Technology has been a part of everyone’s life. It can be found everywhere, in homes, in education and even in the field of medicine. Technology lead to the further development of healing and curing. Because of it, doctors can cure patients more easily and effectively. However, technology is not always an advantage. It has brought several unacceptable ideas, one of which is the ending of a suffering patient’s life. This is more popularly known as euthanasia.
Euthanasia, from its Greek origin meaning easy death or dying well, is an action or omission which of itself or by intention caused death in order that all suffering may be eliminated. Euthanasia is more than killing pain, it is killing a person, a human being.
Euthanasia is very much against the divine law. Both the Christian and Islam religions condemn it. Verses in the Bible, the holy book of Christians, and Quran, the holy book of Muslims, would prove how religiously unlawful euthanasia is. Daniel 13:53 of the Bible states that “The innocent and the just, thou shall not kill,” while Exodus 23:7 tells that “The innocent and just, you shall not put to death.” While the Quran says in chap. 6 verse 151: “Take not the life Allah made secret, otherwise in the course of justice.” In other words, we do not have a claim on death, but rather death has a claim on us. We are not the absolute masters of our life, only God is. He is the supreme master of life and we have no right to usurp His dominion.
As defined, euthanasia is a means to eliminate suffering. It implies that all sufferings are meaningless. We should remember that it is through Jesus’ suffering that He triumphs. I am not saying that we should always welcome pains. What I am trying to express is that mercy killing undermines the part of suffering in our lives. Euthanasia deprives us, particularly the sick, an opportunity to grow in trust, faith, and strength. Instead of thinking of suffering as only ache and agony, we should look at suffering as a way to develop our character and as a test of courageousness. No one likes suffering, no one is willing to suffer, but suffering is inevitable, and so, we must learn to face and conquer it, not by any method of killing. Choosing euthanasia is just like accepting defeat against pain and suffering.
Besides the divine law, mercy killing violates the International Code of Medical Ethics and the Hippocratic Oath. Both the code and the oath dictate that doctors have an obligation to preserve human life from its moment of conception. Thus, a physician acts unethically if he intentionally and deliberately enables and individual to end his life.
The law has a powerful effect on the public’s conscience. When a practice becomes widely used and accepted, people tend to support it and cease to have strong feelings about it. An example is the euthanasia program in Nazi Germany. The conscience of doctors who were assigned to terminate lives became numbed. In addition to that, the program gained support from the crowd. The view of society on the protection of human life changed.
Allowing involuntary euthanasia can lead to abuse of opportunities by manipulating a patient’s consent. When a someone agrees to end the life of a dying incompetent adult or a minor, the process of ending the patient’s life is called involuntary euthanasia. For example, an incompetent and very sick and old rich man is suffering from extreme pain and he is incapable of deciding whether to allow the doctor to perform mercy killing or not. His son, daughter, or whoever his heir to his riches is, will have to make a decision. And it is not impossible that this heir agrees to euthanasia, even though the patient disagrees, only because of desire for wealth.
Of all the effects, this is the most unlikely one. Killing would be more popular than caring. New mechanisms of killing would certainly be more popular, researched, and discovered than new processes of healing or curing. But killing should never be an option to relieve of pain. Medical researches should expanded and knowledge to health care must be added. When a life is weak, full of depression and pain, that life is most deserving of tender loving care. In short, killing should never be considered as care. We care for life, we do not end it.
The thing which mercy killing undermines the most is the value of life. Euthanasia supporters declare that the life of a patient with an incurable disease is not anymore worth living. In contrast, a life not worth living does not exist. We have no right to judge someone’s life as useless. A human being is worth more than an entire physical universe. Human life has an infinite value. When we base the right to continue living on the quality of life, there is no logical place to draw the line.
Scientific study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry shows that only one of four terminally ill patients are willing to die. It was proven that those who chose to die have clinical diagnosable depression. Effective therapeutic treatment is possible with these patients. Compassionate counseling and assistance, which are provided in hospices, as well as psychological care can prevent a patient to choose death. This will encourage patients to value more their lives. As a support, we must foster positive attitudes towards these people.
Euthanasia should never be implemented. Legalization of it would only give way to numerous conflicts. It looks down on several facts and most of all, it is against God. What euthanasia only does is create sinners. People will violate laws and worst of all kill themselves and fellow human beings.
USA: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1977
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If Mercy Killing Becomes Legal