Their decision-making may equally be affected by confusion, dementia or troublesome symptoms which could be relieved with appropriate treatment.Patients who on admission say 'let me die' usually after effective symptom relief are most grateful that their request was not acceded to.Tags: Homework Ideas For KindergartenCold War Research Paper TopicsEssay On Player PianoEssay Done For YouConfucianism And Taoism EssayEssay Introduction HelpMy Great Leader EssayRight To Die Issue Essays
It is widely believed that there are only two options open to patients with terminal illness: either they die slowly in unrelieved suffering or they receive euthanasia.
In fact, there is a middle way, that of creative and compassionate caring.
Legalisation of euthanasia is usually championed by those who have witnessed a loved one die in unpleasant circumstances, often without the benefits of optimal palliative care. This has its own dangers which we shall consider shortly.
Allowing difficult cases to create a precedent for legalised killing is the wrong response.
The solution to this is to make appropriate and effective care and training more widely available, not to give doctors the easy option of euthanasia.
A law enabling euthanasia will undermine individual and corporate incentives for creative caring. He lacks the knowledge and skills to alleviate his own symptoms, and may well be suffering from fear about the future and anxiety about the effect his illness is having on others.It is very difficult for him to be entirely objective about his own situation.Those who regularly manage terminally ill patients recognise that they often suffer from depression or a false sense of worthlessness which may affect their judgment.The way we treat the weakest and most vulnerable people speaks volumes about the kind of society we are.It is during the time of a terminal illness that people have a unique opportunity to reflect on the way they have lived their lives, to make amends for wrongs done, to provide for the future security of loved ones and to prepare mentally and spiritually for their own death.Meticulous research in Palliative medicine has in recent years shown that virtually all unpleasant symptoms experienced in the process of terminal illness can be either relieved or substantially alleviated by techniques already available.This has had its practical expression in the hospice movement, which has enabled patients symptoms to be managed either at home or in the context of a caring in-patient facility.We need rather to evaluate these difficult cases so that we can do better in the future.This was clearly demonstrated in the case of Nigel Cox, the Winchester rheumatologist found guilty of attempted murder after giving a patient with rheumatoid arthritis a lethal injection of potassium chloride in August 1991.The increasing acceptance of prenatal diagnosis and abortion for conditions like spina bifida, Down's syndrome and cystic fibrosis is threatening the very dramatic progress made in the management of these conditions, especially over the last two decades.Rather than being employed to care and console, funds are being diverted to fuel the strategy of 'search and destroy'.