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Towardsa dignifieddeath

Amajorcontentiousissuein thehealtharenais euthanasia.Should people’slifebe takenwith their consentorshould theybe leftto facethenaturaldeathdespite their conditions?Should peoplebe givena justified deathinsteadof beingleftto experiencean inhumansufferingbefore theydie?Theseare thequestionsin my mind,andthere is alsoveryreasonforof optimismto believethattheyare alsoin themindsof manypeople.Euthanasiaisdeliberatedunder variousnameslike a dignifiedend,a mercifulending,a justified endamong others.

Manystateshavebeenin thepastagainst anyeffortto endthesufferingof terminally illpatientsuntil theysuccumbto their illnessin thenaturalway. In America, manystatesdidnot have provisionsallowingeuthanasiabuttoday,five stateshavetheseprovisions.Previously,onlythestateof Oregon legalizedEuthanasia. Theembracing of a dignifieddeathis attributable to thechangingtrendsandthegeneralperceptionin thecommunity.Apoll-conductedin1948 showedthat37% of Americans would rathergofrom euthanasiathan sufferingfrom a terminalillness.Anothersurveycarriedout in 2013 reflected51% supportedeuthanasia.Theincreasednumberof stateslegalizingthispracticereceivesthesupportof a simplemajorityof all theAmericans (Eckholm 2).

InthecurrentAmerica, a significantnumberof peoplesufferfrom lifestyle diseases.One of theconditionsprovingto a constantsourceof sufferingis cancer.Others are heartconditionsanddiabetes. Itreachesa timewhenthemedicalpersonnelcannot doanything elseto improvethepatientapartfrom sedating them as theyawaittheir death.Forthisreason,hospice servicesare on theincrease.Thepainthat accompaniesterminally patients,like cancervictims,is toomuchsuchthatitunderminesthedignityof a person.In additionto this,deathto thesepatientsis a certainty.The51% feelthatpatientsshould not besubjectedto thepangsof thisundeserving pain.Theyshould be givena dignifieddeathifitis within their will. Althoughsomestateshavenot yetpassedthislaw,morethan 3000 terminally illpatientsseektheservicesof medicalpersonnelto endtheir sufferingby takingthem to a fasterdeath.Erick Eckholm in his article“Aid in Dying: Movement takesholdin somestates,”letsa terminally illpatienttalkto us andthenationat large.Robert Milton is undergoingaseriousphaseof his lifesince heis terminally sick,andthedoctorsbelievehecannot surviveformorethan six months.Milton has triedto consulthis physiciansabout endinghis lifein themostprofessionalway,butthedoctorscannot hearanyof it(Eckholm 3).

Theconditionpresentedby Milton is enoughto eraseanyshredsof doubtabout supportingthispractice.Hedoesnot wantto undergoanothersurgeryto correcttheconditionsin his heartfearingitwill be worsethan thefirstheunderwent.Themostpitifulthingin Milton’s caseis thehehas an earnestdeterminationto bringhis lifeto before sufferingin theterminaldiseases.Heevenhas plansforemployingcrudemeasureslike mixinghouseholdchemicalsto poisonhimself. Surely,there will be nohonorin such a death.Thescenarioleavesmanywith thequestion,whydonot thedoctorsjustendhi lifesince heis willing.

WhenI figureout theman’simminentsufferingandcertaindeath,I donot findanyjustifiablereasonto lethim suffertheordealandthendieeventually.I believethateveryhumanbeingshould seehis /her endin a situationthat upholdsthehumandignity.I connectMilton’s storywith thepoemwrittenby Raymond Carver, “WhattheDoctor Said.”In thispoem,thepersona is terminally illandis waitingforthedoctor’sreportto knowhis fate.Theproblemwith his lungs cannot getcorrected,andthedoctoris certainthatthepersona is goingto succumbto thedisease.However,in thissituationwefinda strongmanwhowasalmostcertainabout whatthedoctorwasgoingto tellhim. Asheleavesthedoctor’soffice,nooneknowswhathegoesto dowith his life.

Thepracticeof assistedsuicidereceivesa lotof oppositionfrom thereligiousbodieswith thepremisethathumanlifeis sacred,andonlyGod should takeit.Otherphysiciansalsodiscouragethismeansof endinglifeinsistingthatitcripples theresearcheffortsandtheworkof hospice institutions.Terminaldiseaselike cancershould not alwaysgetequatedwith painandsuffering.Patientsare nowreceivingmoreprofessionalpainmanagementservicesin variousinstitutions.

Theincreasingnumberof peopleseekingmedicalaidto endtheir livesis due to thelowlevel of professionalexpertise of theAmerican medicalprofessional.Theylacktheskillsto assistpatientsin thephysical,emotionalandphysiological approachto terminaldiseases(Cundiff 6). In terminalillnesses,euthanasiais imminent.From thisbook,I havefoundout thateuthanasiacan beeitherpassiveoractive.Passiveeuthanasiaoccurswhenthepatientssuccumbto deathnaturallywithout itbeinginducedby anotherperson.Activeeuthanasiainvolvestheuseof variousmethodsto terminatelifeof a terminally illpatientlike givingthemanoverdose,switchingoff lifesupportingmachinesamong others. Netherlands is theonlycountryin theworldwhereeuthanasiais applicableto anywillingcitizen.In America, despite morethan 51% of thepublicdeclaringtheir supportforeuthanasia,theprovisionis not applicablein thewholecountry(Cundiff 7).

Conclusively,thearticlesI havereviewedagreeto thefactthathumanbeingsshould gettreatedwith dignityboth in lifeandat thehourof death.Theconditionof terminally illpatientsshould, therefore,be a prioritybefore theyopt to gotheactiveeuthanasiaway.However,thehighnumberof Americans supportingeuthanasiaprovesthatpatientsshould be allowedto givetheir voicein thematter.The3000 thousand patientswhoseektheservicesof medicalprofessionalsto endtheir livesare enoughto raiseinterestin theunderlying factors.Goingby theassertionof Cundiff thattheAmerican physiciansare not welltrainedto approachterminalillnessespeciallyin theemotionalway,their trainingshould getprioritized. Ifthisis not affected,I forecasta situationwherepeoplewill be usingcrudemethodslike resultedto by Milton ifthehospitalscannot meettheir requests.Theextensionof thelawto variousstateswill alsoincreaseas someof thehousesin variousstatesare stilldeliberatingon thelaw.

References

Carver,R. “What the Doctor Said.” CasaPoema.2001. Web &lthttp://judithpordon.tripod.com/poetry/raymond_carver_doctor.html

Cundiff,David. Euthanasiais not the answer: A hospice physician’s view.New York: Springer Science &amp Business Media, 2012. Print.

Eckholm,E. “Aid in Dying: Movement takes hold in some states”. TheNew York Times.7thFebruary, 2014.Web&lthttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/us/easing-terminal-patients-path-to-death-legally.html?action=click&ampcontentCollection=Americas&ampmodule=MostEmailed&ampversion=Full&ampregion=Marginalia&ampsrc=me&amppgtype=article&amp_r=0

Miljkovic,Miloš, Barbara,Jones, and Kenneth, Miller. &quotFrom the EuthanasiaSociety to physician orders for life-sustaining treatment:end-of-life care in the United States.&quot TheCancer Journal19.5 (2013): 438-443. Print.