- Shouldn't a person be able to say that his or her pain and suffering is too much to bear, and have the right to be free of that suffering?
Our duties toward others and ourselves certainly require reasonable efforts to alleviate suffering. At the same time, it is impossible to live without suffering, and therefore it makes no sense to talk about a "right" to be completely free of it. The pro-euthanasia movement maintains that our rights include determining the time and manner of our own death. First of all, given the fact that people die unexpectedly every day of both natural and accidental causes, this philosophy is patently absurd. If, however, one simply considers the so-called right to choose death when suffering is too great, then we have to ask the question of what kind of suffering qualifies.
Who is to say, in other words, that the suffering of a teenager who has just flunked his most important class in school, lost his girlfriend, and been kicked off the football team, isn't a suffering too great for him to bear? What if he thinks it is? Do we allow him to commit suicide -- because he has the right to determine the end of his life -- or do we call a crisis hotline? The question is critical, because either people do not have the right to end their lives in any circumstance, or else they do have that right, and the circumstances don't matter.
- What is the difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide?
One way to distinguish them is to look at the last act – the act without which death would not occur.
Using this distinction, if a third party performs the last act that intentionally causes a patient’s death, euthanasia has occurred. For example, giving a patient a lethal injection or putting a plastic bag over her head to suffocate her would be considered euthanasia.
On the other hand, if the person who dies performs the last act, assisted suicide has taken place. Thus it would be assisted suicide if a person swallows an overdose of drugs that has been provided by a doctor for the purpose of causing death. It would also be assisted suicide if a patient pushes a switch to trigger a fatal injection after the doctor has inserted an intravenous needle into the patient’s vein.
- Isn't euthanasia or assisted suicide sometimes the only way to relieve excruciating pain?
Quite the contrary. Euthanasia activists exploit the natural fear people have of suffering and dying. They often claim that, without euthanasia or assisted suicide, people will be forced to endure unbearable pain:
During a radio debate, T. Patrick Hill (who was then an official of Choice in Dying and later served on the board of directors of the New York Citizens’ Committee on Health Care Decisions) stated that continuing to prohibit euthanasia would, in some circumstances, “abandon the patient to a horrifying death.” (61)
Hill acknowledged that “even under the best circumstances active euthanasia is indeed a troubling issue.” But he said, “I do think there are very restricted circumstances where, in fact, it is the more humane thing to do rather than not to do. Because, not to do it would, as I say, be to abandon the patient to unbearable suffering, whether emotional suffering or physical suffering.” (62)
Such irresponsible claims fail to recognize that virtually all pain can be eliminated or that – in those rare cases where it can’t be totally eliminated – it can be reduced significantly if proper treatment is provided.
It is a national and international scandal that so many people do not get adequate pain control. But killing is not the answer to that scandal. The solution is to mandate better education of health care professionals on these crucial issues, to expand access to health care, and to inform patients about their rights as consumers.
In 2002, the International Task Force published an important book, Power over Pain, which is an incredibly valuable tool for people to use in obtaining the pain relief they need.
Everyone – whether a person with a life-threatening illness or a chronic condition – has the right to pain relief. With modern advances in pain control, no patient should ever be in excruciating pain. However most doctors have never had a course in pain management so they’re unaware of what to do.
If a patient who is under a doctor’s care is in excruciating pain, there’s definitely a need to find a different doctor. But that doctor should be one who will control the pain, not one who will kill the patient.
There are board certified specialists in pain management who can not only help alleviate physical pain but who are also skilled in providing necessary support to deal with emotional suffering and depression that often accompany physical pain.
- should euthanasia be legalized in Singapore
i think that euthanasia should be legalized in Singapore. if the people who are suffering in great pain, they can choose to do euthanasia also, it is dying in a peaceful way.
why should the government control our lives? in my opinion, everyone should have their own choice to die or not. Laws are only rules made by the society of what they think is right and wrong,
in the end of the day, this is our life and we should take control of what we want to do with our lives. hence, i think the government should legalize euthanasia in Singapore.