Human euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, & withdrawal of life support for the terminally ill. These questions are about people who are terminally ill and will pass away in the short future anyway...
- Is it OK to "pull the plug"?
- When is giving comfort medication like morphine "too much" and causing a hastened death?
- is it wrong to hasten death?
- If a doctor simply prescribes medication that can kill a person, is that murder even though he doesn't give the medication?
- What about the pain and suffering for the dying and their families?
- Medical costs... think how many people could we save with the money we are using to keep people who are artificially alive on life support.
- What about people who don't have medical insurance? Should they be kept alive using tax dollars?
Just some things to think about.... This is a video that was shown in class.
I still do not have a perfectly formed opinion, but this is what I am thinking thus far...
I believe in God. I know that not everyone else does and that will definitely affect their opinion on this topic. I believe that our life is a gift and that we are here to learn and to help others around us learn and grow too. I know that terminal illness is a horrible thing and that it is accompanied by pain, fear, expense, exhaustion, and emotional taxation.
I also know that many of those side-effects can be helped by caring families, medications, and faith.
I do not believe it is right for a person to purposely overdose on medication to prematurely cause their death. I believe this is suicide because it is willingly taking in a substance that will kill you.
I do believe that a terminally ill patient has a right to be as comfortable as possible. This includes strong pain medications and comfort measures. I believe a person has the right to discontinue life support and let their body take the natural path to death. I do not believe it is right for a physician to prescribe an overdose of medication that would cause death.
I do not condone suicide, but I do respect a person's right to discontinue life-supportive measures like ventilators when they have made peace with the matter. Often the patient is unconscious and the family has to make the decision (which is very difficult). I would encourage everyone to have a living will outlining their end-of-life care and decisions so that the burden of deciding does not rest solely on the family.