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Friday, December 31, 2004

Euthanasia : Interesting Argument

The three main reasons sighted by the pro-euthanasia people are as follows:

1. Unbearable pain
Nearly all pain can be eliminated and - in those rare cases where it can't be eliminated - it can still 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. Everyone - whether it be 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 will not only help alleviate physical pain but are skilled in providing necessary support to deal with emotional suffering and depression that often accompanies physical pain.

2. Demanding a "right to commit suicide"
What we are talking about is not giving a right to the person who is killed, but to the person who does the killing. In other words, euthanasia is not about the right to die. It's about the right to kill. Euthanasia is not about giving rights to the person who dies but, instead, is about changing the law and public policy so that doctors, relatives and others can directly and intentionally end another person's life. People do have the power to commit suicide. Suicide and attempted suicide are not criminalized. Suicide is a tragic, individual act. Euthanasia is not about a private act. It's about letting one person facilitate the death of another. That is a matter of very public concern since it can lead to tremendous abuse, exploitation and erosion of care for the most vulnerable people among us.

3. Should people be forced to stay alive?
Neither the law nor medical ethics requires that "everything be done" to keep a person alive. Insistence, against the patient's wishes, that death be postponed by every means available is contrary to law and practice. It would also be cruel and inhumane. There comes a time when continued attempts to cure are not compassionate, wise, or medically sound. That is the time when all efforts should be placed on making the patient's remaining time comfortable. Then, all interventions should be directed to alleviating pain and other symptoms as well as to the provision of emotional and spiritual support for both the patient and the patient's loved ones.

Yesterday’s Answer: Guy de Maupassant
Yesterday’s Winner: Shub
Today’s Question: We all remember Khartoum (If you don’t, it was the producer’s horse) from Godfather. When was its birthday?



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