Euthanasia: Should humans be given the right to play God?

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Biology 103
2002 First Paper
On Serendip

Euthanasia: Should humans be given the right to play God?

Mahjabeen Hassan

Should humans be allowed to play the role of God? Legalizing euthanasia would do just that! The power to play with people's lives should not be handed out under a legal and/or medical disguise. Thus euthanasia should not be legalized.

The term 'Euthanasia' comes from the Greek word for 'easy death'. It is the one of the most public policy issues being debated about today. Also called 'mercy killing', euthanasia is the act of purposely making or helping someone die, instead of allowing nature to take its course. Basically euthanasia means killing in the name of compassion. On the contrary, it promotes abuse, gives doctors the right to murder and in addition, is contradictory to religious beliefs.

Whether one agrees or not, past experiences as well as the present continuously point out that euthanasia promotes abuse. Dr. J Forest Witten warned that euthanasia would give a small group of doctors "the power of life and death over individuals who have committed no crime except that of becoming ill or being born, and might lead toward state tyranny and totalitarianism." (1)

An example of this very statement by Dr. J Forest Witten was seen in Pennsylvania, in 1947 when forty seven year old Ellen Haug admitted having killed her ailing seventy-year-old mother with an overdose of sleeping pills. Her excuse was that she couldn't endure her crying and misery. Ellen said that her mother had suffered too long and Ellen, herself was on the verge of collapse. Her excuse was that "if something had happened to her, what would have become of her mother?" (2) Her reason was not only vain; as a matter of fact it was very selfish. Ellen was not putting her mother out of misery but she was getting herself rid of a responsibility. She was merely taking the advantage of calling her cold-blooded murder euthanasia. Likewise, a recent Dutch government investigation of euthanasia came up with some disturbing findings. In 1990, 1,030 Dutch patients were killed without their consent. Twenty-two thousand and five hundred deaths were caused due to withdrawal of support, 63% (14,175 patients) were denied medical treatment without their consent and twelve percent (1,701 patients) were mentally competent but were not consulted. These findings were widely publicized before the November 1991 referendum in Washington State, and contributed to the defeat of the proposition to legalize lethal injections and assisted suicide.(3) Euthanasia, at the moment is illegal in most parts of the world. In the Netherlands it is practiced widely even though it remains illegal. The Dutch incident is an ideal example of how euthanasia has promoted abuse in the past and therefore as the old proverb goes we should "learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones".

Euthanasia gives physicians, who are only humans-the right to murder. Doctors are people who we trust to save and cure us, we regard them as the people who have been trained to save our lives but euthanasia gives doctors the opportunity to play God and most seize this opportunity. A perfect example of an opportunist would be Dr. Jack Kevorkian, better known as "Dr. Death" who took advantage of his patients' sorrows and tragedies and murdered them. In fact, Kevorkian has helped more than 100 people commit suicide and not all of his patients were terminally ill. In addition, in the late 1980s the lunatic created a machine for murder, it was a "suicide machine" that allowed a person by pressing a button, to dispense a lethal dose of medication to himself or herself. Later, Dr. Kevorkian was sentenced to ten to twenty-five years in prison for second-degree murder for providing lethal injection to a seriously ill patient.(4) Dr. Jack Kevorkian, however, is not the only example of a doctor who tried to "play God".

One can also learn a lot from the mass murder that took place in Germany during World War II. Over 100,000 people were killed in the Nazi's euthanasia program. During the War, the doctors were responsible for, selecting those patients who were to be euthanized, carrying out the injections at the killing centers, and generating the paperwork that provided a medically credible cause of death for the surviving family members. Surprisingly, organizations such as the General Ambulance Service, Charitable Sick Transports, and the Charitable Foundation for Institutional Care transported patients to the six killing centers, where euthanasia was accomplished by lethal injections or in children's cases, slow starvation.(5) Throughout the past and the present, euthanasia has given doctors an excuse to get away with their crimes; it has given mere humans the power to play God.

The physician's role is to make a diagnosis, and sound judgments about medical treatment, not whether the patient's life is worth living. They have an obligation to perform sufficient care, not to refrain from giving the patient food and water until that person dies. Medical advances in recent years have made it possible to keep terminally ill people alive for beyond a length of time even if it is without any hope of recovery or improvement. The American Medical Association (AMA) is well known for their pro-abortion campaigns and funding. Ironically, the AMA funds many hospices and other palliative care centers. They have a firm stand on life. The AMA has initiated the Institute for Ethics, designed to educated physicians on alternative medical approaches to euthanasia during the dying process.(6)

Other than promoting abuse and giving doctors the right to murder, Euthanasia also contradicts religious beliefs. Euthanasia manages to contradict more than just one religion and is considered to be gravely sinful. For instance, the Roman Catholic Church has its own opinion on Euthanasia. The Vatican's 1980 Declaration on Euthanasia said in part "No one can make an attempt on the life of an innocent person without opposing God's love for that person, without violating a fundamental right, and therefore without committing a crime of the utmost sin." It also says that "intentionally causing one's own death, or suicide is therefore equally wrong as murder, such an action on the part of a person is to be considered as a rejection of God's sovereignty and loving plan."(7)

In fact, a Jewish Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits warns that a patient must not shrink from spiritual distress by refusing ritually forbidden services or foods if necessary for healing; how much less he may refuse treatment to escape from physical suffering. As there is no possibility of repentance or self-destruction, Judaism considers suicide a sin worse than murder. Therefore, euthanasia, voluntary or involuntary is forbidden.(8)

Islam too finds euthanasia to be immoral and against God's teachings. Actually, the whole concept of a life not worthy of living does not exist in Islam! There is absolutely no justification of taking life to escape suffering in Islam. Patience and endurance are highly regarded and rewarded values in Islam. Some verses from the Holy Quran say- "Those who patiently preserve will truly receive a reward without measure" (Quran 39:10) and "And bear in patience whatever (ill) may befall you: this, behold, is something to set one's heart upon" (Quran 31:17). The Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) taught "When the believer is afflicted with pain, even that of a prick of a thorn or more, God forgives his sins, and his wrong doings are discarded as a tree sheds off its leaves." When means of preventing or alleviating pain fall short, this spiritual dimension can be very effectively called upon to support the patient who believes that accepting and standing unavoidable pain will be to his/her credit in the hereafter, the real and enduring life. (9) This shows that euthanasia is contradictory to most religious beliefs and is certainly baloney to those who believe in God and the sanctity of life.

Euthanasia should not be legalized. It is by no means a solution to human suffering. Though euthanasia is a controversial subject, it is evident that it only disrupts the normal pattern of life and leads toward creating a more violent and abusive society. Life is a gift and not a choice and practices such as euthanasia violate this vital concept of human society.

 

References


(1) Humphry, Derek and Wicket, Ann. "The Right to Die:Understanding Euthanasia." End of Life and Euthanasia, the above-mentioned book can be found here.
(2) Humphry, Derek and Wicket, Ann. "The Right to Die:Understanding Euthanasia."
(3) Anti-Euthanasia Homepage
(4)Cavan, Seamus. "Euthanasia: The Debate Over the Right to Die."
(5) Humphry, Derek and Wicket, Ann. "The Right to Die:Understanding Euthanasia."
(6) American Medical Association Homepage
(7) Humphry, Derek and Wicket, Ann. "The Right to Die:Understanding Euthanasia."
(8) Humphry, Derek and Wicket, Ann. "The Right to Die:Understanding Euthanasia."
(9) Euthanasia and Islam.

 

 

Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)

10/10/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Hi, I read your artical on Euthansia and about humans 'playing god' and I do believe that killing people is worng. In Holland, having all those deaths where people did not give consent was wrong, terrible in fact, but your information is also wrong. Throught the article you were saying that in some hospitals people were being Euthansied without consent and that children were even 'being starved to death.' Thats wrong. Euthanasia is when someone gives consent to being killed, so without consent that isn't euthanasia that's murder. I would also likew to point out (and I am a catholic) that alot of people who need Euthanasia legalised are extreamly sick, and should have the right to end there life, not being able to do that they need the help of a doctor. Alot of people would be swayed by that letter, but people need to see the other side of the story, hear the stories of the people who are dying and need euthansia to put them out of their pain. I don't have much faith in the justice system, but if Euthanasia was legalised anfd a bill was passed stating that you need to have a document signed saying you have permission from the person then less people will die, because it will be more controlled.


10/28/2005, from a Reader on the Web

This reply is in response to the article by Mahjabeen Hassan: Should humans be allowed to play the role of God? It is quite presumptive of Mr. Hassan to contend that God has anything to do with the daily lives, most especially, the birth and death of human beings. For most people who believe in evolution - including those who do believe in God - or the Christian New Testament (to distinguish from the Christian sects who have augmented or modified Christian doctrine), God is not involved in decisions of birth and death at all. It is an obvious judgement of life and one's perspective in it, to presume that decisions about whether we live or whether and when we die, are god-like decisions. It is also a judgement of life to decide whether one should live with pain and agony, knowing full-well that they have a terminal illness from which there is no known recovery. It is also a by-product of man-made technology's power to keep people alive past historic limits of illness and ailment. This too is a judgement call and it is made by human beings. Because I live in a secular society, that differentiates between values established and accepted by the majority of society and those established by "god" and his religious administrators, I think and believe that it is everyone's right to determine the amount of suffering they must and can endure in their lifetime on the planet earth. It should not up to fellow society members to decide that they must endure and live in pain because of differing viewpoints on who is responsible for their life on earth. If it is part of your "faith" not to choose this course of action, then live according to your "faith", but you should not impose it on others - then you have become the cause of their suffering because now it is your belief system that they are living by. While I agree that it probably should not up to medical doctors to make that sole decision, there should be some kind of governmental process whereby a human being can apply for "mercy" and a physician can, with approval, administer a "mercy" method for an ailing human being. I am sure there are abuses by physicians or family members with the shortening or extending of someone's life, and for that reason I believe that doctors should have to receive approval to administer a "mercy solution" for an ailing patient. However, to require certain people to suffer pain and agony until their expiration is rather god-like in itself. If you couple that with the medical professions ability to extend life past the capabilities of natural means (life support devices), then who is really playing god? Steven Mitchell


12/24/2005, from a Reader on the Web

a very good, insightful article on euthanasia, it truly helped my understanding of the subject from a different perspective. thanks!


01/03/2006, from a Reader on the Web

Miss Hassan: I found your article to be thought-provoking and well-written. Keep it up!

 

Additional comments made prior to 2007
today, euthanasia arouse huge debates in society, and people wrestle their intentions but they don't know legalizing euthanasia is right or not.
in my view, euthanasia should be legalized. that'swhy, everyone has the right to die with dignity and doctors don't have the right to control a life. if people can't stand their terinally ill it's worse to bekept alive. But euthanasia should be legelized in certain circumstances to prevent misuses of "euthanasia tourism", and it need civil society's participation, not only politician. if the person terminally ill its' hard to enjoy life and they really can't give-up. i think euthanasia involves love and compassion ... Miiga, 27 February 2006

 

 

hello my name is mariam. i thought your article was the best and helped me alot with my debate in school in karachi. thank you. just one thing. you managed to loook at both sides of the debate ... Mariam, 30 August 2006

 

 

I don't see how a woman, who can no longer take hearing the suffering of her own mother, is a murderer. No one wants their loved ones to live on in agony. My dying grandmother begged to be put out of her pancriatic cancer misery. The doctors simply stopped forcing medicine through her vains. The medical intervention was "playing God". I think many would change their tune if they were suffering and going through a living hell. The U.S. says we have a right to a quality of life and a "pursuit of happiness" during our life. If I don't have the motor ability to end the pain myself, I want someone to do it for me and not be charged as a murderer. That will be my pursuit of happiness- death. Church and state are SUPPOSED to be seperate, but they never really are ... Reader on the web, 4 December 2006

 

 

I read your article and what not i think some of the things you said is good becuase Some doctors do kill ... Kira, 2 March 2007

 

 

You say euthanasia is "playing God" and that we humans should not be able to play with peoples lives. But if someone is terminally ill and has tubes for breathing, they would have died without those so isnt THAT "playing God" also? If euthanasia should be illegal for that reason, then so should keeping people alive when natrually they would be dead ... Reader on the web, 7 March 2007

 

You accuse people of playing God by practcing euthanasia and prematurely ending life...but I ask, how is using artificial means to extend their life beyond what their body alone can handle NOT playing God?

I am undecided on the issue of euthanasia, and this is not an attack at you...just something to stir the pot a bit. I am interested in hearing your answer ... Zachary Skaggs, 24 March 2007

 

 

My Father, Ernest D. Whitehead Sr. was taken to the hospital on April 15, 2007. He had COPD and developed an infection. His temperature was 103. In the emergency room he was asked if he wanted to be resuscitated if his heart stopped beating. He said yes. The emergency room doctor said that legally, this ended the debate between my family, because my father's wishes had to be abided by the law. They went ahead and placed a respirator on my father and that night his heart did stop. He was resuscitated as he wished. My brother and sister had swarmed into the hospital with the wish that my father would die. They have wanted Power of Attorney over my parents for years. My father was very angry about this and I stood by him. Myself, my niece and a close friend were my father's caretakers. My brother and sister never took care of him. Occasional visits were all he received from them. But now, they were in the hospital wanting to make all of the medical decisions for him. Palliative care/Hospice also entered the picture without being invited. My father wanted to live. He wanted the respirator and the doctor had said it would be left in for 2 weeks and all that could be done for my dad would be. My brother and sister started having meetings with Palliative Care/Hospice and conned my mother into signing papers to have the respirator removed after only 4 days. At this time my father's temperature had returned to normal. While they were in the meeting, my dad's cardiologist came into daddy's room and when asked if he wanted the respirator, he shook his head yes. I asked the cardiologist, Dr Archer if he would put this in daddy's chart and he said he would, but he didn't. Daddy was alert and aware of what my brother and sister were doing. They told my mother he would be sent to Palliative Care on the fourth floor of the hospital. I told my mother they would take away his IV fluids, medications and nutrition. When she asked the nurse if this was true, the nurse said no. Daddy would receive his medicine, IV fluids and the ensure he was being given would be continued and that he could even possibly survive. I knew this was a lie. The respirator was removed and my father was drugged with morphine. I left the hospital very upset, knowing they would kill him. I returned to the hospital later that evening. The nurses in Palliative Care did not expect me to show up. When I walked into my father's room, the heat was turned up, he was laying on plastic with no sheet on his bed and was covered with blankets. His body, his gown and his bedding were drenched with sweat. They were dehydrating him to make him die faster. I walked to the nurses station where there was a sign that said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." How odd. I found daddy's nurse and asked why he was drenched in sweat. She said, "Oh Honey, his body fluids are just shifting." This is nonsense and I told her so. They very angrily gave my father a bath, changed his bedding and gown. He did not sweat any more ... Betty Layne, 30 April 2007

Comments

Serendip Visitor's picture

woah woah woah

im sorry but did he just write baloney xD, oh gawd i was very into this whole thing until i read that. oh gawd am i the only one who noticed that :P

Serendip Visitor's picture

ok so by saying this if this

ok so by saying this if this happens then i can make people from other people i can make a new world and i can be outside of time i would love to see this happen

Serendip Visitor's picture

Now i go to church and all

Now i go to church and all and i know alot bout the bible but who wrote this is wrong when people want the right to die how are we going to be like god? were not if people want there life to end there not beinig like god no one is. god didnt kill people he made people and i think what this is about is not making people its killing people. he made this world and he knows that people were going to do this because he is out side of time and i know we cant do that it would be very hard for someone to be like god and what we are doing is not trying to be like god. Go and tell me when you read the bible and tell me does this have to do with god.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Flawed argument

Okay, first of all, there are a TON of grammatical/syntax issues in this article. I would not be able to get away with these in high school without earning a very lousy grade; one would think that an elite school such as Bryn Mawr would train its students to be better writers.

Anyways, on to the content. As others have probably pointed out, "playing God" is a rather flawed argument. Modern medicine itself consistently "plays God"; these people with terminal illnesses would have died years earlier if it wasn't for modern techonlogy and medicine. Additionally, I hate it when people try to use religion in an argument that deals with a temporal, Earthly law. Our country was founded on the idea of a separation between church and state; an argument against an issue that centers around "it's not okay in my religion" is simply ridiculous. Keep your religious beliefs within your religion; influence others if you want to, but don't make it a matter of federal law.

Furthermore, have you actually ever known someone/heard of someone who was so sick or in so much pain that they wanted to take their own life? I feel like none of us can judge their wishes until we or a loved one are in the same position. It is completely impossible to fathom the intense pain that many of these inidividuals go through without experiencing it too.

Finally, it is true that we need to be careful how much power we put into the hands of physicians. But I am completely floored by your argument that all physicians would be so eager to end another human's life! So there have been a few sick and twisted apples; how can you apply these cases to all physicians?! And I feel like these scenarios are fairly avoidable if we ensure BY LAW that only the patient can make the final decision on euthanasia.

Serendip Visitor's picture

I don't understand what the

I don't understand what the fuzz is all about. Why not helping people die, if they want to? To be honest, why don't we euthanize our orphans as well. Isn't that what we do with our poor animals? If we are willing to play god, concerning our animals. Then why not play god with our own speces as well? I don't get it!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Humans are created in God's

Humans are created in God's own image (Genesis 1:27). Humans should not have the right to end their lives on their own because God is in charge of when they die. Also, it is a sin to murder (Exodus 20:13). Suicide is self-murder so it is a sin.

Serendip Visitor's picture

So when u have a loved one

So when u have a loved one that is sick, do not take them to a hospital, because that is playing god. That means, cancer no chemo, high blood pressure, no meds, stroke, no blood thinners....dont expect a physician to help you, leave it to god. Dont ever ask the help of a physician, that is gods work.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Another point you could have made...

First off, this is a great paper! You made a really good case for your stance and although I already agreed with you, if I wasn't sure or even perhaps against your POV, you would convince me. Everything is well supported. However, there is a point you could have made and I was, quite frankly, surprised you didn't. In the Declaration of Independence (actually, it is my favorite line), which is a document that is considered almost as sacred as the Constitution in legal circles, it reads "All men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and amonge these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." The is an unretractable right to life. Because of this being listed first and being the most important right listed it will inevitably come before Liberty and Happiness. Because all have a right to life means that it would be wrong to deprive one of that even if it would be to fulfill someone else's right to happiness. However, in the Declaration and the Constitution, there is no line or clause that reads "All have a right to deprive themselves or another with their consent of the fundamental right of life." Most people would balk at this. And causing of death (deprivation of life) without consent is plain, outright murder. Now you may ask "Why is the right to life more important than Liberty and Happiness? Well, first off, you can take away someone's happiness or liberty and there is still a chance they ca regain that. No one can, once deprived of life regain it. Death is irreversible. A one time deal. The enslaved can be freed, the mournful comforted and led to rejoicing. The dead cannot come back. That is the ethical side to it. The legal side is that we know that life is considered more important by looking at the penalties. All you get for taking away happiness is a lawsuit basically. For kidnapping/imprisionment maybe life in prison at the worst. For homicide/murder? The offender can be subject to the death peanlty. All have a right to life. None have a right to take it be it their own or someone else's.

 watchman's picture

i just cannot understand

i just cannot understand humans how they can compare an animal with ourselves, its not possible for a dog , cat mice reptiles whatever to speak and say, i dont want the liverpool pathway, its the owners who speak for them, by the way if you did use starvation, dehydration, and nothing to drink like is done on the, dignity and care pathway, the r s p c a would soon have you up in court for not giving them water etc to help them.

phil's picture

would you like to live this life

people say you cant because your life is god given, well its not its given to you by your mum and dad

Serendip Visitor's picture

god also gave us freedom of

god also gave us freedom of will therefor giving the lives he gave us to do with what we please.Argument invalid.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Amen. I AGREE. God gives

Amen. I AGREE. God gives human free will. But I bet as soon as these god fearing folk are diagnosed with cancer, the first thing they do is go to a doctor for treatment...hmmm...and the doctor is not GOD!!!! However if the doctor were not around,they would die...just like God had wanted.

Oh wow's picture

"Playing God"

I am a Christian myself, and have full faith in Him. But I do say 'myself' for a reason. I believe it should be legalized so that the CHOICE is out their for those who do wish to undergo this and have good reason for it. Of course there should be conditions to ensure that their choice is not abusive, such as going to multiple doctors and have their opinion, and have a physcologist make sure that you are full aware of the choice and in the right state of mind. However, I also think that the whole "playing god" argument is comepletely ridiculous. First of all, we as humans "play god" all the time as it is. If a premature baby is born and can only live if given life with extra care... what would you do? Save it's life by giving it the required care it needs! Not only that, but believe it or not fellow christians and other religious people, not everyone believes in god! Wow! Who am I to say that my religion doesn't allow for you to end YOUR OWN life, so despite the fact that you have good reason and you don't even believe in Him, you can't do it. How is that morally right? Euthanization should be legalized with several conditions, so that it can become a choice. A choice that YOU might not take, but a choice that SOMEONE ELSE can have. And who knows, maybe you might become terminally ill and be forced into excruciating pain, maybe, just maybe, you would ask for it even with your religious belief.

  john meehan's picture

euthanasia

dear, oh wow, lets not try to be silly billies, if you dont know euthanasia is already being used when on the liverpool so called care deathway.to end your own life is suicide, anyone taking his own life cannot be of sound mind, so someone who is diamorphined to the hilt will not be of sound mind, and its being done by dr god, your as good as saying, mentaly ill, musculer dystrophy, downs syndrome, old people, the blind, thats just few of the people who need extra care euthanasia should be legal, it would open the floodgates and patients being put down to save the nhs the extra money, but it does not need to be legalized its already in place by the back door liverpool care pathway.its got nothing to do with religion its common sense, the mail, the telegraph. and others speak out against it even high ranking specialists and the pope the head of the catholic church, but it has nothing to do with religion just common sense

Tommy.Phillips's picture

Euthanasia

Hi im 15 year's old, my opinion is people should have the right to take their own life if necessary (E.g. a terminal diseases) as it is their own life but, also they must put forward legal documents to show as proof as this is their wish. Also if a person is incapable for making such a decision due to a physical deformation, well I think it should be up to the family to make that decision, provided that they show some legal Documents that they as a group wish this.

Can some people give me some feedback. Maybe some of your own opinions will help, that be great. Thanks.

Serendip Visitor's picture

it should be legal

They make laws to protect and help people,but if a person is suffering due to the laws doesn't that defeat the purpose of it. What right do people who have never suffered the same pain as that person to say i can't kill you. They don't know what it feels like to expereince that kind of pain that in its self is the issue. Sure they know whats happening and that that persons in pain, but thats all they know they haven't experienced that pain so they can't really understand that persons feelings. All they think is that its immoral to kill people but, isn't it also immoral to make that person suffer day in and day out. We think nothing of putting an animal out of pain but, becuase we in ourselves our selfish beings we would feel sadness at their death so we don't let them die. We in our selfishness try to impose our morals on others without regard for them,so truth be told why should we selfish humans who only think of ourselves be able to decide what happens to another.

  john meehan's picture

euthanasia

to put a patient on a ventalator is helping them to recover, to take them off it without good reason, is classed as murder, some may not liive but its worth the effort, if someone of sound mind wants euthanasis, which is few and far between, most people do not want to leave this planet. but to euthanise a patient, without consent is against the law and is cold blooded murder and criminal.

Serendip Visitor's picture

God

God made us with the power to build technology and keep people alive. But if you even know anything about God, then he does accept murdering people just because he is deppressed. Killing someone because of a terminal pain that won't end, or if you are about to be tortured but just because of their mental illness? God let medical care on this earth for a reason. You aren't playing God for killing someone. You're playing Beezlebub, Satan, Hades, in other words you're playing the devil.

Serendip Visitor's picture

my simple opinion

I feel if people are terminally ill and in a lot of pain they should have the choice.
What's more sadistic, watching someone suffer relentlessly or helping them go peaceful by a medically enduced coma then death. People should have the choice.

diablo's picture

satan

i agree that if you kill someone it is like being satan

Serendip Visitor's picture

So if you ever become ill, do

So if you ever become ill, do not go to a doctor, jsut rely on your god to cure you. If you were meant to live, u will. If you will meant to die, you will. No human can fix this, including physicians...yet I bet u are the first to run to a doctor with an ear infection....

Anonymous's picture

...

Many people here saying how we put down animals, humans are no different and so why shouldn't we do this to humans too. By that same logic we eat animals so why shouldn't we eat humans aswell? If you're going to even try playing this line as an argument you have to treat human life and animal life as complete equals, ever stepped on an ant... on purpose? Your are a murderer. Sat on a colony? Mass murderer.

(Not too much to do with serious reasons for or against Euthanasia but just replying to those few people on here saying humans should be put down like animals)

Sophie's picture

People are just as equal as animals

Euthanasia should be legalised. We kill thousands of animals each year because there isnt enough space to keep them and I dont see any believers in God saying that that is playing God... too many people have double standards... I believe that if a human or animal is in severe pain and will not recover from it then the humane thing to do would be to put them to sleep. Can you imagine being in so much pain that you are paralyed fr, unable to tell anyone and have no control over your bodily functions? I have seen someone suffer like this first hand and it is awful. It is cruel keeping a human alive when they have no quality of life what so ever. If I was in that state I would want to be put to sleep so that I do not have to suffer and also that my loved ones remebered me the way I was and not in pain. I don't understand why people do not have the choice to be euthansied yet we are given the choice when are beloved pets become too ill. We put our pets down because it is the best thing to do and do not want to see them suffer, people mourn and cry but they know it was for the best and they remember their pets when they were happy and not dieing in pain. God and medical techquines should not be mixed. Whatever God teaches should not intervine with medical science. The teachings of God are years old and unreliable... science is not.

Serendip Visitor's picture

It's annoying how all the

It's annoying how all the anti-euthanasia lobby comes out as soon as you simply type in euthanasia into the internet. A dog has the right to be put out of its misery but we humans don't? Exactly what is civilised about this concept.

Also if you believe euthanasia is playing God I assume you believe the same with abortion where the mothers right to murder her own child is sacred.

Serendip Visitor's picture

it's sin

i believe that God created everything THOUSANDS (not millions) of years ago. When he did that he, and i have no idea why, created ignorant and sinful humans. He gave us life. Each breath each of us takes is a blessing from him. For a person to determine when he/she should stop taking those breaths on thier own is not right. I believe with all of my heart that it is immoral. i do feel sorry for those who are in so much pain but i think there are medications that can be given to ease that pain. They shouldnt stop living. Also, i would like to point out that if it were legallized, it could be taken advantage of and more deaths would happen without consent. Or What if the person can't give the final say? Let's say my rich grandma is not able to make that call, when she croaks, i get EVERYTHING. Who's to say i won't pull the plug to get it sooner..... just saying. It may not be all right but it's what i think anyway. :)

Serendip Visitor's picture

I have terminal pain, its past the chronic, severe stage

I am 52 years old, for the past 30 odd decades I have endured chronic pain, in the last 11 years I have come to the point in reality of my life, that to me while I do not have a terminal disease - I have what I call 'terminal pain', forget the chronic, the severe, for me it is terminal because I will choose at some stage in my life that I go out my way, not some choice diagnosed by a medico when he 'assumes' what my pain is.

I have two spinal cord implants with 9 electrodes 3 occipital, 2 at T3 and 4 at T8 they can't put any more in I have total body coverage, the only drug I can tolerate now is Ketamine, and Fentanyl for operations, I take it in lozenger form, but must go off it 1 month out of 3, then return to the drug...why for many medical assumed reasons. I deal with Department of Veteran Affairs I am a disabled female Veteran peace time in Australia, also I must deal with Centrelink both of course do not talk to each other being govt agencies...and this adds to my condition. Stress increases your pain.

My three adult children know my views that I support euthanasia, while my daughters accept it my son a soldier having been deployed, has seen what war does, has finally accepted that there is 'life' and then there is 'existing' he has said 'mum when you know there is no other drug, the SCS's aren't able to stop break through pain - give it one more go at 'life' because 'existing' isn't life.'

That is why I believe we have lost the human in humanity and that my 'terminal pain' that wakes me at 3am, with migrains, spinal pain, neuropathic pain...will kill me, but the most important thing is my humanity,my life really is my choice.

I am a patient person, but I do not tolerate Specialists,DR's who assume they know my pain, as my GP said to just recently after a series of 16 injections in my spine up and down to allieviate the pain...'I am surprised your still here' my answer was 'so am i'

My pain is terminal, it is slowly killing just as surely a terminal illness is, but they can't see it...and that is the dangerous thing that when your medico denies you pain medication because he assumes not thinks he assumes it is too strong...people make a choice, and it is usually to leave their way...

My life, my choice - I don't tell you how to live, so don't tell me how to die. Is reply when I am told 'oh your pain can't be that bad'...

Serendip Visitor's picture

typo!

Hi! I'm thirteen years old, and i would like to correct you on your mistake. You said for the past 30 odd decades. I think you meant 3 odd decades, because if you were alive for 30 decades then you would have to be at least 300 years old

Sincerely,
Cool person

Serendip Visitor's picture

uhhhh, what?

yo bro, if euthanasia to you means playing God, maybe we shouldn't have hospitals either. DYSTHANASIA, keeping someone alive through technological advancements is also playing god.

think about it.

kedj's picture

even though we can say that

even though we can say that technical advancement is like playing like God...bare in mind that we are talking about the killing, death...even we are playing as God in our world today specially in medicine , taking away of life is a sin..take note, it was stated in the bible that only our creator has the right to take . God just let us borrow this life.

Dawn Williams's picture

I agree with you 100%. God

I agree with you 100%. God only intended us to live so long, and keepiong people on machines just to make them live longer, is not natural, and is in fact, playing the role of God.

kyle's picture

What

I am concerned for the viewing of this page that others may feel its ok to die and forget about others if you could leave a section telling not to kill yourself because of any reason. Ty

Serendip Visitor's picture

Well it's certainly O.K. to

Well it's certainly O.K. to die, we're all going to do it. But I think you meant suicide? And it's a public forum for a reason.

Amrita singh 's picture

legalisation of euthanasia

It is not at all the fact that legalising euthanasia Will be giving doctors the right to play the role of god. None of us can feel the sufferings of the victim until we have good through it. It is very obvious that if we have the right to live than we have the right to die too .
and if we say that in India 1 out of 100 cases of euthanasia Will prove genuine because India is a backward society than it would be worth telling that it is all because me we Indians who make our country the way it is now with our negative mentalitY and lack of introspection .. . Our narrow minded views has made India a narrow country with limited human values.

ruth 's picture

euthanasia

i think that euthanasia is something that we will not understand untill you are in a position between live or die.

matthew bannan's picture

its wrong.

i still find this whole debate wrong what right should anyone have to say weither someone does or doesnt get to end there life? im not even talking bout euthanasia at the moment im talking about every, if someone wants to end there life because its shit enough n seflish enough then who are any of us to object?its there life so let them be able to do what they ever want to do with it but people who have certain medical conditions or are elderly should have the right to. who is anyone to say that someone cant ask for help to put them out of misery? suffering or a mecifull death? wonder wich i would choose lol. and elderly people i herd a few month back the two eighty year old went to mexico, got a poison and laid in bed next to eachother while they die, im sorry but if i had the choice to end my life right next the o0ne i love i would. its alot better than waiting for them to die, living with the pain of loss without them and then finely dying months or years later. it is our right to end our life however we see fit n who are you's to argue that point

C. Yother's picture

Well yes, but at the current

Well yes, but at the current moment it is practically illegal for a person in the situation to do it themselves. Most are respectful enough towards their families, in that they don't do the Cobain method, they would prefer a more feasible option.

C Yother's picture

Two sides to every PoV

Hi, my name is Chris. I'm 15 years old and am currently within the next month preparing to perform a Persuasive speech on why I believe Human Euthanasia should be made legal, or at least allowed under the correct circumstances. I do believe in god and I consider myself to be a Christian. I became interested in the topic of Human Euthanasia after watching the movie "You Don't Know Jack", I highly recommend it even if you're not ProJack. The reason I agree with and support Human Euthanasia is because I just cannot wrap my mind around a terminally ill patient, slowly withering away and dying. I agree with your point that 'regular' people should not be allowed to perform this type of procedure. I do however disagree with your point that Dr. Jack Kevorkian murdered those people. In a legal sense there is a difference between murder, and Assistance in a suicide. Kevorkian also never contacted his patients with the intent of "Excuse me sir I couldn't help but notice you have a cold, would you like me to end your suffering"? The people Kevorkian performed these euthanasia's on all contacted him first if I do remember correctly.

Another point I think should be made is how you represent "playing-god", and here's my opinion on it. When a child becomes ill with pneumonia, and goes to their doctor/hospital, the doctors will provide her with aid and care, with the intent of bringing her back to her normal health. Now what if god had intended for the child to become ill with pneumonia, and please forgiven my bluntness maybe about this, but wanted her to die? And that maybe it was her time to go. Wouldn't the doctor(s) in that scenario be playing god? If it is your belief that god has a reason for everything, wouldn't human interference on any level intrude on his intentions, and therefore in your point of view constitute playing god?

Am I for suicide? Absolutely not. I do not condone the act of killing ones self because life is hard and you can't seem to find a job. But what about a 75 year old woman suffering from pancreatic cancer stage 4? What if she was given only 5 months to live, and at the end of the first month the pain she is enduring on a regular basis is far too unbearable for any person alive. She has lived a long, successful life. And she is also going to inevitably die from her terminal illness, so why not allow her to end her own suffering with the consent of herself. It just makes no sense to me that a terminally ill patient that will sadly die soon regardless, should be forced to stick it out for her last few months. So that her final memories will be of her lying in a bed, aching in misery and pain.

Here are a couple examples of what I believe are acceptable cases for consideration of Human Euthanasia.
1.) Like I said, terminally ill 75 year old woman suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
2.) A man suffering from lung cancer who will die anyway because of his illness, must take a pain gulp of air for every remaining second he is alive.
(I apologize for the repetition of cancer examples, I'm sitting in a public college library surrounded by awkward people, things just aren't coming to my mind)

Here are a couple examples of what I believe ARE NOT acceptable cases for consideration of Human Euthanasia.
1.) A man attempted suicide two years prior. It has left his body scarred and in mild forms of pain throughout his continuous days. Aside from the scars of his previous attempted suicide, nothing stands in the way of him functioning as a successful human being for the rest of his life. Still he goes and seeks the help of an assisting suicide physician. He should be rejected as eligible for this procedure, and advised to seek psychological help IMO, because he is suffering from something that is not terminal, nor life threatening.
2.) A soldier returns from Iraq minus all four limbs, and his eye sight. He seeks the help of a physician known to assist in performing suicides. As sad as his situation may be, he is still capable of living a long prosperous life, and is not a good candidate for Human Euthanasia IMO.

And to sum it all up, I think it's the right of the individual, giving the right circumstances, i.e. a terminal incurable illness, to make the decision on whether or whether not he/she should take part is an assisted suicide.

If you have any comments, whether you agree or disagree with me please either reply to this or send me and email at ! I think it would be really great to get some feedback so that I may further highlight it in my speech. All comments would be great really.

Chris

Serendip Visitor's picture

right or wrong

I have read your comments on this article. However myself being triple your age, I see it differently. I believe that euthansia topic should not be limited to terminal patients. There are millions of chronic pain suffers who will never recover, i.e., parkinsons, alzheimer's, ms and to many more unable to mention, debilitating diseases. If one does not want to be a burden on family why cant this decision be acceptable? Your absolutly right regarding mental sickness, that is a total different horse of another color. Your article was interesting and I, myself am also doing a speech however my stance will always be pro-euthansia. good luck to you.

C. Yother's picture

Well absolutely I also don't

Well absolutely I also don't believe it should be limited to terminal illnesses, I simply just used those as examples. I also didn't really touch on non terminal illnesses too much, and I also stressed terminal illness a lot so I guess my point was a little lop sided. But yes of course I do also agree that patients in an unbearable amount of pain on a daily basis should not have to suffer, should they choose not to.
And @ the person who said God decides, I too believe God wants to decide when people do and do not die. And this is sort of on a personal level for me but I also personally do not believe God would be accepting of Human Euthanasia, and he probably doesn't condone my support of it. But at the end of the day I would prefer God be angry with me, and possibly reject me from heaven. Than to allow fellow human beings to suffer.
Chris.

Apurba Goala's picture

euthanasia

I read your article and what not i think some of the things you said is good becuase Some doctors do kill

Robert 's picture

Do we as humans play "God"?

In the long line of human events there comes a time when all of us band together and pay homage to a figure who we believe started our entire existance. But have we become to engulfed in "Gods" web?
The main topic that is used to battle abortion and euthinasia and homosexuality is the bible. Many people use gods word as a legitimant wepon against these contrivercial topics. We not just a few but all of us have neglected our freedoms. We have forgotton that we have free thought, free thinking, and most importantly free will. It is in our nature to want to explain the unexplained and when we do explain it, we tend to want to follow rules that we believe were set by this divine power. We follow rules, we follow doctrine, but is this right in all circumstances? Sometimes we must forsake almighty laws and do what it is we think is right. I employ you, all of you who read this to take serious thought into wheather or not euthinasia should be legalized. Many people are suffering from intence pain we cannot allow these people to continue living the lives they are living.

Brains's picture

God

Who is "God"????????????????

Each to their own ,,, you are born alone ,, you die alone ,, your choice what you want to do in between .

Serendip Visitor's picture

"who is God?" you ask

God is the one that formed you in your mothers womb. You think that happend by chance? God is the one who lets you live. God is the one who sent his son, Jesus, to die for alll our sins and so that we could be saved from hell. God is the one you should thank that i'm not god because if i were... i'd take you out for questioning me. you'll know who God is one day and i pray that you find out the easy way and before it's too late :) fyi: if i were you, i'd go to a southern BAPTIST church and ask the preacher
"who god is"

Mona Itani's picture

Hi, thir is a power that is

Hi, thir is a power that is grater then me and you called'' GOD''.Did you asked yourself once who made the wonderFUL amazing earth that is surrounding you,and found you .Are you sooo sure that u found your self on earth pleaz dont be so limited!

Serendip Visitor's picture

yeh

yes i believe too that God has made this spectacular world that is full of sophisticated things that no one can imagine and I balieve too that there are a lot of things that God has made that we haven't met or encountered yet.Eventually, God is the only one that decides when a life comes to an end and when a person must die not a doctor eventhough he is a professional doctor and eventhough he understans the minds of people.So i think that euthanasia is illegal and it must stay that way ever, contrary to what people say that it is a religious supestition.
Thanks,....

Lux Meow's picture

In a moment?

Lets say 2 people are related to having some form of serious life threatening illness. One of the two people is in serious pain & the other has just been informed they have this terrible ordeal to battle and the outcome doesn't look good, in fact incurable. Now in both situations this may have an adverse effect on the person's potential mind state wouldn't you say? Now given the state where I am seriously depressed and want to die and offered euthanasia..depending on the mental anguish it seems logical to vote "yes". Why? Well, why not.. I'm suffering beyond all things imaginable such as the inability to carry on with the will to live because it is too painful.. body.. mind.. and to continue on this way in life wouldn't, from my perspective be living. Although I'd like to live had the circumstance be different but it jut isn't so and it feels like it's time to go. Fully aware of the finality of death as far as it goes.. but at the time it's what I want. The thought of pain has influence over thought and I can't think of anything other then to end this with death? Okay lets say there is no euthanasia option for me and so here I am alive... today is not so bad, the pain has subsided for the ONE MOMENT? .. Do I choose to see through a new perspective for this one day and if I am able to choose to die the next to avoid pain is this logical or suicide? Is there any guarantee I won't suffer misery another day illness or not well NO! Although how about that ONE MOMENT... it's possible there will be another.. as it would seem many people are mis~informed about their health.. should they decide they die before finding out the mishaps that occur .. such as the occasional innocent man in prison? Hmm..and those unexpected changes in health...miracles??
How about the person suffering this horrific burden of a illness for sure to experience the slow or quick torture ripping through their body.. which no doubt impacts their mind..their perspective, to what seems a good idea in the moment. Although last time I checked pain = learning tool. Through our own or others pain do we learn a lot such as love, courage, compassion, patience, appreciation, understanding, to name some. Hey I believe everyone has the right to die just as much as they have the right to live.. but consider this.. people who have no support or who are not loved and even those with support and are loved who live in turmoil, if there really is no faith that they may experience that one moment for themselves.or for others .who can say unless we can see into the future...when considering this end to all.. who are you considering it for? Youth.. mentally ill? soon to be ill? .. what is considered a life to save.. a limp body with a vegetable mind? Should you be so sure one moment later wouldn't be lost for yourself, for someone else. In my opinion we need to come to some kind of mutual understanding from all perspectives instead of argue sides... and for those who have, are & will suffer an ill fate.. if you have walked where Gia Carangi (one or the first person to contract HIV virus) had walked as she'd stated .."Life and death, energy and peace. If I stop today it was still worth it. Even the terrible mistakes that I made and would have unmade if I could. The pains that have burned me and scarred my soul, it was worth it, for having been allowed to walk where I've walked, which was to hell on earth, heaven on earth, back again, into, under, far in between, through it, and above." I'm sure at times she would have opted for a quick death & we robbed of her tale as well. So if you have no journey to share or your pen run dry then the last question I have is can you trust your mind or the mind of others to guide you into death..the body may not lie but the mind is deceiving assisted or not.. old or young at heart.. good~luck with your decision (:

youdontneed2know's picture

this is a very one sided

this is a very one sided arguement granted you do make some good points but there is some good in euthanasia like if a doctor told you that youre going die very painfully and there was nothing they could do about it but they could kill you with no pain and you had full working of youre brain you would say no I wouldnt I would say yes

annonymus's picture

I am the minister of health

I am the minister of health and science in my country and at the moment we are digussing the issue of euthanasia and i am very against legalizing this issue. i think that this article would be a great piece of research to support my point to the parliament. i feel that people should not get the power to end a person's life even if this person is in great pain. a person should live their life fully with all sorrow and pain that comes in the way and should always have hope to get through all this in the future.

Serendip Visitor's picture

written by a wet behind the

written by a wet behind the ears student with no understanding of life and the limits of medicine.

Annanomus's picture

Euthanasia

Some of the people here are not accepting this very well. They are saying that it is gods job to figure out when you are going to die. I belive in god, but I do not thing that he wants you sitting in a hospital bed in mass amounts of pain. Think about this. God wants you to live your life at its fullest. This is not possible in a hospital bed in pain. Think about you in someone elses shoes. It is easy to say that you would want to live now, but when your in a hospital bed in pain that will never leave you, you'll want out.

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