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Euthanasia Done By: Christopher ChewMak Wei Zheng Dai Tianxing Zhang Zhenglin
Definitions • Active euthanasia – where a person deliberately intervenes to end someone’s life, for example, by injecting them with sedatives • Passive euthanasia – where a person causes death by withholding or withdrawing treatment that is necessary to maintain life
Definitions • voluntary euthanasia – where a person makes a conscious decision to die and asks for help to do this • non-voluntary euthanasia – where a person is unable to give their consent
The right to die? • Legalizing euthanasia would help alleviate suffering of terminally ill patients • It is inhuman and unfair to make patients endure the unbearable pain • A adult should have the maturity to decide if he or she wants to undergo euthanasia • Health care cost is a concern for the family irrespective of euthanasia being legalized • Families may not have sufficient financial capabilities to carry on treatment
Analysis of England • Under English law, all adults have the right to refuse medical treatment, even if that treatment is required to save their life • This stands as long as they have sufficient mental capacity (the ability to use and understand information to make a decision) • Under the Mental Capacity Act (2005), all adults are presumed to have sufficient capacity to decide about their own medical treatment, unless there is significant evidence to suggest otherwise • The evidence has to show that: • a person's mind or brain is impaired or disturbed • the impairment or disturbance means the person is unable to make a decision at the current time
Analysis of England • If you know that your capacity to consent may be affected in the future – for example, because you may become unconscious, you can arrange a legally binding advance decision (previously known as an advance directive) • An advance decision clearly sets out the treatments and procedures that you consent to and those that you do not consent to • This means that the healthcare professionals who treat you will be unable to carry out certain treatments and procedures that are against your wishes
Analysis of England • This basically means that passive euthanasia is a viable choice in England • This always for situations when an adult can choose to die • Also, by withdrawing from certain treatments, a family also is not financially burdened • This is a choice that an adult can make for very practical reasons and no one has the right to intervene
Analysis of Netherlands • Euthanasia is legal • All patients (adults) are allowed to choose euthanasia • Parents are also given the right to choose euthanasia for their children who are minors • Euthanasia in the Netherlands is regulated by the "Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide (Review Procedures) Act" • In 2010, 4050 persons died from euthanasia or from assisted suicide on request • In 2003, in the Netherlands, 1626 cases were officially reported of euthanasia in the sense of a physician assisting the death (1.2% of all deaths)
The right to kill? • Mercy killing is morally incorrect and should be forbidden by law. It’s a homicide and murdering another human cannot be rationalized under any circumstances. • Palliative care and rehabilitation centres are better alternatives to help disabled or patients approaching death live a pain-free and better life. • Family members may influence the patient’s decision into euthanasia for personal gains like wealth inheritance. • Even doctors cannot predict firmly about period of death and whether there is a possibility of remission or recovery with other advanced treatments.
Analysis of Australia • On 25 May 1995, the Northern Territory of Australia became the first place in the world to pass right to die legislation • The Rights of the Terminally Ill Act lasted 9 months before being overturned by the Australian Federal Parliament • Today, Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide are illegal in all states and territories of Australia
Analysis of Australia • The only end-of-life laws that exist are a patchwork of Advance Medical Directive and Power of Attorney laws, none of which allow a person to ask for active assistance to die • These laws operate on a state-by-state basis. • The access to these laws depends entirely on where you live will • Many of the states do not enforce strictly on following the AMD and doctors can deliver treatment based on their own verdict
Palliative care • Palliative care is the is an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients • Palliative medicine is appropriate for patients in all disease stages, including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses and those living with chronic diseases, as well as patients who are nearing the end of life • Palliative care can now relieve suffering in the majority of cases. As a pro-euthanasia doctor in Holland, Dr Peter Admiraal, has admitted, “essentially all pain can be controlled … euthanasia for pain relief is unethical”. One doctor has said that “there is no pain that I cannot treat”. Perhaps 95 per cent of all patients can find relief from palliative care
Physician assisted suicide • Attempted suicide is an offence in Singapore by virtue of s309 of the Penal Code. Read together with s107 of the Code, any abetting of an attempted suicide is also a crime. Where the attempt to commit suicide succeeds, s306 of the Penal Code provides that the abettor of the suicide shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years, and shall also be liable to a fine. The law is therefore clear and unequivocal. Physicians who assist their patients in committing suicide will be committing a crime, given s306 and s309 read with s107.
AMD • AMDs are legally binding in Singapore • Patients are allowed to refuse treatment that is essential in the sustainability of one’s life • Passive euthanasia is legal
Questions • Do you think that euthanasia is morally right? • Do you think euthanasia is an effective solution to reduce one’s suffering? • Do you support euthanasia? • Do you think Singapore’s context allows for euthanasia and is it feasible?