Duben 2016

Euthanasia – why not?

20. dubna 2016 v 16:57 | Labradorka |  ZPV - Poučné
Euthanasia - why not?
Increasingly, in the media and in conversation, we are hearing about euthanasia and the so-called "right to die."
Euthanasia is not a future problem. It is a present problem. It is happening now and becoming increasingly accepted.
Consider Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who let Janet Adkins, a 54 year old sufferer of early Alzheimer's, use his homemade "suicide machine" to kill herself. She pushed a button which released lethal fluids into her body. He has likewise administered death to dozens of others. "Killing a human being" is not a very nice concept.

1 What if diagnosis will be incorrect ?

Euthanasia would transform hospitals into unsafe places.

The problem is that if euthanasia had been legal, and if these people had requested it before time and the progress of events proved the diagnosis to be incorrect, an "innocent life" would have been lost, and, the error not discovered until the coroner's post-mortem .
In the case of Nancy Crick an Australian patient of Dr. Philip Nitschke's who killed herself whilst surrounded by advocates of euthanasia, on the basis of a diagnosis of bowel cancer. Post mortem revealed no evidence of cancer. After this tragic event Dr. Nitschke's enthusiasm for euthanasia was not changed.

2 Large number of cases of non-voluntary euthanasia

Legalising euthanasia gives too much power to the medical profession. As Dr. Peter Saunders has written: Voluntary euthanasia makes the doctor the most dangerous (person) in the state. The report estimated that 5500 cases of "involuntary" euthanasia (patients who, although judged to be competent to make their own decision were not consulted) had occurred. It also revealed a large number of cases of non-voluntary euthanasia, i.e. cases where the patient was judged to be legally incompetent to make a request for the termination of life.

Historical arguments

3. The Hippocratic Oath

From the earliest times, medical practice has focussed on the preservation and enhancement of life and health. The Hippocratic Oath that most medical graduates give allegiance to in one form or other, includes a commitment to not administering any harmful substance to kill person's life

4. It has the potential to reduce interest in and funding for palliative care and the hospice movement

90% of doctors working in palliative care in Canada are oppose euthanasia.

Killing sick people is cheap.

Euthanasia could become an economical method of "treating" the terminally ill.

Providing palliative and terminal care is a highly skilled. The New Zealand Health system is struggling financially: there is currently great concern about people with potentially remediable problems being removed from public hospital operating lists because the District Health Boards lack the finance to cope with the waiting lists. Many of these people cannot afford private sector medical assistance.

5. The medical personnel who commit euthanasia suffer personal consequences.

The act of euthanasia is neither easy nor peaceful.
It is a difficult thing to do, and medical personnel is adversely affected. In Belgium, doctors are entitled to psychotherapy after euthanizing a patient. It is not uncommon to see Belgian nurses take a day off when they know that euthanasia is planned.

Euthanasia is not in the best interests of the person

It is easy to imagine cases where a patient could request euthanasia, freely or under pressure, while it goes against her best interests.
  • The diagnosis is wrong and the patient is not suffering from a terminal illness.
  • The prognosis is wrong and the patient will not die quickly.
  • The patient does not receive good care and suffering could be alleviated.
  • The doctor does not know all the treatment options that could be offered to the patient. Veterinarians receive five times more training than doctors about pain management!
  • The request for euthanasia is often a cry for help. The patient does not really want to die, he wants to see his symptoms and fears treated and relieved.
  • The patient is depressed and believes that his situation is worse than it really is.
  • The patient maintains unrealistic fears about possible future pain.