With the growing nature of medical complication among patient globally, many families, friends and relatives have gone through severe psychological torture as they watch their loved ones groan helplessly in agony. Some of the medical cases are often impossible to find the cure. There is, therefore, a need for, further medical research to find the cure. The paper, therefore, seeks to justify ethical conditions necessary for euthanasia and give the difference between euthanasia and suicide.
Euthanasia is the practice, or the permit to take away the life of a hopeless patient with incurable and painful disease without inflicting further pain. Friedman further goes ahead to explain types of euthanasia that’s exits namely active euthanasia, perceive euthanasia, Voluntary, and involuntary euthanasia.
Active euthanasia is the acceleration of death of a terminally ill patient painlessly by injecting a lethal dosage of medication, upon his consent to end his life. In order to relieve them from severe suffering e.g. use of overdose morphine, whereas passive euthanasia as a method of ending a hopeless patient life without administering lethal dosage by the medical doctor. For example, turning off of the respirator, discontinuation of water and food to dehydrate the patient to death. Voluntary euthanasia is given at the request of the patient. Whereas involuntary euthanasia arises when the patient is unconscious or otherwise unable to make a meaningful choice, between living and dying, and an identified member of the family takes the decision on their behalf that will result in ending of one’s life. Suicide the act of intentionally taking your life without the involvement of any medical practitioner or a physician. For example, it can involve deliberate drowning in the ocean or even swallow or taking a poisonous chemical knowingly.
What Are the Ethical Conditions for Euthanasia?
When considering Euthanasia from a forensic perspective point, it requires the following: when it is scientifically proven, when there is no possibility of restoring back life from the sick, then it is important in keeping the patient in a vegetative condition through a heroic manner. Similarly, it is allowing for the preservation of the patient through deep freezing or any other artificial forms. At this point, the doctor will only try to maintain the life process rather than maintaining the dying process. However, in either case, the doctor is allowed to take any positive measure to end the patient’s life. The human life is regarded as sacred and, therefore, must never be wasted only under conditions advocated for by sharia law. This is a general question but not known by the medical profession. Doctors are never allowed to actively take part in terminating patient’s life even if there is a request from a family member, religious leader, or any other concerned person, or even if the patient’s condition is in a severe deformity, a disease that seems impossible to cure, unbearable severe pains that and cannot be alleviated by the normal pain killers.
In other words, what is expected from the doctors is to advice their patients in taking heart, and keep on reminding them the importance of tolerating their sufferings. However, this majorly does apply to the following mere killing cases: Intention killing of a patient who asks the physicians to kill them by any means possible, the physician-assisted suicide, and or the deliberate ending of life for the newborn babies with deformities, and can at times threaten or not threaten their lives. The situations below are instances of what the term “mere killing covers:” a treatment that in its continuation is confirmed but is being terminated by the concerned committee of medicine when it’s useless. It involves the artificial respirators required by the standards of current regulations and laws; denying to start treatment that is otherwise confirmed to be useless, as well as the intensified administration of strong medicine for the purpose of alleviating severe pain, however, it is well known that administering this medication may terminate the life of the patient.
Friedman, he defines ethics as accepted code of conduct that the society expect from an individual. The following justify the ethical condition for euthanasia, compulsory Euthanasia dictates that one’s life can be taken if the individual is said to be in a mental deficient, if not being physically handicapped that he or she poses a threat to the community. It is alleged that such individual can take other people’s life that may account back to chapter three of Netherland's constitution that is addressed in the murder law. In this case, it should be clear the individual’s life will be taken without his consent since he or she will not have the consciousness to permit his life to be taken. In such occasions, the killings are termed to be "mercy killing" since the killing will have its objective directed towards meeting the justice of other people given that his existence possess a threat to humanity. However, this does raise the question as to whether the individual really have the right to live? If so, his or her life will not be taken based on the threat that he or she had to the community.
The other justification stems from pregnancy and related conditions Gorsuch explains. If it happens that their exits a woman who laments of pregnancy pain, and it is alleged that the born baby has a right to live and that its life should not be terminated on the aspect that the woman is experiencing pain. In this context, it is suggested that the woman would be infringing the child’s rights by terminating the pregnancy. However, under various accepted and strict conditions similar to that of 90’s, the pregnancy can be terminated. For instance, it the mother’s life that is at risk and staying with the pregnancy will pose a death penalty to the mother. In this case, the mother is always allowed to terminate the pregnancy. Nevertheless, some countries’ laws such as Netherlands does allow its citizens to practice voluntary euthanasia under the following conditions;
- The individual who is alleged to be sick should be suffering from a terminal illness
- The verdict to end his or her life should come from the individual before the killing is done.
- The individual should request to do so many times and that he or she should be in his or her right senses; sober.
In such conditions, one’s life is to be terminated by the doctor and not any other ordinary person. However, this does raise the major question as to whether it is considered normal for a doctor to be the only personnel to be used for such activities. To some great extent, it is considered to be unethical since the Quran dictates that it is only the Almighty Allah who holds the last word for one’s life. In relevance to the same, it should be clear that the modern medical knowledge should be employed to prolong life instead of taking lives. The reason behind the individual’s decision to end his life is when some people might be imposing the penalty to escape some of their responsibilities; they tend to view the patient (the individual whose life is to be taken if it happens) as a burden to the society. In this case, the reason behind this verdict is considered lame. Therefore, the euthanasia should be carried out based on the facts that the statements are not from the victim but the surgeon or doctor and that the life is threatened.
However, some accounts from ascribe that people should be merciful and compassionate to each other. According to Gorsuch, humankind is entitled to appreciate another person’s wellbeing and that people should live like brothers, if not, sisters. Therefore, they do resolve that the society is contrary to the teaching of Prophet Muhammad. Gorsuch goes ahead mentioning that such individual who takes other peoples’ lives are ascribed to be human monsters and that they are just like a threat to humanity; they do not value the existence of another person. In spite the position, it is still considered that such individual does not consider the sufferings and agonies of the victims or other relatives of the victim. At times, such decision may not be fully agreed by the entire society since some are just done secretly without seeking the consent or opinion of people.
Patients with severe terminal diseases who show no health progress also call for administration of euthanasia. Gorsuch further explains that a patient in the final phase of cancer infection, who can neither digest food given nor take water can call for administration of euthanasia to relieve him from the suffering. This in-fact will relieve the family, friends and relatives from the psychological suffering and agony of watching their loved ones suffer miserably. Euthanasia is the only solution where the patient show hopelessness in further prolonging their life in intensive care unit as the bills keep piling up day by day and the patient has shown willingness through their representatives on approval by signature that the doctor should end the patient’s life as directed.
Patients who have been in a coma for way too long and that their life is continuously supported by use of artificial respiratory machine and besides that, they have never woken up from the vegetative state and do not respond to physical therapy have special suggestions. Willkie further suggested that this increases the psychological suffering from the family members and that either active or passive euthanasia would be appropriate to relieve the family from all this sufferings and unreasonable expenses that would continue to accumulate and this justify for euthanasia application to patients who shows no health improvement. Additionally, to support that patient who has been living through the help of artificial machines for a period equivalent to five years and cannot respond or does not show any chances of getting well soon can only worsen. Euthanasia should not be applied on demand if the family member is against the process but rather leave the patient to die a natural death. This will only result in a rather painful death to the patient as it affects his breathing ability as they are lowered in an increasing rate due to switching off of life supporting machines when the patient does not show improvements at all considering those years he or she has been in the support of the machine.
What Are the Differences between Euthanasia and Suicide?
Euthanasia, it the legal act of taking away or ending a patient life. The responsibility is always assigned to an authorized physician whom upon evaluation of the patient's state, determines what is best appropriate to the patient. Whereas suicide is the act of intentionally taking you own life by either swallowing or taking poison chemicals or substances. Suicide is normally a criminal offense and can land an individual in jail when it fails. It can also arise from depression or rejection from the community or family members.
Suicide is always a cruel and sudden act whereas euthanasia occurs through a thorough discussion with people concerned so as to achieve common agreement on the affected parties
According to the Quran, human life is very sacred and should be handled with passion and care. Terminal illnesses cause our loved ones to undergo unmeasurable pains, and it should be our responsibility to ensure our beloved ones do not suffer miserably. This sometimes leads to psychological torture to family members and huge medical fees to be cleared. The best drug that causes an individual to have deep sleep should be used, whereby the person dies in such sleep painlessly. Therefore, euthanasia should be supported by any rational person.