Thursday, February 11, 2016

Letting Go...

Let’s say (hypothetically speaking) that one of your loved ones has a chronic disease and has been hospitalized for months. Let’s also say that the illness has gotten worse and you and your loved one has just been informed by the physician that it is incurable. The disease is so rare, that there isn’t enough people suffering from it around the world to put the time in researching a curable solution. The doctor also mentions that the disease will continue to get worse, however the patient will not have a quick death, rather the patient will live out the rest of their life in agony as the disease continues to progress.

As you’re standing there, digesting this horrible news and wondering why this is happening, your love one speaks out and mentions another solution, that being, commencing euthanasia. Now, being put in this situation what would be your reaction? Would you be sympathetic and supportive or would you be completely against it? Euthanasia is another way of saying mercy kill or a fall back plan, is it the process of painlessly ending a patients’ life who is suffering from an incurable disease that causes massive chronic pain, terminal disease, or is in a coma.

Euthanasia is a very controversial topic. Where should the line be drawn in order to perform it? This practice goes against many religions and brings out the question of “who are we to decide when a person should die?” However, people may have opinions that go against it, but once put in that situation would they still think the same way? There are many famous cases that would make someone think twice of agreeing or disagreeing with euthanasia, cases like “Terri Schiavo” or Dr. Kevorkian (also known as Dr. Death). Both of these cases have brought a lot of attention to whether or not initiating euthanasia is justifiable.

Overall, this practice is only legal in five countries like the Netherlands, Ireland, and Colombia. Assisted suicide, which is a similar practice however the patient is given the lethal means and they can choose when to use it is legal in five countries: Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Albania, and even parts of the United States (Washington, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico, Montana, and California).

Posted by David Mota (2)


  1. With respect to me, I am against Euthanasia. Who are we to take the life of someone? That is your destiny, you should accept it and be patient. You never know what will happen, your love may feel better and get her/his health back.

    Mohammed Saleh

    1. That is a valid point, miracles do occur that go against all fundamentals of medicine.

      David Mota

  2. Euthanasia, I believe, is something that the dying patient should decide if they want. Knowing that a family member is laying there in so much pain, slowly dying, is pain that no one will ever be able to feel. I think that knowing you are dying a slow death is mentally, physically, and emotionally tolling. Why should someone have to wait in pain to die when they can do it comfortably and peacefully?

    Posted by Caitlyn Cordaro

  3. I believe that Euthanasia should be the choice of the individual. No one can imagine the pain that someone is going through unless they actually experience it for themselves. If that person is in that much pain and dying a slow painful death then they should have the choice to end their suffering. Although I would never want one of my loved ones to be euthanized, I do believe it should be their choice. Knowing that they are no longer suffering would be a lot better than knowing how miserable they are for the rest of their life.

    -Rebecca Thomas

  4. No one should ever decide for the patient. It's up to the patient and the patient only in my mind. Relating back to the chronic illness the prospect of it existing always reminds me how cool the complexity of the human genome is. Anyways it may be rare, but it could also turn out to be easily curable. That person in a coma may wake up. If the person would rather die instead fighting it, it's their choice. Some conditions are out there that are too taxing on the person, so if they decide they want to go it's their decision.

    Commented by Nick Michienzi

  5. I believe Euthanasia should be legal in the United States. If the person who is suffering can make clear decisions, they should be able to decide if they want to be euthanized. Why let an incurable disease that is painful, take years to end a persons life? Even though this is a sad thought, I believe the patient would feel more at ease planning this. It leaves them time to say goodbye to their loved ones and make sure everything is the way they want it before. Overall, it ultimately should be the decision of the patient if they want to continue their life or not.

    Cara Murphy

  6. When it comes to this topic, I feel as though only the person who's life will be taken can make this decision. While i see how it can conflict with other peoples views on what life is, it doesn't seem right to force them to live a life in pain. It may be hard for family to accept, but they should respect the one affected.

    Chris Richard

  7. A great portion of my semester in medical ethics was about the topic of Euthanasia. For one of my papers I had to watch a documentary called "How to Die in Oregon" and it followed patients that wanted to undergo euthanasia. It is a big controversy in our country because it is letting one "be killed" but the documentary tried to show that they not only wanted to do it for themselves but it was also based on their loved ones and those who they felt also had to deal with the burden of their sickness. It may seem like the easy way out for those who are against it but it is an emotional decision that is very hard to make.

    Sarah Ona

    1. You're right about how people are quick to point out how it's an easy way out. However, strength is shown in a different ways. Deciding on letting go at the right moment is a type of strength that a lot of people lack. Emotions plays a huge part, being scared of the after life puts fear in people's hearts and so they thrive to hold on to life.

      David Mota

  8. I've always struggled with this topic. I've never had anyone in my family who has been in the position to consider euthanasia and I hope to never be in that position. But when talking about this issue we have to think about what we consider sufficient grounds for euthanasia or assisted suicide. Would it just apply to people in physical pain or do people with mental illness also get to decide when they want to go? What are the boundaries? We also have to consider the value of human life vs. quality of life. Obviously I don't have an answer to these questions, and I don't even slightly lean towards either side. I have no idea. I guess I'd have to be in that position to make a decision.

    Forootan Alizadehasil

  9. I've always struggled with this topic. I've never had anyone in my family who has been in the position to consider euthanasia and I hope to never be in that position. But when talking about this issue we have to think about what we consider sufficient grounds for euthanasia or assisted suicide. Would it just apply to people in physical pain or do people with mental illness also get to decide when they want to go? What are the boundaries? We also have to consider the value of human life vs. quality of life. Obviously I don't have an answer to these questions, and I don't even slightly lean towards either side. I have no idea. I guess I'd have to be in that position to make a decision.

    Forootan Alizadehasil

  10. It is clear to see how controversial euthanasia truly is by simply reading the comments on this post. I find it difficult to 100% commit to either side of the argument because I think it is impossible to have a certain opinion unless you are in the exact situation, like you said. It is easy to say that euthanasia is bad when you don't know anyone dying, but I think that if it was your brother or mom in that hospital bed one might think otherwise.

    Ashley Geary

  11. My stance on this controversial issue is that euthanasia should be allowed but only in special circumstances. I feel that it would extremely selfish and inconsiderate to force someone to continue on with their life when they're in extreme pain. The situation turns personal when considering your own family, but it is still a difficult decision nonetheless.

    Mahder Haile

  12. I have too struggle with this issue. There are definitely many things involved in this topic. But this decision, I believe, should not be up to society. This is a personal matter and I think the individual should be allow to choose. We do not know what people go through when they have an illness. However, I think that before this decision is made, a psychological evaluation should be given to make sure the individuals are making the right decision for them.

    Yerkely Gomez

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