe time is reached and the infrastructure is established, practice can begin.
Often with any movement there is a friction, which slows or inhabits movement. This controversial bill would be weighted heavily by theologians, moralists, and the meek all hanging on the bill in an attempt to bring it to its knees. The moral and the religious stance would be that life is a precious gift that can be only be given by God and taken by God. The meek and uninformed would see the bill as a loss of control and a potential area of abuse. These groups would most likely unite to push agents the bill with a counter Right to live campaign, using the media as well as pushing the populists religious and apprehensious pressure points. Pressure on politicians is another poetical threat that the large religious community would exercise, against peoples freedom to chose their own end. Others beliefs should not infringe on the decision concerning ones self, these individuals are free not to participate or believe in this practice, yet to cause another to suffer at their expense is truly unjust. Efforts would have to be increased as a result at better informing the public help people evaluate others belief over ones freedom. Another potential problem is the abuse of this practice, where individuals would be taken advantage of by a devious doctor. The involvement of the state with procedures, monitors, and checks would play a important role in reducing if not eliminating abuse. Problems are to be expected, in almost any instance concerning the mass public, yet hopefully the majority can make the right decision.