Ever since the primitive human communities began to take care of those who are not able any more to provide for themselves on their own, humankind has been no more belonging to animal world. Since then neither subject of any monarch (whatever tyrant he is) nor has a citizen of any republic been supposed to be deprived of life not for having committed any act or omission. All the World Religions lay the responsibility for arbitrary deprivation of live exclusively upon God, inasmuch as the ways of His are inscrutable. So shall humans be allowed to assume the God’s role? In fact legalizing euthanasia means exactly that.
The very term “Euthanasia” derives from Greek and means “good death”. Also known as “merciful killing”, euthanasia is the act of intentionally depriving someone of life or helping some person to die. Basically, such interfering with the course of nature is a kind of murder committed under the pretext of compassion. Moreover, it encourages abuse, offering doctors the right to kill those whose pain they are supposed to relieve. Dr. J. Forest Witten says that euthanasia offers relatively small group of medics the “power of life and death” over those “guilty of nothing but of being born or getting ill” (“Euthanasia and physician,” 2010). As we can see, under the pretext of committing an act of taking compassion on those who might have been exhausted by pain or misery, those who might be entitled to deprive a patient of life, may surely abuse their right. Furthermore euthanasia as an official policy may violate the entire social groups’ rights. Dr. J Forest Witten warns us against what he calls “tyranny and totalitarianism" of the relatively small group of medics who are conferred the “power of life and death” over the disadvantaged ones.
Although euthanasia is often referred to as the “good death” or even a “mercy killing” it is rarely taken into consideration whether a patient is really competent to make decision about leaving this world. As a matter of fact, a patient’s request or consent to die may not result from his/her enduring wish to die. It is rather doubtful that anyone is able to appreciate the reality as he/she suffers the pain. A patient is still less capable to take adequate decisions being under the influence of the sedative or painkilling pills. After all, an “ordinary” suicide is likely to be committed in the state of some temporary despair.
Dr. J Forest Witten is said to have made the above mentioned statement in 1947, in Pennsylvania. That year Ellen Haug admitted to murdering her elderly mother with overdose of hypnotic pills. According to an excuse she produced at court Ellen could not stand her mother’s misery and crying. The excuse was not only lame. It was first and foremost selfish. Instead of getting her mother out of misery she was in fact getting rid of responsibility (Anti-Euthanasia).
It is no wonder that Nazi Germany pioneered the way of such “mercy killing” in modern times. Over 100,000 people perished in Nazi’s program of euthanasia. During World War II the physicians selected the patients to be euthanized at the special murder centers. Nazi murderers in doctors’ smocks approached to euthanasia with hellish cynicism peculiar to the whole Nazi regime. The victims were transported to the killing centers by such organizations as Charitable Sick transports, General Ambulance Service and the Charitable Foundation for Institutional care where unfortunate wretches were killed by means of lethal injections while children were simply starved to death. Nevertheless, by 1942 euthanasia campaign was curtailed because being busied with the war of the Reich and there was lack of resources for fighting the disabled.
According to a recent Netherlands government investigation, in 1990 over 1000 patients of this country were murdered without any consent. 25 500 patients died because of withdrawal of support, 63% of them were denied treatment without their consent while 12% were not even consulted in spite of being mentally capable.
Those data had been publicized before 1991 referendum in Washington State and helped much to shatter the plans to legalize assisted suicide and lethal injections (Anti-Euthanasia). Nowadays euthanasia is illegal in most parts of the world. Nevertheless in some countries, including Netherlands, it is practiced although being illegal.
Medics of that country assume divine power to deprive others of life although have still remained humans themselves. So having assumed the power of life and death, Dutch doctors have remained subject to all the human vices and passions, i.e. greed, envy, etc. It means that the power of life and death might be and has already been abused. It is no wonder that these were Benelux countries where existed the so-called “slip slope” involuntary ending of humans’ lives. According to the statement made by Gregory Koukl, the President and the Founder of Stand to Reason organization, since 1990 (when euthanasia was legalized in Netherlands) hardly each fifth death of the Kingdom of each year was the result of the euthanasia. Moreover, more than 11% of all those deaths are the result of involuntary euthanasia. As Dr. Koukl puts it, it is when a victim says that he/she wants to live yet but it is objected by the doctor “you're dead” (Has legalizing..?).
As we can see, a civilized and technologically advanced country has sunk into the state similar to the one of the most primitive pagan societies. Human life has been no more valuable since a human being got impotent to make a contribution! Having once allowed solving one problem, i.e. sparing the terminally ill people of unbearable sufferings we are likely to come down soon to admit another “final solution” for the entire groups of people. Nowadays, the courts bless Dutch doctors to kill people “in seemingly irremediable mental pain”. Who knows, may be some day it would “seem” not even to a judge, but to some middle rank official, that some ethnic minority or social group are better to be “relieved of the pain”. Felicia Cohn, PhD argues that the poor are very much likely to be subject to mass euthanasia under the pretext of the cost savings (Has legalizing..?).
Wesley Smith, JD writes in his Forced Exit that since more than 40 million citizens of the USA has either no insurance or are temporarily uninsured. It means that those uninsured are supposed to lack sufficient medical care and medications. Such people when facing the prospect of their families’ bankruptcy may choose “voluntarily” to undergo the “good death” (Has legalizing..?).
As it has already been mentioned above, euthanasia, in fact authorizes murder. Having taken Hippocratic Oath that demands to do a patient no harm (The Hippocratic Oath), the doctors nevertheless seize an opportunity to assume the God’s authority to kill those in their care. The most outrageous example of such opportunism might be Dr. Jack Kevorkian, also known as “Dr Death”. Decades after Nuremberg Trial the doctor created a so-called “suicide machine” that offered a patient an opportunity to inject a lethal dose of medication to him/herself by merely pressing a button. “Dr. Death was eventually sentenced to two hundred and fifty years in prison for committing second-degree murder” (Cavan, Seamus. “Euthanasia: The Debate Over the Right to Die.”).
Although the Nazis, Dr. Kevorkian and an irresponsible daughter from Pennsylvania in fact assumed the God’s authority, they all remained humans of flesh and bone, racked by fleshy passions. It means that they could have not bothered themselves with such excuses as medical necessity of relieve the sick and the poor from their pains. Ellen Haug’s mother’s misery for example may have been not as terrible as we can imagine. Instead, Ellen may have gotten tired of waiting for inheriting her mother’s property. Likewise occupants of numerous sheltered housings and hospices may be sacrificed under the pretext of cost cutting (American Medical Association Homepage).
Even if all the means of alleviating or at least preventing pain have fallen short, the sacred dimension could be rather effectively called on to support the sick one who knows that standing and accepting acute pain would surely be to his or her credit in hereafter, the long and real life. It means that euthanasia is defiant towards any religious belief being a real baloney to those who cherish their faith in our Lord as well as in the inviolability of life.
Euthanasia must never be legalized. It is in no way a solution to the sufferings of the sick ones. However euthanasia is a rather controversial point, it is obvious that it can disrupt the normal life style and thus leads to creating a far more abusive and violent society. Being a divine gift, life is by no means a choice, so such practices as euthanasia can do nothing but violate the vital concept of the civilization.
Those advocating euthanasia often say that as long as everyone is his/her own destiny’s master, he/she has “natural” right to commit suicide. After coming to such a conclusion we could come down to the idea that humans may have natural right to deprive others of their lives arbitrarily. Sseventy years ago Nazis tried to justify their right to spare of the disabled and then slew up to six millions of Jews. Our Lord in all His Wisdom did not permit this experiment to get crowned with success so Nazi regime was military defeated and thus collapsed. Yet if nevertheless the whole civilization fail again to learn a lesson from Him, the whole human race is likely to be defeated and tramped into savagery forever.