Get help from the best in academic writing.

My Mom and Assisted Suicide

Being handed a Living Will leaflet, provided by the hospital, my mind drew blank. I stood there looking at my mother as she laid in ICU. A tube had been placed down her throat, providing her lungs with oxygen. Several IV drips were embedded in her arm, her veins being supplied with medicine to help her body numb the pain and her mind to forget the whole ordeal. A clip that looked like a clothespin pinches her index finger to monitor the amount of oxygen in her system. A tube runs through her nose to her stomach to provide nourishment. There is a metal patch taped to her chest to monitor her heart rate. All I was able to do at the time was watch a monitor suspended from the ceiling as it recorded and pictured numerous blips and beeps that told me that she was alive. I placed the Living Will leaflet aside. During that temporary crisis at the time, I had no idea of what my mother’s intentions and feelings were in regards to her life. All I knew, and was thankful for, is that we live in a time where doctors and medicine are devoted to saving lives and instilling hope of full recovery. Today’s technology in the medical field is a gift. This gift provides humans with the knowledge to determine, treat, heal, sustain, protect and prolong our very existence. This gift allows humans to cherish, care and provide each other support as reverence to the greatest gift we as humans have received — life. Since the gift of life is a gift to us, then do we have the right and choice to provide ourselves with a good death? Euthanasia is “the intentional termination of life by another at the request of the person who dies”. Euthanasia is not only a social issue, but also a moral issue. It effects all humans, on all level… … middle of paper … …who have died can not tell us. But those who have died have left behind the pain of sorrow, and brought the label of assisted murder to the medical profession. This is justice in society today. So is all this a good death? I have seen the effects of a good death. A life taken, not as passive euthanasia, known as nature’s course, but as God’s course. My grandmother must have been dying slowly, yet never complained. Her faith kept her humble, she must have known her fate was inevitable. Her last action in life was preparing her death. My mother assisted her with a shower and manicure. As grandma rested upon the bed after this ritual, my mother asked her how she felt. Grandma replied, “I feel great”. She then immediately passed on. This was a good and painless death. Yes, we were saddened, but comforted with the knowledge that she passed on feeling great.

Patient’s Rights and Medical Care

Patient’s Rights and Medical Care

In the face of the threat of euthanasia, does the patient have the right to the final word? What are his rights in the area of medical care? This essay will explore this question, and provide case histories to exemplify these rights in action.

For legally competent adult patients, regarding medical care per se – according to Anglo-American law — every competent adult has the freedom to seek or not to seek medical care and to refuse to consent to any specific treatment proposed, under the common law right of bodily integrity and intangibility:

1. Competent adults may reject even lifesaving care under the right of bodily integrity and intangibility and also, if applicable, under the constitutional right of free exercise of religion (e.g., a Jehovah’s Witness refusing a blood transfusion because it is against his religious beliefs).

2. They may not refuse lifesaving care if there is a compelling state interest in requiring treatment for the common good (e.g., immunization to prevent the spread of communicable disease).

3. A parent might be required to undergo lifesaving treatment if there is a compelling state interest in protecting the welfare of a child from being deprived of his needed caretaker.

4. Suicide attempts which result in life-threatening injuries may require lifesaving treatment which is given without requiring the patient’s consent.

5. Rejection of lifesaving medical care is not legally equivalent to suicide because in those cases decided by the court none of the patients had a specific intent to cause his own death, but simply to accept the consequences of the life-threatening illness, “to let nature take its course” rather than undergo the burden of treatment.

Regarding legally incompetent patients, these are patients who lack the ability to make legal choices, so that no right to refuse consent is involved. Therefore court-ordered life-saving treatment is not a subordination of patient choice. The court will usually order lifesaving or ordinary care, but treatment that is extraordinary is not required.

Regarding minor children, Prof. John A. Robertson, of the Wisconsin University Law School, stated:

“Under traditional principles of criminal law the omission of ordinary care by parents, physicians and nurses creates criminal liability. The crimes committed may include murder, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy and child abuse or neglect. Generally a person is criminally liable for homicide by omission if: 1) He has a legal duty to protect another; 2) with knowledge or gross negligence he fails to act; 3) and such failure proximately causes the death of the other.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.