Euthanasia is Humane
Terminally ill people rarely die swiftly or comfortably. Their death experience is usually prolonged that leaves them in excruciating pain (Young). Euthanasia is "a deliberate act that causes death usually by a doctor with the primary intention of ending the life of another person, in order to relieve any given individual of suffering" (Humphry). For centuries, euthanasia had normally been understood to mean the process of relieving of pain from dying. Nowadays with all the advancements in technology, people who are terminally ill have more options, as well as more dignity when deciding weather or not to choose euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, (McCuen). In this sense, euthanasia, which comes from a Greek word that means "good death" or "dying well", should be viewed as a moral and merciful act that relives suffering and honors ones life.
Euthanasia seems is merciful when we consider the awfulness that surrounds the end of life. According to the rand corporation, "40 percent of American deaths are preceded by a ten-year period of dementia, confusion, and severe weakness"(Humphry). In addition to intense pain, there are numerous of reasons that lead to the terminally ill to want to end their life from physician assisted suicide. I believe those with terminal illnesses wouldn't want to end off a dignified life of accomplishments and happiness by being unable to go to the bathroom alone or being able to remember the closest of family members. Americans should be in such situations to treat our loved ones with as much sympathy and care as we do our pets, which we put out of their misery when they pass the point of comfort (Humphry). When a pet reaches this painful point, we graciously help them toward life's end rather than force them to tough it out on their own. Dr. Heslin has said: "We put our pets down when we want to save them from suffering. We keep our patients alive despite our occasional failure to keep severe pain at bay and calls their peace" (McCuen). He argues that a veterinarian should be among the few people to determine how one ends their life, because of the veterinarians "pragmatic approach to quality of life issues" (McCuen). It's definitely possible to be able to show the same compassion and care to end the lives of loved ones who are in an unfortunate situation. It is up to the doctors to be able to put up a fight to terminal illness, but also the doctors duty to do what is best for their patients.
It is the duty of doctors to be able to attend to any of their patient's needs, especially if they are in severe pain. Obviously, a doctor job isn't to just make sick people healthy. In some unfortunate instances, people can't be cured or relieved from their suffering. At this point, a doctor's job is to switch from a healer to a pain reliever. With the consent of the patient, it's important that there is a general agreement among physicians that abide by their oath and save their patients from major suffering (Alpher). Such an agreement should be based on the patient needs of mercy from pain. For instance, in advance directives, people are able to outline their wishes and state whether or not they want to have any life sustaining treatment like a respirator. According to medical ethic professor Len Doyal and Lesley Doyal, "Doctors should be able to withdraw life sustaining treatment when they intend to accelerate death as well as to relieve suffering" ("Why Active Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide Should Be Legalized - University of Bristol"). In many traumatic cases, there is minimal brain activity, which the moral thing to do is not sustain life so that the body goes through more pain (Young). It should be known that there is a growing support and desire for laws that allow for the right to die under certain circumstances such as brain death and terminal illnesses.
There is an incredible amount of support that shows that euthanasia is moral and merciful. In 2007 for example, and Associated Press poll found that 68 percent of Americans said there are sometimes circumstances in which a patient should be allowed to die (Humphry). These results were confirmed by a Pew Research Center pool in which 74 percent American said that if a patient with a terminal disease is unable to communicate and has not made his or her own wishes known in advance, the closest family member should be allowed to decide whether to continue medical treatment (Humphry). Finally, the same poll found that 84 percent of Americans approve of laws that let patients decide whether not they want to be kept alive through medical treatment, (Humphry). These numbers represent very high levels of support for causing death under justified circumstances and should cause other Americans to realize that euthanasia is a humane decision to make at the end of life if necessary. Terminal illnesses shouldn't be an issue for an extensive period of time; it will become problematic for all that is involved. In addition to the pain relief, there are also other advantages that physician-assisted suicide presents to those eligible to do so.
The end of terminal patients life usually becomes a burden to more than just the patients. For instance, life support victims take up large amounts of space in hospitals throughout the country. There can be mass casualties like the ones in recent terrorist acts. It's possible for overflow of hospitals in these situations in which may lead to conflict. Also, life support victims sometimes leave a massive medical bill for the next of kin or any immediate family members. Many of those terminally ill now on life support made the decision to keep them alive as long as possible since they didn't have the option to end their life on the best note possible. Currently, it is illegal for physicians to assist in suicide in two thirds of the United States (Fraser and Walters). In those states, is also likely that the terminally ill will leave behind large amounts of debt for their grieving loved ones would have to someday deal with. It's difficult enough to.
Since death is devastating and sad, there can be no good death, but some deaths are simply better than others. Euthanasia is the key in creating more opportunities for many more to have the best death possible. If there are specified circumstances for when and how a physician can assist a patient in suicide, dying can become less of a burden and more of a celebration. This is why euthanasia must be regarded as a humane and merciful act that offers dignity along with compassion at the end of the lives of the terminally ill. In this sense, it should be present in human health care as much as it is present in animal care. There is growing support in favor of physician-assisted suicide because more people are coming face to face with severe diseases that forever change their lives.
We can weigh in the various merits of euthanasia against it demerits as a start to choosing what is acceptable under the current circumstances. There are rich people who can afford to stay near their terminally ill loved ones and pay for their treatment as well. They can arrange for the patient to be nursed at their own house as well. But the percentage of this adequately rich population is less than 2% of the overall poulation of United States of America [Gilbert, 1998]. Assuming a gaussian distribution of terminally ill patients throughout all the economic strata in the society, we can clearly realise the burden which the survival of a terminally ill patient puts on the bank balance of the supoorting family and on the hospital. The resources utilised by the hospital for these patients can be put to effective and rational use when provided to patients in need. Most of the terminally ill patients require immediate life support during all times. The effective distance between hospitals in America is 4.68 miles [NAMCS,1999-2009]. This is a good number when compared to other countries, but given the rate of emergency situations due to unlawful practices by certain groups, we cannot bank on the EMT reaching a hospital with a vacant bed which has a free immediate life support system ready on time.
Euthanasia also puts the family of the patient on an economic elevation. Average cost of keeping a terminally ill individual alive is $21,718 per year [AA Scitovsky]. The average salary of an American citizen is $50,756 [US Census Bureau]. This means that for an average American, 40% of her/his income per year would be dovoted towards the care of their terminally-ill loved one. According to a surve by valuepenguin.com, the average American spends $65 per day. This gives us a fuigure of $ 23,725 per year (including housing, food and transportation). For families surviving a terminally ill patient, this leaves only $5,313 as saving. Considering the current economic status of the global economy, this amount is not one which can survive you and your family for long. For a family to pay an average of $18,943 [topuniversities.com], this amount of saving is not enough. A survey in Oregon, U.S.A., one of the few places where "assisted dying" is legal, showed , however, that in 66% of cases the reason for patients' requests was because they did not want to be a burden. The patient has the right to choose how her/his life is going to end. Given the above statistics, it is morally correct for the patient to choose euthanasia over staying alive with no resourceful purpose.
Now, if we weigh in the pros and the cons, voluntary euthanasia maybe self murder but it does relieve your family of debt. It relieves the hospital of beds which can be used for people in need. It frees the patient from suffering. In some cases it also reduces the spread of the disease if it is contagious.