Active Euthenasia — страница 2

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pain management techniques. Ought we not look into a suicidal persons emotional and psychological background before we conclude that his or her suicide is acceptable because they are going to die anyway? We ought to take into consideration, the statistics which tell us that fewer than one in four people with terminal illness have a desire to die, and that all of those who did wish to die had previously suffered with clinically diagnosable depression.6 If we choose to overlook these statistics, and others that tell us that psychotheraputic treatments are not only available, but equally successful among people with terminal illness, as among people without7 then we are indeed cutting that person’s life short, and thus one again, commiting murder. If a physically healthy person

who suffered with depression were to approach us with thoughts of suicide, we would comfort them, seek treatment for them, and provide as much as we were able, to see that they got the reassurance and the psychological and/or emotional help that they needed. Certainly we would not tell them that the choice was theirs and hand them a gun. Why then do we not do the same for those suffering with a physical illness? Further statistics tell us that the chances for living a happy life are often greater for a person who has attempted suicide, but are stopped, and provided with the help they need, than for individuals suffering with similar problems, who have never attempted suicide.8 It would serve us well to take notice of these statistics. We ought to be making every effort to find

alternatives to euthanasia, and help people with theire problems, instead of helping them to end what very well could be a happy life. One must also ask why some doctors would fight so vigorously to leagalize the practice of killing the terminally ill, while others maintain that there are many alternatives available that may offer a satisfactory and comfortable quality of life for those suffering from severe illness. Is it possible that some doctors are “selling death” for reasons other than compassion? If the possibility exists for this to be the case, than we ought to expect some doctors to abuse the system, as well as the rights and best intrests of the patient, in order to better themselves financially, or otherwise. I personally believe that it would be extremely

difficult, perhaps impossible, to legislate a point of illness or disability where euthanasia would be considered legally or ethically acceptable. To do so would be saying that all disabled or terminally ill patients have no chance for a happy and fulfilling life. I believe that we are taking quite a risk when we bring about another person’s death wilfully, thus assuming that we have the ability to look into the future and deem their life unlivable. Footnotes 1. Barbara MacKinnon, “Euthanasia,” Ethics Theory and Contemporary Issues, second edition, p.126, 1998 2. Barbara MacKinnon, “Euthanasia,” Ethics Theory and Contemporary Issues, second edition, p.126, 1998 3. TTI Market Explorers, Poll of 603 Adults in British Colombia, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, 1997 4.

Clarendon Press, “Concise Oxford Dictionary”, p. 895, 1995 5. Pieter Admiraal, “Euthanasia in the Netherlands – A Dutch Doctor’s Perspective,” (speech presented at the national convention of the Hemlock Society, Arlington VA, 1986 6. Brown, Henteleff, Barakat and Rowe, “Is It Normal for Terminally Ill Patients to Desire Death?,” American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 143, No. 2, 1986 7. Flora Johnson Skelly, “Don’t Miss Depression, Physicians say,” American Medical News, p. 28, 1992 8. Dahlgren, “Suicide and Life Threatening Behaviour,” (Stengel, supra note 4, p. 113), Attempted Suicides 35 Years Afterward, 1977