Good Morning ladies and gentleman. Today I am here to inform you about the topic of euthanasia and how it is perceived in the media. First you need to understand what euthanasia is. Euthanasia is a way of bringing about a gentle and easy death if you have an incurable and painful disease or just decide it is time to die. If that sounds like such as reasonable idea, bringing about a gentle death instead of a painful one then why is there so much debate about this controversial issue? Euthanasia makes headlines throughout the media and implies that one day you, or someone you love, maybe in a position to make that choice. Whether on the television, magazines, radio, newspapers, we are surrounded by this dilemma and cannot escape.
The media influences us about what is considered right and wrong. They portray stereotypes of people in different situations. Should we always believe what we read? Everyone seems to have an opinion on euthanasia, but no one has the answer. Is it an illegal act? Is it the individual right of choice? Should governments dictate legality or can the individual have self-determination? In the Australian an article on euthanasia was published headed, “Family wins right to let woman die.” (Show overhead) It is about a Melbourne man who has won a landmark court-fight to stop doctors tube-feeding his wife, whose condition is described as “vegetative.” The decision allowed her to die. The woman has a rare and incurable form of dementia.
Intentionally making someone die, rather than allowing that person to die naturally is the definition of euthanasia according to the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force (Euthanasia: Answer to Frequently Asked Questions, 1). This definition, itself, does not sound very appealing. The practice of euthanasia in any shape or form should never be legalized in the United States and should be banned ...
She has lived in a vegetative state in a nursing home for the past three years. Some people believe that it has taken far too long for this agreement to go ahead, while others have opposite opinions. Such as its against there religion and tradition, they believe you should never give up hope, miracles happen, life is valuable and you should let nature take its course. This is the long established ethical and legal position that “no one’s life is to be judged not worth living.” This is the law that has kept this woman alive to this day. Notice the media headlines, Family wins right to let women die! Ethical debate rages on wife’s life tube ruling.
These are strong headlines more intent on catching the reader’s eye and influencing them to read the article. An example of media manipulation. (Show second article) Let love deliver death. Notice this headline in a different paper and the photo accompanying it. The first article was facts on the story leaving the reader to determine if the court was right. The second article was more an opinion of the reporter slanting the story to back her position.
(note photo showing handcuffs and confinement. This is a suttle manipulation to make the reader think that the person in the story is confined with no choice) It is on the reader to separate fact from media hype and personal opinion of the reporter. Some readers understand this while others believe everything they read to be fact. In all cases the reader should keep an open mind and read more than one version of any newspaper article that he or she has strong opinions about. Are you for or against euthanasia? Should the law be changed? Should someone who is confined to a bed, with little or no brain activity be maintained by artificial means? Is this right maintaining someone’s life in this condition? Should you as the reader answer these questions for yourself or follow the position of the reporter? There is the position that if someone states clearly in a will or legal document that if he / she be incapacitated by accident or disease they are not to keep him / her alive by artificial means.
Consequently if the women in Melbourne had prepared such a document the husband would not be in this situation. Very often the media fails to mention these sorts of options in the reporting. The husbands actions are supported by his six children. Imagine the emotional strain this family has to undergo day in day out by seeing their loved one in this state of helplessness. There is also a financial consideration. The cost of keeping someone alive in such a state can place untold financial hardship on the family.
From reading his novel and his insight on what the Internet is really doing to our brains, I was able to contrast what Carr had said to my own perspective and connect it to experience’s I have had similar to his. Through decades, the evolution of technology has cultivated media into something so easily accessible. Thus, creating those using this technology, to be unfocused in our generation and ...
This side of the story is also often over looked by the reporter because he could be seen as being sympathetic to the family thus having an opinion that may not be popular in all sectors. Another example of the unending euthanasia debate in the media presents us the case of Pamela Wilson. (show overhead of Pamala) An anthropologist the 75-year-old is passionate about issues of social justice. One day Pamela Wilson will kill herself. She is not sick, dying, depressed she simply wants the choice.
She says “death isn’t very pretty in any circumstances but then nor is a face ravaged by cancer.” In this national magazine the story was presented from both sides with the reporter slightly siding with the ladies right to determine her future. Slightly but not enough to disturb either side in the on going debate. Selling magazines is the number one goal, reporting news worth stories second and causing concern among the readers not an option. In opposition pro-life organisations or anti-choice groups promote that interfering with the natural course of life and death is an unforgivable crime. These issues tend to polaris e people that few in the political arena or media have the courage to tackle and state a forceful opinion.
Defending the status quote is preferable to attracting the public condonation of religious groups. Therefore the government is reluctant to take a stand. Doctors on the other-hand travel in the “grey area” sometimes over medicating those terminally ill. The media as usual plays both sides for all it is worth. The media will report stories on euthanasia when they are deemed important enough or controversial enough to make headlines. These stories are usually slanted to the demographics and politics of there readers..