Gay-Williams assert that active euthanasia is illegal yet passive euthanasia can be morally favored. Some do not believe on the differentiation and say that whether it is active or passive, euthanasia should be regarded as illegal. Gay-Williams also argued that euthanasia takes out the hope in a patient. This further proves the negative notion on euthanasia. This along with the argument that euthanasia is a practical choice for medical practitioners is raised by the author and was explained in detail.
This paper aims to discuss these arguments and evaluate their strength, which may prove or otherwise disprove the motions of Gay-Williams. In developing the paper, it hopes to evaluate euthanasia in light of its moral viability; the distinction cited between active and passive euthanasia and their moral statures, and two arguments that embody mercy killing: the argument that states how euthanasia affects the will to live and survive as well as how it may be used for practical applications”rather surprising conclusions that were taken by Gay-Williams which are worth a lengthy point of discussion, evaluation, and comparison.
Passive and active euthanasia Gay-Williams stated that there is a big difference between passive and active euthanasia. In phrases, passive euthanasia is letting die while active euthanasia is killing. It should be noted that passive euthanasia happens when a person was not given relief from a certainly fatal situation which is otherwise medically alterable. For instance, a person with extreme difficulty in breathing who can still be resuscitated but was not given an apparatus or aid for the purpose may die under the circumstance of passive euthanasia.
This is often done when there is an order by the patient or the family that the patient should not be resuscitated. Alternatively, the situation can be the other way around. The patient may be in a dying situation, but still technically alive. For some circumstance such as the thought that the patient is constantly in pain, hopeless, or if the patient himself can no longer bear the pain, there may become a request or a suggestion for the pain to be stopped”rather permanently. At this point poison may be intravenously given to end the suffering of the patient.
According to Gay-Williams, this big difference between the two is obvious in light of their moral statures. The first one which let the patient die without medical intervention is acceptable as there was no effort in ending the life of the patient. Divinely, the patient may still be saved. On the other hand, the latter-described procedure deliberately put an effort in ending the suffering and the life of the patient. The author stated that this is killing even if the purpose of the act is to save someone from a lengthy and costly suffering. The thought of euthanasia
Every one of us is gifted with survival instincts. When the going gets tough, they say the tough gets going. And so when an illness hits someone and he is tough enough, he finds hope rather than despair. He focuses on the positive rather than the negative and strives to find a way to battle the sickness and eventually win it. Thus, when the mind says that it wants to live, the body and the person will most likely follow. (How to live a longer and healthier life, 2007) This is the same argument raised by Gay-Williams as an issue of euthanasia.
He states: ¦ knowing that we can take out our life at anytime (or ask another to take it) might well incline us to give up too easily. The will to live is strong in all of us, but it can be weakened by pain and suffering and feelings of hopelessness. This will to live is essential as many doctors have proven. Gay-Williams himself stated that there are many miraculous survivals that occur which even medicine cannot fully explain. Many shows, testimonials, and books have discussed how people in the brink of death were able to miraculously survive.
Some were from serious illnesses or were declared in comatose. Some claimed to be back from dying. This relationship between the will to live and getting well has been the premise of many studies. Doctors started incorporating psychological therapies to their patients treatment plans hoping to get better results. Often, the results even exceed their expectations. This led many doctors to adapt the concept, to the relief and advantage of thousands and maybe even millions of patients around the world.
As Gay-Williams says: The very presence of the possibility of euthanasia may keep us from surviving when we might. Euthanasia and practical effects Gay-Williams state that doctors and nurses main thrust and aim in their professions is to save lives, and that when a patient dies in their care it becomes a personal failure which may not be too easy to accept. Thus it is not surprising if the author argued that euthanasia is a practical way for practitioners to avoid this quicksand.
If they endorse or support euthanasia, any impending deaths in their care can be pre-empted”no one will ever die in their responsibility again. Euthanasia is a product of free will. It takes the patient and/or his family into a higher level of decision-making whereby they choose whether to prolong the patients illness and let live or end the suffering and let the patient die in peace. Its proponents agree that approving euthanasia as a social policy lets the people exercise the freedom of will that was given to them by the divine and the constitution.
This is true in that even if euthanasia becomes a social policy, it still boils down to the decision of the person if euthanasia should be chosen or not as a way of getting out of ones suffering. If a patient or his family does not want to exercise it, it is also for them to decline. However, Gay-Williams claim that euthanasia will bring an all new low in the quality of healthcare where euthanasia is acceptable. The quality will be sacrificed because if practitioners know an easier way out of an untreatable disease rather than letting the patient die naturally in their hands, the process may be taken in non-serious cases as well.
In connection, Gay-Williams stress that as a social policy euthanasia will bring worse concerns. For one, it can permit authorities to eliminate those who are hopelessly ill, the way those who are mentally ill are sent in mental hospitals”a comparison Gay-Williams was clever in making. Conclusion So did Gay-Williams argument win or lose? The argument revolved around the innate willingness to live by people, especially the sick. It played up the fact that the will to live is a fragile characteristic inherent to everyone.
It further stated that euthanasia blotted onto this inherent character; that the provision of a choice to end life gave people the reason to end life; that giving patients, their families, and the doctors an easy route out of the situation gave them the authority to take this easy route out as well. With these arguments, Gay-Williams reiterated that whether as a social policy or an open option for patients, families, and medical practitioners, euthanasia is a slippery slope where no one wins. Gay-Williams, theoretically speaking, was able to deliver his points well.
It is true that euthanasia is an exercise of free will, but the fact that free will is given and thus the idea of euthanasia is suggested to a patient is already initially detrimental to the patient. It entails responsible choices to be made by the patient, the family, and the doctors. It requires a full understanding of life, and the willingness to allow life to take its course. The doctors can suggest this graceful exit option to the patient or the family but if the patient or the familys will to live or let live is stronger than the will to end everything, euthanasia becomes out of the options and medication can continue.
But if the patient or the doctors already have the way out it will be too tempting to resist. (A plea for beneficent euthanasia, n. d. ) Even if euthanasia is unwise for conservatives, it is a matter of choice and conscience. For the unbelievers, they can go through life without considering it. For modernists, it is an available choice. In the end, one should never and can never decide for another. Gay-Williams failed to include this in his distinctions. It is true that it can be used by doctors as a practical way out of a medical case, or disillusion patients, but it should still be a choice given for all.