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Example research essay topic: Terminally Ill Patients Active Euthanasia - 1,812 words

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The Case for Active Euthanasia As I see it, the contention of the author is sound and balanced. She does not advocate outright euthanasia for everyone who she thinks needs it but in fact makes limitations such that she will not administer it to those who are not able to defend themselves because of certain disabilities, the babies and even the elderly. Yet, she is agreeable to have it done on those patients who are still able to rationalize and think for themselves. Procee's thesis is logical because she says that individuals may indeed be tinkering with life because of the way they put all the gadgets in order to save a person when he / she is really just going to pass away.

In the past it has been just a natural death, yet, todays modern technology has given a different kind of death to a person who is about to die but is attached to numerous life-saving devices. Thus, that in itself, according to Procee, is actually interfering with the natural process of dying a natural death. Most patients undergoing severe pain and trauma because of their lethal diseases would definitely choose death as a lesser evil as compared to their sufferings due to their diseases. In this sense, active euthanasia could be of much help to end the sufferings of these patients. (Last Rights 1997). Modern day technology has indeed innovated ways in prolonging the lives of terminally-ill patients but to the degradation of the quality of the lives of these patients. According to Dan Brock, patients, as well as their close relatives, should be given the opportunity to weigh the benefits and burdens of alternative treatments (10).

James Fletcher in his article Sanctity of Life versus Quality of Life said that modern medical innovations have indeed prolonged the life of the patients but it seems that in some cases, these have crossed the line from prolonging human life to prolonging patients suffering and agony (85 - 86). Thomas Sullivan also had the same argument as Fletcher in that modern medical technology have made it possible to prolong the lives of patients but more often than not, this delay in the death of patients have made considerable sorrows over the lives of the patients and their close relatives (53). The author looks also at the different debates involved and makes her own conclusions about the issues. Firstly, the author defines what euthanasia is all about and touches on the contentions of the pro-life activists as she narrates that these are people who strongly oppose any curtailment of life. Secondly, the author draws from her own experiences as a nurse and concludes that it is sometimes better to favor this right, within strict boundaries and given specific safeguards. Thirdly, the author looks into how the Catholic Church views this issue and finds that the church supports the belief that only God can take away life.

She is surprised that there is no debate from pro-life groups regarding adapting the extreme measures in order to keep someone alive. She contends that during the olden times, people would die of natural causes and so, who is man to tinker with the life of a human being, even if that means prolonging ones life. Fourth, she cites concrete examples when she worked as a nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ontario. People who usually take their lives in their own hands by taking the alternative means usually end up dead. Nevertheless, the author posits that patients need to have a voice as to how they would like to die.

In a way, I support her contention that people need to die with dignity and that if he / she so wishes, then euthanasia is an alternative. The claim of many, according to the author is that legalizing euthanasia can lead to widespread chaos and wrongful deaths is quite exaggerated because this practice will not be administered to the disabled, the elderly and to very young children, just like what the author believes in. Heated debates usually accompany the discussion of euthanasia, more so of active euthanasia. Euthanasia is like opening a Pandora s Box; opening up the matter could bring to intense debates among people. However, apparently, good consequences of active euthanasia provide more weight than the so-called negative effects of this procedure. Active euthanasia is not an ordinary issue.

It is complicated and varies in many instances. It is a deliberate shortening of human life through direct assistance (Darbyshire 1987). There are a lot of people who oppose active euthanasia. The author however, posits that because of the modern technology, people are not only able to live longer but also to die longer, to the detriment of the sick individual who sufferings are prolonged. This paper, therefore, argues that man should be given a choice about how he should pass away more particularly in cases when he / she has been suffering tremendously and the idea of a useless life is before him / her .

It agrees that active euthanasia in cases where patients dying is filled with severe pain or suffering is the only release from their otherwise prolonged suffering and agony (Brock 15). I think the authors methods of support are sound and convincing although there is a need for more back up examples in order to convince readers of its validity and in order to generate more support for what she wants to be done. As a nurse, the author recounts how she has seen the worst scenario where a patient is suffering while his / her loved ones look helplessly. The author mentions the Catholic faith as opposing any kind of euthanasia maintaining that only God has to right to determine ones fate. She presents the question: Should a family member, a medical professional, or the caregiver have the final say? In her pursuit of the answer, she comes across some rationality that is worth thinking about.

She contends, for example, that people might be playing God because they, too, are interfering with the natural death process with the way they attach all the tubes and oxygen in order to prolong the life of a family member or loved one. She says in no uncertain terms that Those opposed to the perceived cruelty of euthanasia should consider that to sustain a life that cannot breathe, eat, or function on its own is even more cruel. In the end, she claims that even if she is agreeable to euthanasia, she does not agree that it be implemented for babies, disabled persons who are unable to express their concerns, coma victims or other people who cannot express their wishes. In the end, she recommends that people should have a choice about ones final days while still competent to make those decisions. Euthanasia was derived from two Greek words which means "good" and "death." This is basically the meaning of euthanasia since it is an attempt to prevent the death process from becoming painful. (Euthanasia). Technology has improved facilities so that people are being kept alive for longer periods of time.

Active euthanasia is an active process and it administers a toxic substance or injection so that death is swift and painless as much as possible. For some, this move helps the family save up on expenses that could rise up so fast especially in the maintenance of the patients. Many opponents of this region contend that this move goes against the sanctity of life. They claim that life is a gift from God and no one can take that away except the giver himself (Euthanasia). According to author Humphry (1986, p. 86), euthanasia is not considered killing since killing implies that one takes the life of another against his will. Humphry mentions that constitutes the taking of positive steps in order to end the life of a terminally ill individual.

For instance, the Hemlock Society is one that takes positive steps in order to end the life of an individual who is about to die. The Hemlock Society is a group which supports active euthanasia for a person who takes rational steps in ending ones life (Humphry, 1990, pp. 116 - 117). As I see it, the contention of the author is sound and balanced. She does not advocate outright euthanasia for everyone who she thinks needs it but in fact makes limitations such that she will not administer it to those who are not able to defend themselves because of certain disabilities, the babies and even the elderly. Yet, she is agreeable to have it done on those patients who are still able to rationalize and think for themselves. Procee's thesis is logical because she says that individuals may indeed be tinkering with life because of the way they put all the gadgets in order to save a person when he / she is really just going to pass away.

In the past it has been just a natural death, yet, todays modern technology has given a different kind of death to a person who is about to die but is attached to numerous life-saving devices. Thus, that in itself, according to Procee, is actually interfering with the natural process of dying a natural death. Most patients undergoing severe pain and trauma because of their lethal diseases would definitely choose death as a lesser evil as compared to their sufferings due to their diseases. In this sense, active euthanasia could be of much help to end the sufferings of these patients. (Last Rights 1997). Modern day technology has indeed innovated ways in prolonging the lives of terminally-ill patients but to the degradation of the quality of the lives of these patients. According to Dan Brock, patients, as well as their close relatives, should be given the opportunity to weigh the benefits and burdens of alternative treatments (10).

REFERENCES Associated Press. Dutch Government to Give Opinion on Expanding Euthanasia Policy. USA Today Retrieved March 23, 2008 < web news / world / 2005 - 03 - 30 -netherlands-euthanasia x. htm >. Brock, D. W.

Voluntary Active Euthanasia. The Hastings Center Report. 22. 2 (1992): 10 - 22. ProQuest. University Library, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. Retrieved March 23, 2008 < web >. Humphry, W (1986).

An act of love. Nursing Times, 88 (37), 34 - 35. The right to die: Understanding Euthanasia. London: The Body Darbyshire, P (1987). Whose life is it, anyway? Nursing Times, 83 (45), 26 - 29.

Ellis, P (1992). Retrieved March 23, 2008 at: Euthanasia. Retrieved March 23, 2008 at: web Head. T. J. (1992).

Or an admission of failure? Nursing Times, 88 (37), 36 - 37. Last Rights. The Economist. 21 June 1997: 21 +. ProQuest.

University Library, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. Retrieved March 23, 2008 at: < web >. Procee, J. The case for Active Euthanasia.


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