Ethics in euthanasia essay

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In India abetment of suicide and attempt to suicide are both criminal offences. The accused were convicted in the trial court and later the conviction was upheld by the High Court. This made the Supreme Court to rethink and to reconsider the decision of right to die. The Court held that the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution does not include the right to die 5. Regarding suicide, the Supreme Court reconsidered its decision on suicide.

It has also clearly stated that a person attempts suicide in a depression, and hence he needs help, rather than punishment. Therefore, the Supreme Court has recommended to Parliament to consider the feasibility of deleting Section from the Indian Penal Code 3. The practice of palliative care counters this view, as palliative care would provide relief from distressing symptoms and pain, and support to the patient as well as the care giver.

Palliative care is an active, compassionate and creative care for the dying 6. It is the duty of the State to protect life and the physician's duty to provide care and not to harm patients. If euthanasia is legalised, then there is a grave apprehension that the State may refuse to invest in health working towards Right to life. Legalised euthanasia has led to a severe decline in the quality of care for terminally-ill patients in Holland 7. Hence, in a welfare state there should not be any role of euthanasia in any form.

Symptom of mental illness : Attempts to suicide or completed suicide are commonly seen in patients suffering from depression 8 , schizophrenia 9 and substance users It is also documented in patients suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder Hence, it is essential to assess the mental status of the individual seeking for euthanasia. In classical teaching, attempt to suicide is a psychiatric emergency and it is considered as a desperate call for help or assistance.

Several guidelines have been formulated for management of suicidal patients in psychiatry Hence, attempted suicide is considered as a sign of mental illness Malafide intention : In the era of declining morality and justice, there is a possibility of misusing euthanasia by family members or relatives for inheriting the property of the patient. The Supreme Court has also raised this issue in the recent judgement 3. Hence, to keep control over the medical professionals, the Indian Medical Council Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics Regulations, discusses euthanasia briefly in Chapter 6, Section 6.

There is an urgent need to protect patients and also medical practitioners caring the terminally ill patients from unnecessary lawsuit. Law commission had submitted a report no to the government on this issue Emphasis on care : Earlier majority of them died before they reached the hospital but now it is converse. Now sciences had advanced to the extent, life can be prolonged but not to that extent of bringing back the dead one. This phenomenon has raised a complex situation. The principle is to add life to years rather than years to life with a good quality palliative care.

The intention is to provide care when cure is not possible by low cost methods. Hence, euthanasia for no cure illness does not have a logical argument. Whenever, there is no cure, the society and medical professionals become frustrated and the fellow citizen take extreme measures such as suicide, euthanasia or substance use. In such situations, palliative and rehabilitative care comes to the rescue of the patient and the family. At times, doctors do suggest to the family members to have the patient discharged from the hospital wait for death to come, if the family or patient so desires.

Various reasons are quoted for such decisions, such as poverty, non-availability of bed, futile intervention, resources can be utilised for other patients where cure is possible and unfortunately majority of our patient's family do accordingly. Many of the terminally ill patients prefer to die at home, with or without any proper terminal health care. The societal perception needs to be altered and also the medical professionals need to focus on care rather in addition to just cure. The motive for many euthanasia requests is unawareness of alternatives.

However, when patients hear that a lot can be done through palliative care, that the symptoms can be controlled, now and in the future, many do not want euthanasia anymore Commercialisation of health care : Passive euthanasia occurs in majority of the hospitals across the county, where poor patients and their family members refuse or withdraw treatment because of the huge cost involved in keeping them alive. If euthanasia is legalised, then commercial health sector will serve death sentence to many disabled and elderly citizens of India for meagre amount of money.

This has been highlighted in the Supreme Court Judgement 3 , Research has revealed that many terminally ill patients requesting euthanasia, have major depression, and that the desire for death in terminal patients is correlated with the depression In Indian setting also, strong desire for death was reported by 3 of the advanced cancer patients, and these had severe depression They need palliative and rehabilitative care. Palliative care actually provides death with dignity and a death considered good by the patient and the care givers.

This argument is further defended for those, who have chronic debilitating illness even though it is not terminal such as severe mental illness. Majority of such petitions are filed by the sufferers or family members or their caretakers.

The caregiver's burden is huge and cuts across various domains such as financial, emotional, time, physical, mental and social. Hence, it is uncommon to hear requests from the family members of the person with psychiatric illness to give some poison either to patient or else to them. Refusing care : Right to refuse medical treatment is well recognised in law, including medical treatment that sustains or prolongs life.

For example, a patient suffering from blood cancer can refuse treatment or deny feeds through nasogastric tube. Recognition of right to refuse treatment gives a way for passive euthanasia. Many do argue that allowing medical termination of pregnancy before 16 wk is also a form of active involuntary euthanasia. This issue of mercy killing of deformed babies has already been in discussion in Holland Right to die : Many patients in a persistent vegetative state or else in chronic illness, do not want to be a burden on their family members.

Encouraging the organ transplantation : Euthanasia in terminally ill patients provides an opportunity to advocate for organ donation.

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This in turn will help many patients with organ failure waiting for transplantation. On the contrary, the state does not own the responsibility of promoting, protecting and fulfilling the socio-economic rights such as right to food, right to water, right to education and right to health care, which are basic essential ingredients of right to life. Till date, most of the States has not done anything to support the terminally ill people by providing for hospice care. If the State takes the responsibility of providing reasonable degree of health care, then majority of the euthanasia supporters will definitely reconsider their argument.


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We do endorse the Supreme Court Judgement that our contemporary society and public health system is not matured enough to handle this sensitive issue, hence it needs to be withheld. Some opponents of euthanasia have feared that the increasing success that doctors have had in transplanting human organs might lead to abuse of the practice of euthanasia. It is now generally understood, however, that physicians will not violate the rights of the dying donor in order to help preserve the life of the organ recipient. Need a different custom essay on Euthanasia? Buy a custom essay on Euthanasia. Need a custom research paper on Euthanasia?

The Ethics of Euthanasia Essay - Words | Bartleby

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Ethical problems of euthanasia

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