Euthanasia is the act of ending a person’s life to give relief to their suffering and grief, and it has been around since time immemorial. It started during the dark ages when there were numerous diseases that were incurable, and mercy killing was the only option left. Presently, most laws and countries prohibit this action due to its barbaric nature. However, it is still allowed in a few areas due to certain circumstances such as peculiar laws and cultures. Its execution involves the assistance of a medical professional and the consent of the patient in most cases. However, the decision falls to relatives, doctors, or the court if the person is too ill to choose.
“No one is born knowing how to cope with the wave of grief that follows the death of someone we love. As a psychotherapist who’s worked with many grievers, I know when faced with overwhelming grief, many people feel like they are alone in what they’re experiencing and can feel like they’re going crazy.” Debbie Augenthaler, LMHC, NCC said. Individuals who want to undergo euthanasia have conditions that make living unbearable such as terminal illnesses. It is also a way to extricate themselves from any suffering caused by outside forces. It will also lessen the length of grief that family members will feel towards the terminally ill loved one which is why some patients will opt to make this choice.
There are different execution types of euthanasia. Listed are the following:
Active Euthanasia: This type of euthanasia involves a direct way of causing death. An excellent example of this is the use of chemicals and medication.
Passive Euthanasia: Death brought by omission such as withdrawing or withholding treatment is an example of this type of euthanasia.
Assisted Suicide: This is considered murder by law. It refers to cases when the individual needs help to kill themselves. An excellent example of this is providing drugs within reach of the individual who wants to die.
Indirect Euthanasia: This usually occurs when the provided treatment to reduce the excruciating pain due to terminal illness has the side effect of speeding the death of the patient. It is morally accepted by most people compared to active euthanasia because the intention is not to kill but to make the pain bearable before death occurs.
Voluntary Euthanasia: This is self-explanatory. Euthanasia occurs upon the decision of the patient and family members.
Non-Voluntary Euthanasia: It occurs when the person is unconscious (in a coma) or otherwise unable to choose between living and dying. A family member or an appropriate person decides on their behalf for the euthanasia to take place.
Reasons Why People Want It
Honestly, “When people are given a supportive environment and a safe relationship, they can let down their guard and heal.” Lisa S. Larsen, PsyD said. And terminally ill individuals have their quality of life severely reduced due to the symptoms of their sickness and the side effects of their treatment. However, it is not the primary cause of why they seek euthanasia. Depression, dignity, pride, loss of control, feeling of being a burden, and lessening the grief of their family members are the main reasons why these terminally ill individuals want euthanasia as extrication.
Euthanasia has many moral dilemmas, which cause arguments to the populace. Its roots question the meaning and value of human existence. However, there are also arguments regarding its practicality. The only thing we can say is that everyone has their right to choose regarding how they want to deal with their predicament. Every individual has their circumstance in life, and we can’t judge them (individuals who wish to undergo euthanasia) based on our morality.
“Individuals may avoid discussing the loss as well as avoid people or places that are associated with their grief. This experience can put an individual in a vulnerable position with regard to their mental health.” –Tali Yuz Berliner, Psy.D.