Long Island Coalition for Life, Inc.
Pro-Life Speech on Abortion
by Stephanie Hardy
Right to Life
Many people are uneducated when it comes to social issues in our world. Euthanasia is one topic that has been raising eyebrows and causing controversy for decades, and even coming up on news a top headline. Still, some remain unsure about what euthanasia is and how it affects our society. Euthanasia, sometimes known as assisted-suicide, is the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. I believe euthanasia is inhumane, immoral, and therefore, if commonly practiced, will be a huge flaw of our society.
There are many different ways to Euthanize. Some involve the person's consent and others do not, such as in the situation of someone in a vegetative state. No matter the circumstances, assisting someone in killing themselves is wrong. People who are in severe pain and discomfort, or are terminally ill, often do not see a point to living another day. One of the major issues with euthanasia being practiced is that there are other methods that can be effective in helping a sick individual rather than taking their life. The problem is that uninformed medical personnel using outdated or inadequate methods often fail in practice to bring patients relief from pain that today's advanced techniques make possible. Being in high amounts of pain can be unbearable, but however, can be eased in so many ways in today's world. According to a 1993 February article in Anesthesiology, in the case of widespread cancer, although more than half of patients will experience pain, their pain is manageable by oral administration of opioids alone in 70-80% of cases. Some patients may benefit from radiation therapy, nerve blocks, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and non-pharmacological methods, which include distraction and relaxation techniques as well. Currently in the year 2009, it is clear that our medical technology has been evolving rapidly and come a long way. There are solutions to pain of all types, in some cases multiple, that are obviously the best alternative to death. They should be taken into great consideration with the option of euthanasia being ruled out completely.
Sometimes people choose euthanasia when they are terminally ill. The problem with this is terminally ill patients tend to be depressed that they are incurable. They do not wish to live another day because of the lack of hope. Euthanasia is still not the answer to their problems. USA Today has reported that among older people suffering from terminal illnesses who attempt suicide, the number suffering from depression reaches almost 90%. People who are depressed have been proven to make irrational decisions in their time of crisis. People who commit suicide themselves never truly think about their actions. When looking at suicide from a terminal ill person's point of view, it can be a bad decision that they wouldn't have made if they weren't depressed. In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross outlined the 5 stages of the dying process; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Dr. Kubler-Ross has worked with thousands of dying patients and their families to help them deal with the dying process. In an interview, she indicated that her experience of 20 years tells her that suicide is wrong for patients with terminal illness. It is clear to most that killing someone before it is their time does not help them but cuts them short of the life they were meant to live. Some also choose euthanasia because they feel like, because of their illness, they are a burden to their family. Overall, terminally ill patients who desire to be euthanized do so for the wrong reasons and ultimately, hurt themselves, their families and our society.
There are very strong arguments against euthanasia from a religious point of view. Not only does each person deserve the right to life, but they have worth and dignity. Only in the hands of God can a person slip away. No doctor or person can single handedly have the right to take a person's life. The time that a person should die is when their natural time comes. Interfering with this time is not seen as moral. The most important time in a person's life may, in fact, be their death and judgment. They are finally done living their live dedicated to God, then hopefully will go on to meet him in Heaven and enjoy the gift of eternal life along side their fellow brothers and sisters.
The idea that people have a "right to die" is completely misunderstood. We do not decide when our life will end, any more than we decided when it began, nor does another individual such as a doctor or mother. What we can and will do is use our right to proper care. It is never "care" in any sense of the word, to terminate life, even if that life is full of suffering. Our lives are worth so much, and by treating them as disposable, our society is forcing God's eternal presence out of our world.
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