Euthanasia is a very controversial topic. People argue as to whether or not a
person who is terminally ill, or handicap, should have the right or not to ask
their doctor, or relatives to die by euthanasia. People say that dying by
euthanasia is to die with dignity, instead of living an artificial life on
respirators and other life support machines. My personal feelings on this topic
is one of the minority. If a person is terminally ill, and there is nothing
anyone can do for them, why should they have to suffer? Not only do they suffer
but their family does also. They will watch as their condition gets worse, and
then the vision in their head of the loved one who has finally died many months
after they were diagnose as terminally ill, is a memory of a person lying there
helpless, not able to feed themselves, get out of bed, or talk to you.
One notable euthanasia case would be Sue Rodrigous. She had a disease known as
Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS, which is a rare incurable disease of the nervous
system. ALS gradually destroys the nerves that control the muscles. The results
of which are weakness, paralysis, and eventually death. That is what Sue
Rodrigous was suffering from for well over a year. Knowing that her condition
was only going to get worse, and eventually, after the pain and suffering, would
result in death, Sue wanted to die. She wanted people to remember her as a
lively healthy woman, not just a body lying helpless in a hospital bed. With
that thought in mind, Sue went to court to fight for right to die by euthanasia.
The courts did not agree with her though.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, proposed the creation of a new medical specialist, the
“obitiarist,” who would assist terminally ill patients to take their own lives,
subject to strict guidelines.
His patient also suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was in bad shape,
struggling to hold her head up, could not talk, and had to communicate using a
computer keyboard. She was deteriorating quickly. “She was very smart,” he
said, a note of sadness entering his voice. Kevorkian built a machine called
the “mercitron,” a jumble of tubes and bottles that would allow patients with
little mobility to inject themselves with a lethal cocktail of drugs.
In Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck, there are examples of euthanasia. Candy and
his dog were together since the dog was a pup. One of the farm hands pointed out
that the dog was no good to himself. The dog was old and would surely die a
slow death. Knowing this, Candy agreed to let the man shoot the dog in the back
of the head so the dog would die without feeling a thing.
” “I don’t see no reason for it,” said Carlson. He went to his
bunk, pulled his bag from underneath it and took out a Luger
pistol. “Le’s get it over with,”…
Candy looked a long time at Slim to try to find some reversal.
And Slim gave him none. At last Canady said softly and
hopelessly, “Awright — take aim.” “
A day later Candy is talking with George and Lennie, and he says that he wishes
that when the day came that he was no good to himself anymore just like his dog
had been, that someone shoot him.
Of course the most obvious example of euthanasia is at the end of the novel.
Lennie who is fond of things that are soft to touch is stroking Curly’s wife’s
hair. He becomes carried away and breaks her neck and kills her. George,
fearing Lennie’s life, takes his gun and runs into the bushes with him. As the
dogs and the men from the farm run after them George realizes that when they
catch Lennie they would either torture him, or send him to a mental hospital.
George knows that would just kill Lennie. So George takes his gun and kills
Lennie with one shot to the head.
“And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it
close to the back of Lennie’s head. The hand shook violently, but his face set
and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger.”
With every example of euthanasia there are some people who agree, and some who
are dead set against it. There are comprehensible, and logical reasons why some
people are against euthanasia. Most people want their loved ones with them
until their day has actually come for them to die. It might give people an
understanding that it was all right to kill themselves. While the patient is
lying in bed some clinic, or scientist, might find a cure for the very disease
that patient is dying from. For medical reasons they may be able to find out
more about a certain disease while someone has it. As many times as you ponder
the idea of euthanasia you will find just as many pros as cons. Maybe we have
to start thinking like the person in the hospital bed, who is unable to walk,
talk, feed themselves, think for themselves, or even breathe for themselves.
Even from the perspective of the family member who has to watch their own flesh
and blood suffer.
O! that this too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew;
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon against self-slaughter!