Euthanasia


04/28/04


Ethics


Euthanasia is one of society\'s most widely and hotly debated moral issues. It has pained and exhausted the courts for entirely too long, questioning the ethics and morality of the issue. It is a never-ending loop that by no means considers our right, or the victim\'s right, to freedom. It has pierced the pocket books of American taxpayers extensively and should be put to rest with only this statement.


As the author Derek Humphry has stated, "I believe that euthanasia is only debated and kept on the political agenda to keep the courts busy, thereby ensuring the security of political pocket books. The vast majority of the population is in favor of euthanasia. However, their elected candidates don\'t represent their views." Thus eliminating their power of democracy and right to freedom. Euthanasia is not a concern of religious ethics but rather an entitlement of freedom.


Euthanasia is typically broken into two categories: active euthanasia, or the act of administering a lethal drug, or using other means that cause a persons death, and passive euthanasia, stopping (or not starting) some treatment, which allows a person to die -- the person\'s condition causes his or her death. Active euthanasia is typically the more highly debated of the two acts of euthanasia and is better known because of the actions of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who has aided in many successful suicides. Passive euthanasia, on the other hand, is rarely debated and usually never enters the mind\'s eye because it is typically looked at as letting someone die naturally. In passive euthanasia one simply refuses treatment with the knowledge that death is imminent. This offers little debate for several reasons, primarily because it is seen as a natural way of dying. The exception, however, is that some religions refuse to accept treatment with the knowledge that without the treatment they will die. For example in the faith of the Jehovah\'s Witness, a child, who has been in a vicious car accident and is in need of blood, will die rather than accept treatment. This kind of passive euthanasia would come under much scrutiny, but be accepted because it is tied to religious convictions.


In either case, active or passive, the victim will die. There is essentially no difference between them. From herein both active and passive euthanasia will not be separated but rather both will be referred to simply as euthanasia. It will be the primary interest to focus on and address the concerns of active euthanasia, as it is the more controversial of the two despite that fact that both result in death.


Those who oppose the practice of euthanasia argue that helping the terminally ill bring about their own deaths, or allowing them to determine the how and when, is not only inhumane, but is also an act of "playing God". This may be true, assuming that one believes in God. However, a tactical logician may pose this counter argument. If it is the case that God is "I am that I am" (King James Version, Exodus 3:14), it then follows that God is everything. If God is everything, than he would not only be disease but also death. If it is the purpose of disease to bring about death and God is disease and death, then the actions or the will of God would be reflected by the resulting death that comes about through disease. If it is the case then that God is a disease, terminal or not, then would God not be carrying out his will by killing an infected person? And if the infected person chose to not allow the disease to take its course, then would that person not be playing God, or interfering with the will of God? Finally, if the person chose to partake in the action of euthanasia, could this action not be considered an act of aiding or following the wishes of God\'s will? One last point to ponder is this: If God is everything, then, is God not also the compassionate urge to euthanize?


Proponents of freedom view euthanasia in a very different way. They believe that everyone has the right to choose how they live and die. Euthanasia allows the person, who is simply living to die, to maintain dignity