ARGUMENTS AGAINST EUTHANASIA
Regis Jesuit High School
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Course
Honors Brit & Brit Lit
November 6, 2007
“We had better be “sore afraid” of taking into our hands that which only belongs to God.” – Samuel 31:4 (The Bible)
It is God’s task to determine when one of his creations time has come, and we as mere human beings are in no position to behave as God and to end someone’s life. When humans take it upon themselves to shorten their lives or to have another do it for them by withdrawing life-sustaining apparatus, they play God and commit the mortal sin of euthanasia. Euthanasia is unacceptable by all means because it is a form of murder, it’s reasons may be based off a person’s desire to end their life due to depression, and it is a rejection of the value of God’s gift of the human life.
The taboo which once surrounded euthanasia, which prohibited its widespread practice, no longer exists in society today. The generation of today is embracing something that their forefathers loathed and would quite rightly stand against. Murder.
Murder, is the cold-blooded termination of another’s life. Murder is still considered to be one of the most abhorrent offences in the world. In some societies, the death penalty is the only sanction deemed fit for the occurrence of such an unforgivable crime. Conversely, in others, life is considered to be an inalienable right of every human being. Life cannot be taken away by the state, other individuals and in a time not so long ago, yourself.
... of us. Without which, we live a bland, meaningless life. The unbroken human spirit could not be more emphasised in this movie ... throughout the movie, the need for companionship, the unbroken human spirits and human’s tendency to reflect on the past. From ... flocking out of a building demonstrates the “breakthrough”. Human spirit was the major component motivating David to move to ...
Suicide, here in the United Kingdom, was treated as a crime. There were strong beliefs within society, derived from religion, that intentionally taking your own life was morally wrong. This view was reflected by the law. However, this “crime” was later decriminalised, subsequent to recognition within society, that survivors of suicide attempts needed help not punishment. There was a common acceptance of the idea that those who were suicidal needed to be shown that life was worthwhile and that they themselves were worthy of living.
Euthanasia is distinguished from murder, by many who agree with the practice, with concepts of rights, mercy and dignity. Euthanasia is defined as the intentional practice of ending an individual’s life, by act or omission, where the predominant aim is to benefit that individual in some way. Euthanasia can be; voluntary, where the victim/individual expressly requests the right to die or non-voluntary, where the individual is unable to request aid in dying. In the latter circumstance the individuals may be unconscious (i.e. in a coma), or unable to communicate for example where the individuals are in a state of paralysis hindering communication or are small children, as were the Siamese twins Mary and Jodie. Non-voluntary euthanasia may also occur were the individual is said to be mentally unable to construct a meaningless decision between life and death.
At first glance euthanasia sounds ethically and morally acceptable-but is it?
Hidden beneath the fancy language lies the reality of murder. Concealed behind the notion of rights are lethal injections. Masked behind the belief of mercy is the withdrawal of medical aid. Disguised behind the principle of dignity is the elimination of the burden on society.
... of the patients medical treatment with the intention to terminate life; Voluntary euthanasia, on request of the terminally ill patient, asking to recieve ... do think that the interests, beliefs and thoughts of the individual are higher than any law. References: Pickett, Joseph P. et ... people. I think that moral worries are up to the individual and their way of handling this. The potential for abuse ...
Legalisation of voluntary euthanasia will result in what is commonly referred to as the ‘slippery slope’ effect. Some of those in favour of the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia with the appropriate safeguards oppose the idea of non-voluntary euthanasia being permitted. Yet, if voluntary euthanasia is legalised others in favour of non-voluntary euthanasia would argue that non-voluntary euthanasia should also be permissible. After all if one form is allowed than why not the other? Why should patients who cannot expressly request euthanasia be discriminated against? Why should their right to end their life be taken away because they cannot communicate as opposed to their fellow human beings who can ask for death?
Dignity is one of the most reiterated arguments trying to validate the proposal of euthanasia. We have been told a civilised society should allow people to die with dignity and without pain – and with this statement I wholly agree.
Dignity is the value or worth which a human being has by simply existing not taking into account the actions or class of that individual.
This civilised concept has been mirrored in the abolition of death penalties; the life of a murderer is no less worthy than that of an innocent civilian.
Euthanasia is typically thought of as ‘mercy killing’, as aiding a terminally ill patient to die, to avoid the harsher symptoms of an incurable disease, intolerable pain and suffering and to evade the loss of dignity; the loss of self-worth.
However, I don’t believe a civilised society should help to effectively kill others who cannot take their own lives. Hospices and homes, catering specifically for those with terminal conditions, have been established with the sole aim to enable the suffering to die without the loss of dignity, without the loss of worth and without pain.
The moment we want to believe in something, we suddenly see the arguments for it and become blind to the arguments against it.
... have taken their oath, always to assist patients in prolonging their lives, and Euthanasia completely contradicts this. Their approach is 'Where ... the cure? Euthanasia does mean 'Good death', but there can still be no conclusion to a question, whether Euthanasia should be ... even though a patient's survival is highly unlikely; although patients in arrest are unconscious at the time of resuscitation, it ...
Legalising the deliberate killing of humans (other than in legitimate self-defence/war or possibly for the most heinous of crimes) fundamentally undermines the basis of law and public morality.
The power can be misused to get rid of specified individuals or groups.
Even if someone sincerely wants to be euthanasia this may well be due to depression or to a misapprehension of their true prognosis. Palliative specialists report that such requests are often used by patients to assess their worth and value to others. A positive response merely confirms their worst fears and such a decision, once acted upon, is irreversible.
Any form of suicide is devastating for the people left behind who love the person who has decided that his or her life is no longer worth living: it is especially damaging for children.
Another problem appears if others are empowered to make decisions for the ill
or incapacitated person. When some advantage may accrue to the carer on the
death of the helpless person (for example independence, money, property)
then there may be more motivation to make independent arbitrary decisions,
without taking account of the patient’s wishes.
A person’s expression of a desire to end his life may be influenced by a state
TEXT: 2Samuel 1:6-10
• And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.
the divine function, and interfere with the divine plan.
Euthanasia has been a hotly debated about topic for the past couple of
decades, but has recently been thrust into the limelight by many controversial
court and hospital decisions.
Euthanasia is defined as the “mercy killing” of a person who is brain
dead, terminally ill or otherwise at death’s door. This usually, but not
necessarily, affects people who are are separated from death only by machines.
Whether you personally believe “mercy killing” is a viable solution in a
hopeless situation or not the proponents for both sides provide arguments that
... question it? Instead of trying to help end patients' lives, people and physicians would be better served by improving all ... patient's death, for example through a lethal dose. In his own words, the infamous Dr. Jack Kevorkian describes the difference between euthanasia ... to do anything. It seems unfair that after living their whole lives independently, making important decisions everyday, that a person ...
can be quite convincing. Supporters of euthanasia say that it is such an
improbability for a miraculous recovery and a return to a normal life that it is
not worth putting the patient through all the suffering and agony that
prolonging their life would cause or the fortune of hospital bills that you
would pay. The opposition feels that it is not right for people to abandon other
members of the human race because there is always a chance, even though it is a
small one, that they will regain all functions and return to a normal life.
There are many cases in which euthanasia is acceptable. Brain death is
one situation which merits euthanasia. It is also one of the more common cases
where euthanasia is requested. Brain death is when all brain activities cease.
The lines are fairly well drawn in the law about patients who are
suffering but are still compotent, but when the law is asked to determine the
fate of a lingering, comatose, incompotent patient the lines begin to blur. In
many cases the courts turned to the patient’s family, but what if there are not
any or they disagree? In such cases who decides? In a controversial decision a
Massachusetts court allowed that it would invoke its own “substitute judgement”
on behalf of a mentally ill woman. In a second case mentioned in the January 7
issue of Newsweek, a Minnesota Surpreme court turned to three hospital ethics
committees to review a dying loner’s case, followed their collected wisdom and
ordered him off the respirator so that he could have a dignified death. “It is
the first time ethics committees played a significant role in the court” says Dr.
Ronald E. Cranford. Still the easiest way to know and respect the patient’s
wishes is through a simple piece of paper called a living will. (18)
It was stated, in the Bible, by the same preacher in Ecclesiastes who
said there is a time to be born and a time to die also said there is “A time to
search and a time to give up” (Ecclesiastes 3:6)
We need the honesty to admit death and the courage to discontinue life
... it's impossible to know whether there is life after death, belief in immortality is a timeless phenomenon. ... it is believed that there does exist life after death. The argument to support it being that ... it hard to figure out. "Belief in life after death is a source of personal security, optimism, ... never be know with absolute certainty until our time comes. Until then we must take into consideration ...
extending measures, because of the extreme amount of funds that go into
supporting a brain dead, comatose, or terminally ill patient for any amount of
time. Although brain dead and comatose patients do not feel pain terminally ill
patients do, so is it not better to stop the pain that prolonging life would
It also seems to me that the brain dead patient lying in the hospital
bed coupled to machines is unlike the person that you knew and loved. In U.S.A.
Today a situation was written about that promotes this way of thinking, it says
“Typical is the inert body of an eighty two year old woman, victim of a massive
coronary, lying day after day hooked up to tubes and wires with no prospect of
returning to consciousness, much less to last week’s vitality which her daughter
remembers as she says, ‘That is not my mother lying there’.” (34)
Many think that “We should be very careful in terms of our technological
miricals that we do not impose life on people who, in fact, are suffering beyond
our ability to help.”
In Christianity Today January, 1990 there is a statement that I think is
the epitome of all that advocates of euthanasia say and believe, “In todays
society, where technological advances have given us the power to prolong the
quantity of life long beyond what many believe is life with any dignity or
degree of quality, pulling the plug or removing the tube should not be
considered a sin of commission, murder, or suicide ; but a humble
acknowledgement of our finitude.” (6)
Should we ever give up on our friends and family, isn’t there always a
chance of normal life? “After an accident that seems to wipe out all or most of
its victim’s vital functions, it is often impossible to read the future. The
person might someday surprise us, wake up, and walk.” (Christianity Today Jan
Is it not better to attempt to keep them alive and they still die a
natural death than to not try and give up all hope on our loved ones? The
... be able to change the fragmented conviction of people living in a confused spiritual world. Simply put, ... Practicing Our Faith: a Way of Life for a Searching People is about addressing the need for sharing ... approach in ministering Christian’s way of life to different communities in order to resolve ... reexamining its relevance to our present and everyday lives. But though it may seem that representing ...
Cruzan case is one example where a comatose girl named Nancy needed a loving,
praying, and caring family. She did not need a family that would just give up on
her and let her slip into the eternal sleep of death.
Is it fair that people that barely new the patient are the ones to
choose the patient’s fate. Like the time a Minnesota Surpreme Court turned to
ethic committees, followed what they said and killed a dying man. (Newsweek Jan.
7,1985 p.18) I do not see how people who never even met the patient before he
was condemned to die are knowlegeable of the patient’s wishes or realy even what
the family desires. (18)
The Holbrook case is one example where a man was miraculously revived
after being in a coma for eight years after he was hit on the head with a piece
of firewood. Effie Holbrook said that she never gave up hope on her son. Her
prayers were answered February 25, 1991 When Conly Holbrook, called her name.
Holbrook then told his mother the names of the two people he said hit him. After
the assault, he was in a coma for three months before they had to remove part of
his skull to relieve pressure on his brain. He had been in a comatose state ever
Living Wills are growing in popularity since the numbers of “mercy
killings” have grown. A living will is a declaration of the desire for a natural
death. It is a means of retaining control over what happens at the end of your
life, even when you are no longer able to express your wishes.
To many people, the fear of a lingering death is worse than the fear of
dying, and a Living Will permits you to make certain choices when there is not
doubt that you are compotent. North Carolina and many other states have adopted
Living Will laws. North Carolina has recognized them since 1977. G.S. 90-321
provides that if an idividual has declared in the proper manner a desire that
his or her life not be prolonged by extraodinary means, and if attending
physician determines the individual’s condition is terminal and incurable and is
confirmed by another physician, then extraodinary means may legally be withheld
When you sign a Living Will the decision does not have to be a permanent
one. You may revoke a Living Will at any time by destruction of original and
all copies or by communication of your intention to evoke the will.
The line between whether euthanasia is acceptable or not is quite fine
and we all need to be careful when it comes to the point of euthansia. You must
have your priorities straight before you make a final decision on your, or
someone elses, fate. Would you want to be killed? Would you want your wife
killed after a car wreck or would you rather allow her or you to go on living by
life support? Euthanasia is so touchy that most people would never, and should
never want, to have to make this decision between life and death.