Please offer me the chance to illustrate my decision on the medical dilemma of Mary Jane’s medical condition. The 45-year-old patient had an accident that caused her two legs and both limbs to be amputated. The patient had been in such agony and, as a result, two days earlier, proposed to consider euthanasia to bring an end to her life. The nurses have also confirmed that the patient has been refusing treatment for the past 24 hours and is crying excessively that distracts other patients.Although I have not gotten the opportunity to consult with other nurses, I have refuted the consideration of euthanasia and believe that the patient should be offered an alternative medical care that can help to reduce the pain.
Euthanasia is unethical conduct as it violates our religious beliefs. Many religions disapprove the act of taking life of others. For instance, the Roman Catholic Church hold the belief that those who become vulnerable as a result of disability or illness deserve protection and special care by the community and that euthanasia is not an option (Ten Have & Welie, 2014). It is also highlighted in various religious doctrines that God forbids the act of taking another person’s life regardless of the justifications. The scriptures including the bible assert that the Supreme God commands the humanity never to kill. As such, this rules out the possibility of suicide or euthanasia since this would reveal an attack on God’s sovereignty (Ten Have & Welie, 2014). Thus, I believe that we do not have the right to take the life of the patient.
Taking Jane’s life will also violate the medical ethics that require physicians to respect the human life and enhance the wellbeing of patients. The International Code of Medical Ethics (2006) has various provisions that require physicians to protect human life. One of the provisions states that “A physician shall always bear in mind the obligation to respect human life.” The code also requires that “A physician shall owe his/her patients complete loyalty and all the scientific resources available to him/her. Whenever an examination or treatment.” These provisions mean that there is need for physicians to protect the lives of patients and provide their best medical care in order to enhance their wellbeing. By asking doctors to avoid their obligation of preserving life, there could be a damaging relationship between the patients and the physicians. To avoid such occurrence, I believe that all our patients, including Jane, deserve to live and receive better quality care rather than a stop to existence.
Considering this particular ethical decision, allowing euthanasia may become a legal norm in the hospital and other healthcare providers which may in turn result in involuntary occurrences in the future. While reviewing the legality of euthanasia, the Chairman of Medical Ethics Committee, Lord Walton, suggested that it is virtually impossible to ensure that all euthanasia acts are voluntary; it was possible for physicians to abuse this right (BBC, 2016). There is also a key concern of the vulnerable individuals including children, the elderly, and the very sick like Jane who may feel pressure whether to consider euthanasia or not. Without a properly drafted law, I feel that taking the life of Jane may result in subsequent cases which might not be voluntary. It is, thus, important to avoid such scenario, and instead protect the lives of our patients.
International Code of Medical Ethics (2006). Retrieved from http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/c8/index.html
Ten Have, H., & Welie, J. V. (2014). Palliative sedation versus euthanasia: an ethical assessment. Journal of pain and symptom management, 47(1), 123-136.
BBC. (2016). Anti-euthanasia argument. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/euthanasia/against/against_1.shtml