Introduction “I’m not afraid of being dead. I’m Just afraid of what you might have to go through to get there” (Pamela Bone). Euthanasia is both legal and illegal around the world and is a practice that is left in a controversy of right and wrong. Society as a whole is becoming aware of the euthanasia movement in increasing numbers and debates have taken place to discuss the importance, as well as the consequences of euthanasia. However, what separates one person from having the right of dying due to doctor’s aid and not another?
And why is euthanasia still illegal in Canada? These questions will be explored and evaluated throughout this study. Euthanasia has it’s pros and cons. Pros such as the right to die on your own terms, and cons such as it would be legalizing murder, take an important role in debates about it’s legalization and serves as basic guidelines to understanding the magnitude of this controversy. If a patient was in a terminal condition and requested a doctor to ease their pain by committing euthanasia, it is difficult to gage many factors of their decision.
For example, family members could influence the patients mental state or hought process resulting in a decision that would not be totally theirs. It may also increase the number of illegal murders if not executed properly, hence why it remains illegal in Canada. For argument’s sake, if it were legalized, if protocol was not followed, the doctor could be charged and sued because of a mistake. Though on the other hand, it could help alleviate the burdens placed on a patient’s family such as emotional pain and grief, and financial troubles and medical bills.
During this study it was difficult to find information because most sources were opinion based and not fact based. This is because the issue of euthanasia is very controversial therefor a lot of opinions are spoken of. The information gathered however was from a survey which was conducted throughout Pickering High School, the online database SIRS, the Canadian Federal Website, the Quebec Provincial Website, and four books by the names of Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia, Death as a Salesman – What’s Wrong with Assisted Suicide, and Doctor Assisted Suicide: and the Euthanasia Movement.
The data gathered from the survey is a primary source, and the data gathered from the other informative locations are secondary sources. There ere no limitations placed on this study due to the combination of primary and secondary, non-biased sources. For the purpose of this study, the word “euthanasia” will be considered to mean mercy killing, the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person suffering from an incurable, especially painful, disease or condition. This issue is very important to study.
Society is becoming very aware of this phenomenon but are not very informed on the subject. The knowledge presented in this study will help clarify any questions or concerns on the nature of the subject. Euthanasia can either be right or wrong based on the perception a person may look at it. So, this study will eliminate any bias in order to extract the cold, hard facts of euthanasia and it’s influence on the world socially and psychologically. Topic Number One: Who’s right is it really? When a patient with a terminal condition lays in bed in a hospital, they receive a lot of visit.
Visit which can influence, alter, change, or even choose the patient’s thought process on what to do with their condition. This act of persuasion can lead the patient to make a decision they would not of initially made. Lemstra (2013) states that people believe they have the right to individual liberty, and to decide their owns deaths. No matter what is coded the Criminal Code, they believes that it is a violation of basic human rights and that it goes against the constitution. Under Articles 7 and 32 of the Canadian Constitution, it states; “7.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental Justice. 32. This Charter applies (a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within he authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and (b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province. The right to liberty can apply to the liberally choose to die on your own terms and applies to all provinces and territories within Canada. This represents an external factor because if one of these people come in contact with the patient, they could influence their final decision. As well, the survey conducted showed an 47% “no” esponse to the question “Do you think people who help a person commit [euthanasia] should be prosecuted? ” This shows that statistically, Lemstra’s analysis is correct and that a large percentage of Canadian population believe that euthanasia should be decriminalized under specific conditions.
A terminal condition patient may receive visit of which may try to influence their decision. The information above is valid due to it’s relevance to topic at hand, and it’s date of publication. It is also reliable because the research conducted by Lemstra resulted in the same results as on the survey. Topic Number Two: Why is Euthanasia still illegal in Canada? Euthanasia is legal in some form in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland and the U. S. states of Oregon, Washington and Montana. However, it has been criminalized in Canada sine 1972.
However, why can it be legal in some places “The idea of what constitutes an extreme medical condition changes with each individual doctor, nurse and relative. There are far too many in the medical industry who would not think twice about applying some pain-free resolutions to a lot of cases based on their personal prejudice. Imagine a doctor “euthanizing” old people based simply on the fact hat they’re old, or someone committing suicide because they have AIDS, even though many cases exist of people living with the condition for years due to advances in medicine. This is to say that people could rationalize any conditions they may have to commit euthanasia. To deal with this, the Canadian government simply criminalized the act. Despite section 241 (b) of the Criminal Code that classifies the act as an indictable offence which can be punishable by a minimum of fourteen years in federal prison; “Bill 52 (2013), if passed, would legalize euthanasia, calling it “medical aid in dying” nd require that doctors administer the fatal drugs. According to Section 29 of the bill, “if a physician determines … hat medical aid in dying may be administered toa patient requesting it, the physician must administer such aid personally and take care of the patient until their death. ” As well, question ten on the survey stated; “Do you think a person has moral rights to end his or her life under any of the following circumstances; a) When this person has a disease that in incurable? b) When this person is suffering great pain and has no hope of improvement? c) When this person is n extremely heavy burden on his or her family? d) When this person is ready to die because living has become a burden? The answers for “a)” were that 88% believed “yes”, for “b)” 85% believed “yes”, for “c)” 44% believed “no”, and for “d)” 59% believed “yes”. Based on my overall findings, the validity of this source has quality because of how it was relevant to the topic question and how much it covered. The reliability was also quite good because it reflected the results gathered from the surveys. Topic Number Three: Can legalizing Euthanasia help alleviate the burdens placed on the patient’s amily? Euthanasia and assisted suicide doesnt Just affect the individual.
What hasn’t been discussed very much, is the effect it can have on the family of the patient. In the normal course of an illness, loved ones, friends and family are all going to be involved in the dying process. Having to watch a loved one’s symptoms get worse, sometimes over a long period of time, can be very traumatic. In his book, Death as a Salesman – What’s Wrong with Assisted Suicide, Brian Johnston (1998) says: “In addition to their own emotional needs, it is the family and friends, more than lse, who will influence the mood and mindset of the patient. They may, anyone even unwittingly, reinforce negative thoughts and attitudes. Johnston suggests that Euthanasia can help ease the pain and troubles that come Patient’s should have the right to die and on their own terms. Based on the survey conducted, 81% answered that doctors “should” be allowed by law to assist a patient with an incurable disease to commit euthanasia if the patient requests it. To conclude, the research Brian Johnston conducted and the results gathered from the survey portray the same nature. They both state that the major populace ould feel better if euthanasia was legalized in order to alleviate the burden of a dying loved one, hence it could be Judged to be reliable and relevant.
To add, it supports the topic which makes it a valid source. Conclusion From the information gathered in this study it has been proven that there are advantages and disadvantages to euthanasia. First, the choice of one’s own death can be interpreted by the Canadian Constitution in which a lot of people view it so. Second, even though euthanasia is still illegal in Canada, it may be for a good reason in order to eliminate unnecessary suicides because one believed that a certain llness should be considered terminal. Lastly, legalizing euthanasia could help alleviate the stress, pain, and troubles the family of the patient is feeling.
This study relates to field of sociology by likely affecting society and the normative social relationships which that society believes it is duty to promote. Throughout all topic questions, each secondary source idea portrayed the results of the primary research with great effectiveness. The aims of this study were achieved by conducting a survey, and then comparing it’s results to the findings of secondary research. For urther research, conducting interviews with professional medical personnel, and attending seminars of that nature would be helpful to the research.
All topic included in aims were investigated and discussed. APA Reference Page Bloyd, S. (1995). Euthanasia. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books. Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982. (n. d. ). Legislative Services Branch. Retrieved November 30, 2013, from http://laws-lois. ]ustice. gc. ca/eng/const/page-1 5. html December 2, 2013, from http://www. patientsrightscouncil. org/site/can Friedman, L. (2009) Assisted Suicide. San Diego, CA: ReferencePoint Press. Johnston, B. (1998). Death as a salesman: what’s wrong with assisted suicide (2nd rev. ed. ).
Sacramento, Calif. : New Regency Pub.. Kasimar, Y. (1998). The future of physician-assisted suicide. Trail, 48-53. Retrieved from http://sks. sirs. com Kirkey, S. (2013). Only 20 percent of doctors would perform euthanasia if.. Postmedia News. Retrieved from http://sks. sirs. com Lemstra, M. (2013). We need to debate our right to die. Province. Retrieved from http:// sks. sirs. com McCuen, G. (1999). Doctor assisted suicide: and the Euthanasia Movement (Rev. Ed. ). Hudson, WI: GEM Publications, Inc.. Should Canadians have the right to die? (2009).
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