THE RIGHT TO DIE:
Euthanasia is a very controversial topic. People argue as to whether or not a person who is terminally ill, or handicap, should have the right or not to ask their doctor, or relatives to die by euthanasia. People say that dying by euthanasia is to die with dignity, instead of living an artificial life on respirators and other life support machines. My personal feelings on this topic is one of the minority. If a person is terminally ill, and there is nothing anyone can do for them, why should they have to suffer? Not only do they suffer but their family does also. They will watch as their condition gets worse, and then the vision in their head of the loved one who has finally died many months after they were diagnose as terminally ill, is a memory of a person lying there helpless, not able to feed themselves, get out of bed, or talk to you.
One notable euthanasia case would be Sue Rodrigous. She had a disease known as Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS, which is a rare incurable disease of the nervous system. ALS gradually destroys the nerves that control the muscles. The results of which are weakness, paralysis, and eventually death. That is what Sue Rodrigous was suffering from for well over a year. Knowing that her condition was only going to get worse, and eventually, after the pain and suffering, would result in death, Sue wanted to die. She wanted people to remember her as a lively healthy woman, not just a body lying helpless in a hospital bed. With that thought in mind, Sue went to court to fight for right to die by euthanasia. The courts did not agree with her though.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, proposed the creation of a new medical specialist, the "obitiarist," who would assist terminally ill patients to take their own lives, subject to strict guidelines.
His patient also suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease. She was in bad shape, struggling to hold her head up, could not talk, and had to communicate using a computer keyboard. She was deteriorating quickly. "She was very smart," he said, a note of sadness entering his voice. Kevorkian built a machine called the "mercitron," a jumble of tubes and bottles that would allow patients with little mobility to inject themselves with a lethal cocktail of drugs.
In Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck, there are examples of euthanasia. Candy and his dog were together since the dog was a pup. One of the farm hands pointed out that the dog was no good to himself. The dog was old and would surely die a slow death. Knowing this, Candy agreed to let the man shoot the dog in the back of the head so the dog would die without feeling a thing.
" "I don't see no reason for it," said Carlson. He went to his bunk, pulled his bag from underneath it and took out a Luger pistol. "Le's get it over with,"...
Candy looked a long time at Slim to try to find some reversal. And Slim gave him none. At last Canady said softly and hopelessly, "Awright -- take 'im." "
A day later Candy is talking with George and Lennie, and he says that he wishes that when the day came that he was no good to himself anymore just like his dog had been, that someone shoot him.
Of course the most obvious example of euthanasia is at the end of the novel. Lennie who is fond of things that are soft to touch is stroking Curly's wife's hair. He becomes carried away and breaks her neck and kills her. George, fearing Lennie's life, takes his gun and runs into the bushes with him. As the dogs and the men from the farm run after them George realizes that when they catch Lennie they would either torture him, or send him to a mental hospital. George knows that would just kill Lennie. So George takes his gun and kills Lennie with one shot to the head.
"And George raised the gun and steadied it, and he brought the muzzle of it close to the back of Lennie's head. The hand shook violently, but his face set and his hand steadied. He pulled the trigger."
With every example of euthanasia there are some people who agree, and some who are dead set against it. There are comprehensible, and logical reasons why some people are against euthanasia. Most people want their loved ones with them until their day has actually come for them to die. It might give people an understanding that it was all right to kill themselves. While the patient is lying in bed some clinic, or scientist, might find a cure for the very disease that patient is dying from. For medical reasons they may be able to find out more about a certain disease while someone has it. As many times as you ponder the idea of euthanasia you will find just as many pros as cons. Maybe we have to start thinking like the person in the hospital bed, who is unable to walk, talk, feed themselves, think for themselves, or even breathe for themselves. Even from the perspective of the family member who has to watch their own flesh and blood suffer.
O! that this too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew;
Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter!
· William Shakespeare