YOUR EUTHANASIA RESOURCE
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Euthanasia is the deliberate killing of a person for the benefit
of that person.
In most cases euthanasia is carried out because the person who dies asks for it, but there are cases called euthanasia where a person can't make such a request.
A person who undergoes euthanasia is usually terminally ill, they would prefer to end their life rather than continue until their body finally gives up. Does the state have a right to deny them their wish?
Euthanasia means a good death and voluntary means acting at one's own choice.
Therefore, euthanasia can be defined as the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being. Ultimately, euthanasia is a question of choice: empowering people to have control over their own bodies.
Unless a person lives in a country where euthanasia is permitted ( some as Colombia, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands or the state of Oregon have already adopted this system) the only lawful option is to remain alive, often in intractable pain, until your body finally collapses.
But do we really have the right to force people living? Insistence, against the patient's wishes, that death be postponed by every means available is contrary to the law; it is cruel and inhumane.
Too often people associate euthanasia with Nazi Germany in 1939. In October of 1939, Hitler ordered widespread "mercy killing" of the sick and disabled. Code named "Aktion T 4," the Nazi euthanasia program to eliminate "life unworthy of life" at first focused on newborns and very young children. Doctors were required to register children up to age three who showed symptoms of mental retardation, physical deformity, or other symptoms included on a questionnaire from the Reich Health Ministry.
The Nazi euthanasia program quickly expanded to include older disabled children and adults.
It has to be clear that what is called euthanasia is only for people who are "terminally ill". There are many definitions for the word "terminal". For example, "any disease that curtails life" or "terminal old age". Some laws define "terminal" condition as one from which death will occur in a "relatively short time".
This last definition can not work as experts know that it is virtually impossible to predict the life expectancy of a particular patient. Therefore, the decision must come from the patient.
What we may be scared about is only that voluntary euthanasia leads to involuntary euthanasia; but pposition to legalized voluntary euthanasia based on the fear of abuse is misguided, because the current prohibition means that euthanasia continues in secret without any regulations to prevent from abuse.
Many faith groups within Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other religions believe that God gives life and therefore only God should take it away. According to them, suicide is a rejection of God's sovereignty and loving plan.
"A man, even if seriously sick or prevented in the exercise of its higher functions, is and will be always a man ... he will never become a 'vegetable' or an 'animal" the Pope said. He added that "the intrinsic value and personal dignity of every human being does not change depending on their circumstances“.
Against all will, voluntary euthanasia shows greater respect for life, not less as we may think. We can’t have respect for life if we require people who are hopelessly ill and suffering intolerably to live on, in that condition against their will.
This new point is very important: patients who are incurably ill and suffering unbearably may quite rationally be depressed and wish to die. However, if the euthanasia request is not appropriate to the patient's condition, the doctor will have no mandate to proceed.
Opponents of voluntary euthanasia are right to point out the potential for abuse, this is why legislation must have safeguards to protect vulnerable patients.
According to Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person". Article 5 adds "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". If no one shall be subjected to torture, then are we letting them suffer that they prefer dying?
Euthanasia is not about the right to die. It's about the right to kill. Euthanasia is not about giving rights to the person who dies but, instead is about changing the law so that doctors can intentionally end another person's life. People do have the power to commit suicide. Suicide is not criminalized; it is just an individual act.
Euthanasia should be allowed when it is in the best interests of all involved and does not violate anyone's rights. We all have to die one day or another, why making it come sooner would be a bad thing? I would like to be allowed a good death myself, so I must allow one for everyone else who wants one.