Who should decide life or death?
Herman De Dijn, a Spinoza scholar, an emeritus professor of
Write a reflective essay evaluating De Dijn’s point of view as
1. Present the philosophical basis (dignity as autonomy) for the Euthanasia Law in Belgium
2. Discuss and critique the view of De Dijn and De Wachter.
3. Present your point of you clearly.
De Wachter believes that the country’s approach to suicide reflects a crisis of nihilism created by the rapid secularization of
“Once the (euthanasia) law is there, you have people asking
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Euthanasia-Who Should Decide Death or Life?
Belgium in its law does permit Euthanasia. This subject: Euthanasia, also recognized as mercy killing and physician-assisted death/suicide (P.A.D), refers to the determined act of deliberately killing an individual rather painlessly to relieve them of a chronic condition which perhaps cannot be treated. Belgium healthcare laws have legalized the somewhat contentious issue. It is now legal to “help” a patient who is on a very painful condition or a psychological condition to “die in peace and rest instead of living in distress.” The act is purely describable as mere suicide. There are recognized classifications of Euthanasia as follows: Passive Euthanasia, Active Euthanasia, Voluntary and Involuntary Euthanasia (Nordqvist 1). Passive Euthanasia includes actions like the withdrawal of life-sustaining life to hold devices/machines, while active P.A.D involves the administration of life-ending substances. Voluntary Euthanasia is the case whereby an individual decides the end of their life while in the involuntary case, another person/party determines the end of one’s life due to them being incapable of making the decision. This work, then examines the decriminalization of assisted suicide as has happened in Belgium’s law.
The fundamental basis of this considerably litigious matter points out to a few philosophical concepts. In particular, the central philosophical underpinnings beneath the legalization of physician-assisted suicide include the respect for an individual’s autonomy; as well as a mercy act. Other rational arguments posed include arguments about death itself, such as is death bad a thing, while others also argue that Euthanasia happens anyway and so it need be legal.
The autonomy of humankind is explainable in this context as the right to live one’s life however they wish and do what they are pleased with, all these instead basing on a sane person’s discretion (Chambaere et al. 1180). Pro-euthanasia arguments demand that a person’s decision over their life should be accorded all due respect. Provided an individual chooses to do what they want with their very own lives, such as a death in this context, they must be respected at it and given room to proceed. Promoters of this school of thought want to determine that they freely allow persons to enjoy their space regarding the right to deal with all they have in their way, even their life. According to Stein (14), reviewing the Oregon’s DWD Act, the choice of an individual that is not manipulated should be granted (Nordqvist 17). A person that has identified that they want Euthanasia is therefore deemed as following their private motives and reasons. For instance, the DWDA act consistently recognizes that manipulation could include any undue influence from the physician or family. The statutes seek to ensure that there is no form of coercion in the pursuit of assisted death.
To the protagonists of physician-aided death, it does not it matter how bad the act may seem to others as the need to relieve a person from pain does to them. This argument picks off at the point that a person in the severity of the painful condition is apparently not enjoying life as anyone would want to enjoy. Giving such individuals a token of total relief from such pain is the prime basis of the pro-euthanasia individuals. This, therefore, positions PAD as a solution for ‘extremely’ suffering patients, or rather terminal patients, in a humanist society (Somerville 3).
Promoters also steer the argument to the question: is death a bad thing? Some schools of thought in philosophy argue that the end is not bad, but instead may just be described as less good. Life is appreciated due to the associated pleasant experiences (Stein 16). Supporters of euthanasia base their argument on a predicate of this just stated view. They assume that when life does not offer the enjoyment and happiness, it is usually appreciated for, then it is not better than the state of death which only denies one such privilege. In such a case that life is filled with trouble, pain, little or nothing to celebrate, then the opposite situation is seemingly better, where there is only lack of enjoyment but no presence of suffering or pain (Emanuel et al. 81). It is therefore likely that choosing death over a painful life is a logical move. These are just simple humanist views.
More arguments indicate that euthanasia still happens anyway (Stein 17). This is perhaps the thinking of an individual who would choose to settle for the status quo rather than induce change. The foundation of this is instead a ground of disagreement coupled with cases of attribution to crime. For instance, supporters of the act indicate that people have in the course of time been choosing an end to their life. Euthanasia thus only happened illegally, and this is mainly a misguided bias for decriminalizing the practice.
De Watcher’s views Belgium’s approach to dealing with suicide a somewhat faulty one. It is indeed a cause of nihilist crisis in the country. In his opinion, the selected means to deal with the problem sufficiently answer to the humanist dilemma (Fletcher 22). However, he dismisses humanism as insufficient. De Watcher wonders the relevance of life without God in the picture and thought that such a life is merely worthless. While upholding this inspiration, he however still faces cases of patients asserting that life minus success is of no relevance, and had to approve the case of a 25-year-old who didn’t hesitate that she commands autonomy in her decisions and that she can decide to die when she is done with her life. The view of De Watcher is somewhat justifiable that there is a problem in the solution chosen to solve the problem of suicide in Belgium (Bousquet et al. 6). It is sensible when De Watcher associates life with God, for surely God owns and thus gives, sustains and takes life at His discretion.
Grodin et al. (6) asserts that the onset of the law shall have people engage their minds with thoughts such as concerning the quality of their own lives, and how burdensome they are on other people. He believes that human dignity must also consider the connectedness to one’s society and not just respect personal choice. He further holds that human dignity is currently a dogma behind which individuals can sufficiently hide (Grodin et al. 6). This perspective of thought is sensible. It is immense selfishness to only care about what a person decides while jeopardizing the rights and concerns of other people. Even though a person thinks he is done with their life, ending it puts the cares of other people in trouble. Loved ones and other likely parties will have been denied their desire to continue to live with the victim of euthanasia. Broader and less selfish means deserve attention, rather than only care about one person’s decision at the expense of other individuals whose concerns are at stake.
However, while we engage the dimension of according respect to patient’s autonomy, it is essential to consider other implications of the so-called independence. The decision of a beginning of life and the decision of end-of-life must not be separated since they concern the same matter: one’s life (Nordqvist 1). It is prudent to say that live human did not begin living the consequences of their own decision within their dignity: choosing to start living. The choice for a person’s end of life must similarly be the responsibility of the one who approved them beginning living, in which case the responsible party must be God, the life giver.
Life means much more than happiness, psychological well being and any other dimension attributed to the enjoyment. It is also much more than a person’s responsibility for their own lives. The context is way broader than that since some supernatural dimension of life exists. What this concludes is that healing can happen to post the current moment, even when it was not anticipated (Bousquet et al. 6). It has mainly happened that patients got healed in the midst of purely fatal conditions. Perhaps God at times would work in such a scheme and grant healing to an individual, and death is thus not a means to even pursue as a means for relief. We must, therefore, reserve this ultimate decision to the sole giver of life.
The decision to end life is plausibly baseless and a symptom of impatience, a crucial ethical trait. When a lady who has lived for only twenty-five years, says that she cannot succeed, then an elder individual can judge the degree to which the lady is misguided. Perhaps an individual would make it in life at the age of thirty-five. It is crystal clear that at twenty-five they are completely blind of what is to come ahead in the future. Some more patience is somewhat beneficial than a little premature suicide. We must let life begin and end at the very time the ultimate life giver determines and not give a thought to destructive thoughts of suicide, sugarcoated as euthanasia or P.A.D.