End of life medical issues are a very sensitive subject for doctors, patients, and family members. Some support the patients’ right to terminate their own life. Euthanasia loosely called physician assisted suicide is when one takes deliberate action to end life when faced with persistent suffering and certain death (Medical News Today, 2012).Many feel that patients should not have to suffer unjustly when faced with serious pain and debilitating illness. Often times it is just as difficult for family members to stand by and watch loved ones suffer. As someone that has witnessed both my grandmothers die on hospice care in the last six months, I know that watching someone die can be more painful than losing them all together. With as much compassion as I have for people in pain, I do not believe people have the right to end their lives whenever they chose.
I oppose euthanasia and physician assisted suicide (PAS) because I believe that it is a doctor’s duty to keep patients alive, it may create financial and ethical issues when it comes to patients and insurance companies, and God should be the only one who decides when ones journey has been completed. First, I oppose euthanasia because I believe that it is a doctor’s duty to keep patients alive. If doctors were allowed to preform euthanasia I believe that it would put a lot of physicians in the difficult place of deciding weather to treat a patient to the best of their ability or to end the patient’s life. I believe that it is a physician’s duty to offer patients the highest level of care. Physicians would also be put in a position where their own personal beliefs and moral bias would play in to their treatment plans. A non-religious objection to PAS would be that its legalization could inspire a lack of respect for human life (Mosser, 2012).
Next, I oppose euthanasia because it may create financial and ethical issues when it comes to patients and insurance companies. Who would get to decide what circumstances would the financial cost be too high to prolong someone’s life? We would have to have a general rule of practice when deciding when treatments would be denied based on one’s health. I believe that each person’s medical issues and chances of survival are unique, and they should be treated as an individual. If care were based on the ability to provide physician assisted death in the United States I believe that patients would not receive the best care. Insurance companies and doctors would be making decisions based on financial gain or loss. Physicians and insurance companies may even persuade patients and patient’s families to make decisions regarding care that are solely based on money. In the video End of Life Care, Professor of Law Richard Epstein describes people in terms of investments, in which hospitals would bounce from the emergency room those who are most likely to die (ForaTv, 2009).
Lastly, euthanasia should not be an option because only God should be allowed to determine when ones journey has been completed. I believe as long as a person is present their life holds value. Only God should be able to choose when your life is complete. He has put us here for a reason, even though at times that reason is not evident to us. Our bodies are designed to endure only what they can handle, it is only when the body can endure no more that it shuts down. People should not be the decision makers on who gets to live or die, that type of power should not be held by a human being. Mosser states that, “life is a precious gift from God; to end it prematurely is to reject that gift, only God should determine when life should end” (Mosser, 2009).
In conclusion, end of life care and physician assisted suicide are moral and ethical issues that often have a lot of grey area. It is hard to conclusively state what is right or wrong for an individual or a family member. I believe that health issues and treatment plans for an individual must be viewed as unique. With that being said, we must however have a certain set of guidelines that applies to everyone in order to maintain a fair society. I believe that it is a doctor’s duty to keep patients alive; euthanasia may create financial and ethical issues when it comes to patients and insurance companies, and God should be the only one who decides when ones journey has been completed. These reasons have persuaded me to oppose euthanasia as well as physician assisted suicide.
ForaTv. (2009, Sep. 24). End-of-life care dilemma: Who gets booted from the ICU? [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XpAYPgjMYg Mosser, K. (2013). Understanding Philosophy San Diego, Ca: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. What is Euthanasia (assisted suicide)? March 19, 2010. www.medicalnewstoday.com/artices Retrieved June 5, 2014.