Euthanasia - Suicide by Proxy
EUTHANASIA: SUICIDE BY PROXY
The first hand experienced of euthanasia was experienced by Emperor Augustus, under the account of historian Suetonius, “dying quickly and without misery in the arms of his wife Livia”.
The term euthanasia was first use in medical context in 17th century by Francis Bacon referring to a quick and painless happy death. It is the obligation of a physician to “alleviate the “physical miseries” of the body of every patient”. Bacon referred to "outward euthanasia” to make a difference between the spiritual views – euthanasia for “preparation for the soul”.
Euthanasia is classified into three types: voluntary, non-voluntary and the involuntary euthanasia.
Voluntary euthanasia is carried out with the consent of the patient. When the patient brings out his death with the assistance of physician, it is term as assisted suicide instead. This kind of euthanasia is legal in some countries like Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and US states of Oregon and parts of Washington but it remains a criminal homicide case, although it is not prosecuted and punishable if the physician who executed euthanasia meets legal exceptions.
Non-voluntary euthanasia is conducted where the consent is unavailable. Example was the child euthanasia, illegal worldwide but decriminalized in Netherlands under Groningen Protocol.
The Groningen Protocol is a text created in September 2004 by Eduard Verhagen, the medical director of the department of pediatrics at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) in Groningen, Netherlands. It contains directives with criteria under which physicians could kill infants (child euthanasia) without legal prosecution or punishment.
ROME: Italy’s top court has authorized a father to disconnect the feeding tube which has kept his comatose daughter alive for 16 years, removing the last legal hurdle in a landmark right-to-die case that has split the country.
Eluana Englaro, who is now 37, has been in a vegetative state at a hospital in northern Italy since a 1992 car crash. Her father Beppino Englaro has been battling his way through Italy’s courts to seek an end to the life support for more than 10 years.
Involuntary euthanasia is carried out against the will of the patient.
Do you know Jack?
Jack Kevorkian, a pathologist is the central proponent in euthanasia in US. Pathology is the study of diseases and its effects. This is most appealing to Jack Kevorkian so he devoted his time studying the physical changes wrought by death. His curiosity about the status of the eye at the time of death made notifications when a patient was in the brink of death. The cornea becomes hazy while the retina segmented and pale as blood circulation stops at death. Jack’s findings were published in medical literature and were recommended to other physicians whenever there is a need to look for signs of life. His colleagues in Detroit Receiving Hospital, during his residency in 1956, gave him the alias “Doctor Death”.
Jack Kevorkian becomes aloof from the hospice care movement, death counseling, and made him vulnerable to criticism that he failed to inform himself on such significant developments in social support, pain control, and on death and dying. He even disfavored marriage for the grounds that his fiancée possess “insufficient self-discipline”. He also played musical instruments and created intense art predicting death.
He proposed the body of the death-row criminals be used for experiments that could not be conducted on living persons. He also transfused blood to living patients from corpses of people who have sudden death, but all his dire procedures were ill-received by the medical society.
Jack Kevorkian set forth his philosophy in his book Prescription: Medicide (1991). He contested that a new medical specialty, “obituary”, should be established to offer “moribund people” an easy dignified death and provide the chance to experiments of their remains. Kevorkian thought that medically assisted suicide – he termed “medicide”- must be available to all people who desire to end their miseries and sufferings, whether or not they are terminally ill.
Jack Kevorkian constructed his first “suicide machine” and called it Thanatron, then the Mercitron. The physician prepares the machine and the patient will press the button to release the deadly drug. Janet Adkins, a middle-aged woman was the first patient who died in this “suicide machine.” He was charged with murder but later released when the court ruled out that there is no law in Michigan against assisted suicide. His license was suspended.
The Suicide Machine
Jack Kevorkian sits with his "suicide machine," a device consisting of tubes, hypodermic needles, saline solution, a muscle relaxant, and a lethal drug.
AP/WIDE WORLD PHOTOS
His last suicide machine consisted of a tightly fitted mask placed over the face, connected by tubing to a canister of carbon monoxide gas. When activated, the flow of carbon monoxide began, resulting in death from carbon monoxide poisoning which, Kevorkian has said, "often produced a rosy color that makes the victim look better as a corpse."
During the 1990s Jack Kevorkian assisted at least 120 people to their death and his involvement was labeled as homicide or murder by the Michigan authorities, however failed in repeated attempts to convict him. He was charged repeatedly with assisted suicide as well as homicide, each time withstanding the courts with help of a high-profile attorney. He always argued that he never killed anybody – the patients had the last move and decision on their own will.
It was the same Jack Kevorkian, the “Death Doctor” who put himself in the guilty verdict in 1999. he invited CBS’s 60 Minutes program to show the videotape he had made assisting the death of Thomas Youk. He received a sentence of 10 to 25 years I prison for the conviction of second degree murder and delivery of a controlled substance.
Jack Kevorkian’s conviction stimulates and continuously influences medical science, health care, and the field of bioethics.
Supporters of Euthanasia
John Pridonoff, former executive director of the Hemlock Society U.S.A., was on hand to publicly pledge support for Kevorkian's efforts to launch a campaign in Michigan to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide for those who are "incapacitated." "Since October of 1992 The Hemlock Society U.S.A. and I have indicated support for the goals and objectives of Kevorkian."
Sidney Rosoff, president of the Hemlock Society U.S.A. and former board chairman of the Society for the Right to Die, said, "Dr. Kevorkian really deserves a great deal of credit for doing what other physicians are not doing or at least are not doing openly." In a letter to the New York Times, Rosoff wrote, "Dr. Kevorkian acted in the tradition of a caring and courageous physician."
Oppositions of Euthanasia
Steven Miles, a Minneapolis physician who has analyzed judicial opinions for the American Society of Law and Medicine, has explained that Kevorkian acts "as a mirror for the hatred of disability--the idea that our bodies must be perfect."
USA Today's Diane Culbertson has predicted that if Kevorkian's "type of killer medicine becomes accepted, what horrors the future could hold. The progression is obvious; from assisted death to suggesting death to insisting on death."
In ancient times, mystic yogis can choose when and where they want to die. Death for the yogis is leaving the body to a union with the Supreme Spirit. They are not the body who experienced the pains and the physical miseries but they are the spirit soul entrapped inside this body. They choose a proper auspicious time to leave their body thru meditation and by the chakra process they can alleviate their spirit coming out from the hole at the top of the head.
Euthanasia stimulates highly debated conversation about life and death, the right to live and the right to die. Medical science turns against medical science, ethicist, and religionist, but who is the last judge? Everyone knows that death is inevitable, it is our destiny, but do we have the right to choose “such a dignified death.”
You have your own individual answer.