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PROJECT TOPIC- DIFFERENT FACTIONS OF EUTHANASIA AND THE OPPOSING SECTS

PROJECT TOPIC- DIFFERENT FACTIONS OF EUTHANASIA AND THE OPPOSING SECTS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 Euthanasia has been a very serious issue in medical/ Bioethics; since it concerns the question of life and death. It will therefore be wonderful, if this work can be started as an introduction from Bio- ethics.

Bioethics is a subfield in ethics that concerns the ethical issues arising in medicine from advances in biological sciences. One central area is the ethical issues arising in relation between health care professionals and patients. A second issue is that of social practice in health care. These two conglomerate to form the rudiment of what we call euthanasia because it involves doctor- patient relation.

Euthanasia and  abortion  have one thing in common. They both involve “choice for death”, better still the situation can as well be described as “the edges of life” whereby human embryo is deliberately destroyed in               abortion, and human life is eliminated out of kindness for a suffering person in euthanasia. The word euthanasia is a compound of two Greek words. Eu-well or good, and thanatos-death.

(Ekennia 161 ) Literally defined, euthanasia means a good death. It is generally understood as the bringing about a good death, easy death. It is simply referred to as mercy- killing. It could be called a painless death provoked by medical intervention. In secular society, there is need for formality in almost everything. So, euthanasia cannot be said to exist unless it is legalized. And in order to legislate on it, there must be need for reasons, convictions, oppositions and life examples.

So this quest divided the people into proposing and opposing sects and they are today called the pro-euthanasia and anti- euthanasia sects. The pro-euthanasia group proposes that terminally-ill patients should be helped to die while the anti-euthanasia group opposes that they should not be killed that life is only handled by God, and that it is as well against the Hippocratic Oath taken by the medical professionals at the inception of office.

The sole aim of this presentation is not to determine whether or not euthanasia should be, but also to bring to the fore the sacredness or value of life (Dignity of human life principles). To bring the society back on sound moral principles and also to make them realize that life is life no matter what and should be handled with care.

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Euthanasia has received less attention in the modern day societies. The recent treatment of this ethical issues or trend portrays our society as lacking the basic moral principles. Because it touches some of the most religious and moral issues, few societies have been able to look at the health aspect of euthanasia as it affects the individual. My interest on this topic is called up by a sincere desire to put our society back on sound moral principles especially as it relates to question of life and death and the dignity and sacredness of the human personality.

PROJECT TOPIC- DIFFERENT FACTIONS OF EUTHANASIA AND THE OPPOSING SECTS

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

       The issue of the implication of euthanasia on the dignity of human life has been a great concern and a controversial issue all over the world. While some schools of thought consider it unnecessary to prolong the suffering of a terminally-ill patients, some however, maintain that it is morally unjustifiable act for anyone to terminate the life of an individual; whatever the state of health may be on any basis for life is sacred.

       The problem I want to solve in this work lies in the opposing views of the two groups; pro-euthanasia and anti- euthanasia. So, the problem is that of the polarity: negative and positive poles that is the pro euthanasia and the anti euthanasia. For the negative pole, the problem is this: If to kill is evil and we all are going to die, then are we not all subject to the negative pole? If a terminally-ill patient demands to die or be killed and we refuse him to die, is it not denying the beggar of alms?. However, for the positive pole, if the medical professionals help the patient to die, is it not in contradiction to the Hippocratic Oath that they took at the inception of office, that they will always help to preserve life?

       An analysis into these two positions or camps will throw more insight on the problem. And the problem implies the confusion, which the two positions pose to the society.

1.3 SCOPE OF STUDY

       Some people suppose euthanasia to include suicide and abortion. But the scope of euthanasia that I am writing about is that which is based on the mercy- killing as performed by the medical professionals and relatives of the patient.

       By implication of the above, I am not writing about “euthanasia” but I am writing about “the euthanasia”

       And this topic is as well limited to the nature of the analysis of the opposing camps and if euthanasia is legalized, what it holds for the society. That implies that, I am not taking side for any of the two camps, I only undertake to know more about the two camps and with their knowledge, common sense will lead to the conclusion.

1.4 PURPOSE OF STUDY

       The purpose of this study is first to throw light on the different factions of euthanasia and the opposing sects for a general understanding of it, then the problems emanating there from. Then I will conclude by synthesizing the opposites that are worth reconciling. The reconciliation will not be strict to the latter, rather, it will be a loose reconciliation in order to allow the dynamics needed to substantiate the points. In my conclusion, we will find out the extremities of these two and why they cannot stand unless there is the third position which is the synthesis of the two.

       With all this in mind, I resolve to conclude that I will solve this societal problem by this analysis and synthesis of the two positions and where it places human life in terms of value. This is the nature of this work and that is the purpose of this study.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

       The significance of the study is both pragmatic and academic. It is a problem solving one. This study is directed towards analyzing both the positive and negative aspect of the problem.

       When the implication have been mirrored, it will then give the people the opportunity to have a critical and objective view of the issues, and to know all implication towards the value of life.

1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

       Some Professors and Doctors said that some philosophical questions are not meant to be answered. This is because answers imply conclusion and this ushers in another problem leading to more questions

       So in this write-up, the research question will be partly philosophical and partly not so that I will be able to answer them without creating another problem, after all I am writing to solve a problem and not creating more for the society. The research questions are as follows:

1-What is euthanasia?

2- The being of euthanasia, abstract or concrete

3- If concrete, then the becoming

4- What is problematic about euthanasia?

5-What is dignity of human life?

6- What are the types of euthanasia?

7-What are the two factions of euthanasia?

8- How far as regards acceptance or rejection?

9- What are the reactions by the society?

10-Pro-euthanasia, any headway?

11- Active euthanasia, how wonderful?

12- How can I solve the problem?

       All these are the question. They are partly philosophical and partly not and I generally call them research questions. I promise that whoever reads this, will surely know all about euthanasia, what it holds for human life and its solutions.

1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

       Euthanasia is already existing in the society both medically and legally. So, now that it is existing what are the consequences?.­­

       Owing to the dual nature of the research topic, I will make out hypothesis from both sides, after which in my conclusion, I will establish a common ground for both of them to stand.

       I will first of all marshal out hypothesis on pro-euthanasia then, to anti- euthanasia.

The hypothesis are:

1- The victim suffers severe pains

2- The victim is no longer a Human Being

3- The victim is no longer alive, just dying slowly.

4-Euthanasia is done anyway: so let’s legalize it.

5-The victim wishes he were dead

6-The relatives wish the victim were dead.

anti- euthanasia Hypothesis.

       In the case of anti- euthanasia, the above is presented through the other side of the coin.

1- The victim suffers no severe pains.

       Dr. Foye affirmed, as written in “Handbook of Euthanasia”, that most dying patients do not have pains, and that even it they do, it can be controlled by the administration of analgesics” (2). If anyone is dying and is in pain, it is better to change the doctor than to kill the patient.

2- The victim remains not a human being.

       If by this, it is meant brain-death, then why can’t there be medical research in that direction. Why seek permission for killing patients rather than saving them?. After all, in Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, brain-death was defined as “the point when the higher centers pf the brain cease to function” (3) so, why not restore the life of the brain, after all they can clone and can use stem-cells.

– Hypothesis 2 and 3 are the same.

4- Euthanasia is done anyway, so let’s legalize it.

       By this topic, why not legalize murder too? Since or after all it is done anyway.

5- The victim wishes he were dead

       Be that as it may the solution for this type of patient is reasonable emotional support, care and brotherly love. People, relatives and medical professionals should care emotionally for the patient with such care, the patient cannot wish to die.

6- The relative wish the victim were dead.

       This is not a very good reason for killing somebody. If thought can easily kill, then I wonder who will remain on this plane of life. Even relatives can wish one to die because they are tired of taking care of him or they have their eyes on his property. Therefore, mere wish should not be adequate enough for killing somebody.

1.8 METHODOLOGY        

       The method used in carrying-out this research study have excluded the use of question are because nobody will comfortably admit aiding euthanasia either passive or active euthanasia, especially in our society where people have high value for preservation of human life. As a result, there is the likelihood that much reliable information cannot be obtained through these procedures.

       Generally euthanasia is always discussed secretly under closed door situation by the medical doctor and may be one of the relative of the patient.

       Hence, I rely on the work of scholars whom the issue has influenced in one way or another.

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS:          

       Terms which will feature prominently in this work are to be chained for the purpose of clarity they include:

Definition:             The contextual content of a particular

Concept

Problem:               A difficulty yet to be solved.

Euthanasia:           compound of two Greek words eu-good

and thanatos-death. It implies good   death

Brain-death:          Very serious damage to the brain that

can not be cured. A person who is suffering from brain-death needs machine to keep him alive, even though his heart is still breathing.

Dying-will:             A document stating one’s wishes

concerning medical treatment in the case that one become so ill that one can no longer make decision about it

Analgesics:            Another name for it is pain killer. It is

substance that reduces pain.

Anesthesia:           The state of being unable to tell

anything

Advocate:              A person who supports or speaks

in favour of someone or a public plan or action

Active euthanasia: The withdrawal of drugs in order to

allow the patient to die.

Dignity:                 It is a sense of your own importance and

value, being given honor and respect by others

Bio-ethics:             A subfield of ethics that concerns the

ethical issues arising in medicine and from advances in biological sciences.

PROJECT TOPIC- DIFFERENT FACTIONS OF EUTHANASIA AND THE OPPOSING SECTS

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