No, because you wouldn’t exist to know what true relief for you is as a patient.
Feeling reassured or relaxed after a time of unpleasant experience is known as a relief.
So, feeling relief should also mean being able to remain aware of the previously unpleasant condition but currently feeling some relief from it. Death prevents you from comparing the two experiences.
A patient who is suffering finds it difficult to bear the pain every day. As a result, they decide to end their life. So, they have had enough suffering in this situation and have finally decided to live in peace. When a patient goes to death by lethal injection with their consent (legally), their consciousness (soul/spirit) leaves the physical body and moves to other dimensions, where their soul/spirit is non-threatening.
Many doctors think that euthanasia and suicide with assistance is the only way to relief for a patient.
Okay, now we will discuss euthanasia and assisted suicide. And is it the only way to relief for a patient?
Euthanasia and assisted suicide
The act of intentionally ending a person’s life to relieve suffering is euthanasia. For example, if a doctor gave a chronically sick patient a drug they didn’t need, such as an injection of sedatives or a muscle relaxant, with the specific intent of ending their life, this would be considered euthanasia.
Assisted suicide is the intentional act of helping another person to commit suicide. Suppose a relative of a person with a terminal illness received powerful sedatives to the awareness that they wanted to use them to commit suicide. In that case, we consider that the relative is assisting suicide.
The Suicide Act (1961) prohibits assisted suicide, and it punishes for up to 14 years in jail. Trying to commit suicide is not a criminal act.
Euthanasia is classified as either manslaughter or murder, depending on the circumstances. The maximum penalty is life in jail.
Types of Euthanasia
Euthanasia is classified as follows:
- Voluntary euthanasia. A person makes a conscious decision to die and asks for assistance in doing so
- Non-voluntary euthanasia. A person cannot give their consent (for example, because they’re in a coma). And another person decides on their behalf, possibly because the ill person previously expressed a wish for their life to end in such a way if required.
Is Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Legal?
In most parts of the world, voluntary euthanasia to relieve a patient is illegal. The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, and Colombia are the only countries that permit the practice currently. Nowhere in the world is involuntary euthanasia legal.
In the U.S., physician-assisted suicide is currently legal in many states. They include Oregon, Vermont, California, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington.
Physician-assisted suicide only happens when a patient has a terminal illness and is in incredible pain with little or no relief. In such situations, a patient may wish to have some control over when and how they die. The way suicide is carried out is an important aspect of physician-assisted suicide. The patient must take the drug. It is illegal to prescribe the medication to a friend, family member, physician, or someone else. To do so breaks the law and falls under the definition of euthanasia. It is widely debated whether physician-assisted suicide to relieve a patient is ethically viable.
Palliative sedation, often known as terminal sedation, is the progressive use of sedatives to achieve the desired degree of relief for terminally ill patients undergoing unrelieved suffering. Death usually occurs soon after a patient gets sedative.
Since the intention is not to cause death, palliative sedation is neither euthanasia nor physician-assisted suicide. Though death can occur, it is often unknown whether the sedation or the terminal illness caused the death.
Palliative sedation requires the patient’s permission. If a patient is unable to make choices about himself or herself, it is up to the patient’s chosen healthcare decision-maker to make the decision. The patient is not able to deliver the correct dose of a palliative sedative, which is usually given as a suppository or infusion. Because the sedation is so quick-acting, the sedatives may only be given by a doctor, nurse, or another member of the patient’s primary care team.
How many people undergo euthanasia or assisted suicide?
Total statistics from around the world are hard to record. According to Swiss data, the number of people who committed assisted suicide increased from 187 in 2003 to 734 in 2017.
According to the 2017 Regional Euthanasia Review Committees (RTE), there were 6,585 cases of voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide in the Netherlands, accounting for 4.4 percent of all deaths. Around 96 percent of cases involved euthanasia, with less than 4 percent involving assisted suicide, with the majority of cases involving cancer patients.
What is the general public’s opinion on euthanasia and assisted suicide?
It is very dependent on the question. According to a new poll conducted by the National Centre for Social Research for MDMD, 93 percent of people in the U.K. approve of, or will not rule out, doctor-assisted suicide if the patient is terminally ill.
The 2017 British Social Attitudes survey sheds light on attitudes toward voluntary euthanasia. It revealed that people overwhelmingly favor doctors ending the life of a terminally ill person who demands it (78 percent). Still, there is less support for a close relative doing the job (39 percent ).
Who opposes assisted suicide and euthanasia?
Advocates of the right to die have fought some high-profile legal battles. But several groups believe that the laws governing all types of assisted suicide should remain unchanged.
According to the Care Not Killing alliance, any change in the law will put elderly or disabled people worried about being a financial burden under further pressure to end their lives. It also says that euthanasia requests are extremely rare.
Disability Rights U.K., as opposed to a change in the law, claiming that the option to die may be an illusory choice if we do not provide disabled people with proper care.
According to the British Medical Association (BMA), improvements in palliative care allow patients to die with dignity. But assisted suicide should not be legalized in any form in the U.K.
According to the organization, legalization will violate the principles of clinical practice. This is because the primary goal of medicine is to increase patient’s quality of life, not to shorten it.
Politicians have been hesitant to legalize such types of assisted suicide. Labour MP Rob Marris introduced legislation in 2015 to allow certain terminally ill people to end their lives with medical supervision. Still, the House of Commons rejected it by a vote of 330 to 118.
The Bottom Line
The use of euthanasia and assisted suicide is not the only option of relief for a patient. There are numerous other ways to relieve their suffering.
Do we see people as the problem so that our duty begins and ends with helping people commit suicide? Or do we treat chronically ill patients as fellow human beings deserving of our sympathy and solutions to their problems? Should we accept the fake mercy of assisted suicide? Or will we support what Pope St. John Paul II referred to as the path of love and true mercy? As a society and for our own loved ones, will we commit to offering truly compassionate care? Our response today determines the treatment available now and in the future.