Euthanasia is a medical procedure, which is a deliberate cessation of a person’s life at his request, performed in situations where there are incurable diseases that cause significant suffering, which cannot be stopped. Initially, this concept implied the possibility of a person to easily die, later it was supplemented by the mandatory requirement of medical prerequisites and mental state.
Synonymous expressions can be considered light or peaceful death. This determines the active side of this process, when a person is deliberately killed, using medical drugs that have a life-sustaining effect against the background of the action of anesthetic. Passive euthanasia, when the patient is no longer given supportive treatment, was not previously considered euthanasia, however, in modern positions it begins to be equated with the active procedure.
What it is
The concept of euthanasia applies to the intentional termination of human life. Less commonly, this term is used in relation to animals, in this context the concept of sleepiness is more appropriate. The humane shade of such a procedure remained only in relation to animals, although earlier (at the beginning of the twentieth century) it was quite popular in society.
Discredit came along with the rule of the Hitlerites, when this method was used as the extermination of people with mental disabilities, the disabled and others, according to the dominant nation, the detrimental. The killing of children, possibly suffering from hereditary diseases, those born with pathologies or the wrong nationality, had a huge role. As a result, this method is criticized each time and is prohibited in most countries, since the memory of the past leaves an understanding of the possible inadequacy of using the procedure.
The formal organization of such a procedure, as well as its cost, varies significantly depending on the country, as well as the incoming package of conditions provided. In some countries, the possibility of obtaining a life termination procedure is included in the classic medical insurance package for every citizen (Belgium). In other states, anyone can order euthanasia by paying a certain amount and passing the corresponding preparatory stages. The stages imply not only medical preparation, but also legal consultations, client support from the moment of arrival in the country and to the end.
The procedure of euthanasia is always a person’s inner personal choice. It is forbidden to coerce to this step, and, moreover, a fairly correct and multidimensional mechanism has been created to prevent possible mistakes, both on the part of the sufferer and doctors.
Does a person have the right to die
The law on euthanasia implies that a person is legally entitled to a deliberately chosen death. Outside the state where this procedure is approved by the legal framework, any person, despite medical conditions and the level of suffering, does not have this right. Roughly speaking, where euthanasia is prohibited, it is equal to murder, and the doctor who helps the patient, despite all kinds of assurances and permits, will be considered a murderer and sentenced to a corresponding criminal liability.
A compromise option is considered to be disconnected from life support devices for people in a coma, voluntary refusal of supportive treatment or procedures (ventilation, transplantation of organs, etc.). In fact, these methods are not direct murder, but they contribute to death. In a situation if the patient does not sign a waiver of procedures, the attending physician will also be held criminally liable. In addition to the medical indicators of intolerable torment, there is permission for euthanasia at will. So people who have become intolerable because of psychological torment, and not just physically experienced pain, can die.
However, the problem of euthanasia is not only determined by legal issues, but also by religious aspects. In many beliefs, self-retirement is considered a sin. Euthanasia is equated to it, as a mediated variant. In this case, the actions of the doctor or intermediary are regarded by the church or demands as intentional murder. Only in a few cults, shamanic trends and close to the pagan traditions, there is approval for voluntary death. Accordingly, depending on the confession of a person, and whether he believes at all in the higher laws, he can be formed with either a ban or permission to euthanasia.
Most priors of religious communities and hospice workers say that a person craves not so much a cessation of life as suffering. How much humane, civilized and understanding society will turn out to allow another person to stop their torment depends on the level of inner spiritual culture.
In which countries is euthanasia permitted?
Many countries take away from people the choice of ways to end their lives, leaving only suicide available, which is also strongly prevented, only a few legally fixed the procedure of euthanasia. At the same time, for anyone who wants it, the opportunity is given to go where help in completing their life’s journey is legalized (no one can take away this right).
The Netherlands first legalized voluntary death in 2002. This happened after this law was put to a vote, which was supported by the majority of the population. It is impossible to make this decision on your own - the petition must be reviewed by a specially organized ethics committee. Indications are the presence of unbearable pain, anguish, incurable disease and mental adequacy of the patient at the time of the decision. This procedure is available only to citizens of the country who have reached the age of majority. The Netherlands also takes into account the psychological state of the doctor, and his ability to refuse - then he will be replaced by a specialized team.
Switzerland helps to end the torment with the death of both its own citizens and visitors. In this country there are special organizations that deal not only with the medical side of the problem, but also with legal issues (four of the six existing ones, they deal exclusively with foreigners). In addition, it is possible to arrange a funeral as well - the service of this area takes into account absolutely all the questions that arise. Despite its loyalty to residents of other countries, Switzerland still requires special tests to confirm the patient’s mental health and informed choice.
In Belgium, euthanasia is permitted exclusively for its citizens and is included in the insurance policy. As elsewhere, it is necessary to conduct a preliminary medical psychological examination, but in Belgium death is legalized at the request of the child or his parents (available everywhere after the age of majority), as well as euthanasia due to moral suffering, if a person can justify their seriousness and insuperability.
In America, assisted death is permitted in some states, due to differences in laws, in principle, depending on the state. At the same time, a doctor's opinion is required confirming the terms of a possible life, not exceeding six months. The peculiarities of the procedure require not only a written, but also an oral statement of the patient about his desire to witnesses, which he is obliged to repeat in two weeks. Canada has officially passed a law on the possibility of patients applying for euthanasia, but medical personnel still (since 2016) have refused to meet these requirements. Wanting to get clearer definitions of painful experiences.
Passive euthanasia without the use of a killing substance is not prohibited (but not officially resolved) in Europe, Germany, Albania, France, Israel and others.
Types of euthanasia
The separation of euthanasia occurs relative to the subject, that is, the patient or doctor. Thus, on the patient’s side, a voluntary type of euthanasia is distinguished, when a person consciously and repeatedly expresses a desire to end his own suffering. This position requires confirmation of the patient’s adequate condition, mental health and awareness of choice.
Such confirmation can be issued by a specially created commission - it is fixed legally, like a person’s personal desire to end his life ahead of time. Suicidal tendencies are not encouraged and do not have any statutory grounds for the appointment of euthanasia.
The second variant of euthanasia on the part of the patient is an involuntary form, when the decision to end life or maintain it is not made by the patient, but by doctors or relatives. Usually, this category includes disabling life support equipment in situations where vital signs do not lead to improvement. This procedure also requires official certification to permit the shutdown of the artificial respiration apparatus or the administration of drugs. Without such consent from relatives, guardians, or the patient's will, the willful disabling of a person by doctors is equated to premeditated murder.
For medical professionals and the classification of their activities, euthanasia can be active in its execution. If there are medical indications, accompanied by relevant legal acts, the doctor injects the patient a lethal dosage of the drug. The variety may be controlled suicide, for example, when the patient himself drinks the necessary medication under the supervision of a physician.
The second version of euthanasia for doctors seems to be passive when the patient’s death approaches by turning off life support devices and discontinuing supportive therapy. This form is possible with the patient's voluntary refusal of the treatment provided, which must also be legally recorded. In such cases, death is approaching faster, but does not occur at the same time (except for the options for disconnecting life-supporting equipment). The process itself is distinguished by agony and duration of experiences, in contrast to the active form. This could include deliberately signed bans on resuscitation, forced life extension and similar cases included in health insurance.
The most criticized form is considered active euthanasia, permitted only in a few countries. The passive option is in any case present, since it is based on the patient’s own refusal of treatment.
How is the euthanasia of people
The procedure of euthanasia has several stages, including not only the medical unit. Before the patient receives the desired deliverance from his suffering, he needs to go through a number of points, starting with the submission of the application. After filing the application, it is considered by the relevant committee.
A commission consisting of doctors, psychologists and lawyers examines the entire history of the disease, identifying indications for euthanasia. At the next stage, a person needs to be examined, confirming his psychological integrity and awareness of the decision made. Along the way, decisions can be made about the availability of possible treatment or therapies that reduce negative experiences. If, after going through all the stages, the patient's decision remains the same, and the commission confirms the admissibility of euthanasia, then legal and medical preparation for the procedure begins. An obligatory preliminary stage is to alert the patient, how euthanasia takes place, with the help of which substances, and also about the description of the sensations experienced.
Legal issues in different countries are drawn up regarding the current legislation, but they necessarily imply the presence of a patient's statement, permission, supported by the opinion of the expert committee. It is possible to draw up a will, orders about acquired property, as well as organizing a funeral.
Before the introduction of the lethal substance, the patient takes painkillers, and only after the onset of full deep anesthesia is euthanasia performed. The procedure itself is performed in several versions. The earliest is the oral intake of the lethal substance by the patient. This version may provoke undesirable states of vomiting and nausea due to the taste and aroma properties of the substance, which ultimately called into question the whole procedure. Injectable form shows complete efficacy. Substances used for euthanasia, are made on the basis of barbiturate, which inhibits the leading functions of the central nervous system.
Public attitude to the problem
There is still no unambiguous attitude to this issue, although the trends are changing. Over time, society first recognized euthanasia, then completely rejected, now they are inclined to allow others to independently manage their lives. Official management of this process becomes simply a necessary process of reforming human rights protection, since passive euthanasia has often been used to bypass all prohibitions out of compassion and an understanding of the impossibility of alleviating the fate of the patient.
The development of medicine and the improvement of its possibilities offer many options for curing diseases or prolonging life, but not always the duration is associated with quality. So the main functions are artificially supported where the person would have died before, huge rehabilitation programs have been developed for those who are not destined to be born or survive. At the same time, one fact is not taken into account: the capabilities of these people are initially reduced and insufficient, evolutionary selection has already voted against, which means their lives are full of restrictions and deprivations. Many who have been left with such a life speak not only about the absence of gratitude, but also about not understanding why they should experience constant pain, discomfort and psychological torment, remaining in this state to please the wishes of strangers. Everything that happens in the basic trends of medicine is to make life live, taking away the right to die.
It is appropriate to vote against euthanasia in the event of a real opportunity to help a person and when he, by virtue of his own convictions, agrees to endure the torment. When recovery is impossible and the patient asks for death, to prohibit such a decision is inhumane. Those who, above all canons, place respect for personal choice, always remind that only one’s own life is that which is really and completely owned by man, and no one can take away the right to dispose of it. We have a lot of laws pursuing ill-treatment, but no one regards coercion to live in agony as such mockery.
Supporters of the church, even in those states where euthanasia is allowed, equate it with murder or suicide, depending on who is judging. For many believers because of this, permission to die is not available internally. They may ask for help and despair, but not enter into such agreements. Only in extreme cases, when euthanasia is not undertaken because of faith, does this faith remain. Usually, a person who experiences suffering begins to question all spiritual concepts, after which both life and faith end, and in agony.
There are also opponents of this method solely as a fact of permitted death. This position is dictated by the fear that after death is resolved for those who suffer greatly, permission may come for those who are sick or weak, who are depressed or on the verge of bankruptcy, and later spread to those who have no reason at all. Understanding that medicine can get the power not only to give, but also to take away life gives the subconscious horror, because usually go to doctors for salvation. When euthanasia is legalized, the issue of ethics, impunity and many others sharply confront a person, raising the initial instinctive fear for one’s own existence.
The weakness of the legislative system and the insufficient elaboration of legal issues can turn on the fear of being killed by someone else’s order. For an acceptable remuneration, the commission can make indications for euthanasia and a lethal dose will be administered to the person instead of the medicine without his knowledge. Something like this was the case with punitive psychiatry, when all objectionable people were closed under strict regime and cut off with neuroleptics.
As you can be sure, all the reasons are against, given by a healthy society, fearing for their lives, those who actually face the intolerance of this life vote differently. In addition, people really do not understand why we put pets to sleep out of pity, but we deprive our loved ones of this, dooming them to suffering and death in agony.