Euthanasia By Sarah Aldridge 8C
Euthanasia Definition • Euthanasia literally means “Good Death” in Ancient Greek and it is basically ending your life and making as painless as possible by taking drugs. Someone may also take someone’s life away if this person is considered helpless.
Types of Euthanasia • Euthanasia has been classified in three ways: • By Consent: The patient wants to ends his life. • By Means: The patient wants to ends his and does so by not taking his medicine or taking an overdoes. • By Assist: He is assisted by someone else.
History of Euthanasia • In the “Hippocratic Oath” which was written around 400 to 300 BC mentions euthanasia. • In the 1300’s it became an illegal act to commit any type of suicide. • Other that that, much of the public did not know about euthanasia until the late 1930’s. • In 1939 the Nazis made a program called Action T4 in which they killed children under three who had mental and physical problems. This program was soon extended to older children and adults. • In 1995, Australia legalized euthanasia but was overturned in 1997. • Washington and Oregon are the only US states in which euthanasia is allowed.
Examples of Euthanasia • A report from the Netherlands shows that 1,031 people died by euthanasia in 1990 without consent and has continued to this date. • A doctor in the United Kingdom called Dr. Nigel Cox attempted euthanasia but was caught and was given a 12 month sentence. Euthanasia is illegal in the United Kingdom. • In Scotland, a man smothered his brother after he gave him a drug overdoes but left the court free of any charge.
Key People and Organizations • The World Federation of Right to Die Societies was founded in 1980 and has 38 organizations in 23 countries. This organization is working towards legalizing euthanasia in as many places as possible. • The Dignity in Dying organization is a non-governmental organization in England. It is currently campaigning to legalize euthanasia there. • The Final Exit Network is an American organization promoting euthanasia. On April 12, 2007 it was suggested that two members of the organization helped a 58 year old kill herself. • There were very few organizations against euthanasia but there is one in BC called the British Columbia Parents and Teachers for Life.
Proposed Solutions • Many people have different opinions on euthanasia, from legalizing it to making it illegal. • Some people believe that we should have the choice of killing ourselves when the pain is too great. • Others believe that euthanasia is morally wrong and would hurt our family and friends if we killed ourselves.
The Biblical Perspective • I e-mailed my youth pastor for his perspective on euthanasia. Here is his response: 1. What do you think of euthanasia?Although euthanasia can end the suffering and pain of a dying person. I believe it can be a dangerous practice as it becomes more and more acceptable. The reason I think so is because once medical professionals are okay with causing the terminally ill (or other patients without any visible hope of improvement) to pass away, the line can become blurry as to what is determined "terminally ill" or "no hope for a good life".2. Why do so many people turn to euthanasia?It seems like a last resort, a final choice. People don't like to see their loved ones suffer, so they choose to "pull the plug" or allow doctors to use chemicals to induce natural death. I would hate to have to be in a position to make that decision as it seems to be a very inhumane way to end suffering. However, because I believe that God is the creator and sustainer of life, I think He is quite capable of allowing people to pass away when His timing and his perfect judgment is right.
The Biblical Perspective Contin. 3. Why is euthanasia legal in so many countries?I don't know. People are looking for ways to stop suffering, and this seems to be a humane choice.4. What does the bible say about euthanasia?The bible doesn't mention euthanasia exactly, but it does point to the virtues of suffering. God doesn't promise that we will have a pain-free life. But He does say things like we should rejoice in our sufferings because it "produces perseverance; and perseverance produces character; and character produces hope" (Romans 5:3-4). And we can see in many other places throughout scripture that God doesn't want us to cut short what He has planned for our lives - whether healthy or sick.Still, it's a very difficult topic to come to grips with. Not sure I ever want to have to make a decision based on the suffering of someone I love.
The Biblical Perspective Contin. • Although my youth pastor pretty much said it all, I would like to add on a few more verses: • “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 • “No man has power over the wind to contain it; so no one has power over the day of his death. As no one is discharged in time of war, so wickedness will not release those who practice it.” Ecclesiastes 8:8
Call to Action • While there is not much we can do here in Canada, but we can support groups that are trying to stop euthanasia.
Bibliography • “Dignity in Dying.” www.wikipedia.com. Wikipedia. January 23, 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dignity_in_Dying. • “Euthanasia.” www.wikipedia.com. Wikipedia. January 23, 2009 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia. • “Euthanasia and the Law.” www.wikipedia.com. Wikipedia. January 23, 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthanasia_and_the_law. • “Final Exit Network.” www.wikipedia.com. Wikipedia. January 23, 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Exit_Network. • “Horror In Numbers.” www.canada.com/calgaryherald. Calgary Herald. January 15, 2009http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/letters/story.html?id=35eab1d2-16d1-46d3-87f7-b994635e71e6. • “Man Walks Free in a Scottish Euthanasia Case.” www.bmj.com. BJM. January 16, 2009 http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/313/7063/961 • Peters, Darin. E-mail interview. January 17, 2009. • “World Federation of Right to Die Societies.” www.worldrtd.net. WorldRTD. January 20, 2009 http://www.worldrtd.net/node.