Jim Crow Laws in Harper Lee's Famous Work 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

Death is something that touches every human many times in their life, particularly the death of loved ones, friends, and eventually ourselves. Euthanasia has been an important issue that has faced our world for generations. Euthanasia the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals for reasons of mercy. Some places accept this practice and in other places where it is illegal. Terminally ill Australians can for the first time apply to end their own life, after the new laws that went into order in the state of Victoria this year of June 19. Euthanasia should be banned in Australia and is not a healthy choice for our society for the following reasons; there are available alternative treatments, euthanasia imposes on a doctor duty to kill, and patients may not be in the right state of mind to decide whether or not they want to die.

Voluntary euthanasia is unnecessary because there are alternative treatments that exist. We don’t have to kill the patient to kill the symptoms they’re experiencing. People think that there are only two options open to patients that are terminally ill: either they die slowly suffering all the pain or they choose euthanasia. Well, that’s not the case, alternative treatment includes palliative care provided by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together to help unpleasant symptoms experienced in the process of terminal illness that can be either relieved or reduced. Palliative care aims to support people who are dying so that the process is as peaceful as possible. If your loved one was suffering from a terminal illness and had six more months left to live, would you want them to end their life sooner from euthanasia or go under palliative care and spend the precious time you have with the left? Many patients are having not the best care or treatment. This is usually because facilities do not exist in the immediate area or because local medical practitioners lack the training and skills necessary to manage terminally ill patients properly. The solution to this is to make appropriate and effective care and training more widely available, not to give doctors the easy option of euthanasia.

Allowing doctors to do euthanasia permits them to kill patients and thus questions their duty to heal patients. Doctors are supposed to cure a life not take it away. Euthanasia takes away the fundamental role of doctors to care and heal. Killing someone is the most ultimate harm one can do to another.

Giving doctors the power to decide when a patient’s life is not worth living could lead to non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia meaning a patient's life has ended without the patient's knowledge and consent. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who supported the Bill says 100 to 150 people per year will access voluntary assisted dying.

When doctors are given this responsibility to inform families when their loved ones are beyond help, it is putting a lot of power into their hands. They could be mistaken, and a wrong diagnosis could lead to the murder of a person that could have been saved. Imagine a doctor telling the family that all hope is lost because of a lack of time, staff, or resources, and to may suggest euthanasia to save their hospital the trouble of housing the sickly. Along with the patient being possibly saved, doctors and family may give up on hope too soon. If a patient is told that he or she has six more months to live with a bit of pain or weakness, he or she may decide to commit suicide before letting nature take its course. This denies them any precious time that may be spent with friends and relatives in their final days, and, however slim it might be, it leaves no chance for a miracle recovery or discovering a medical error, meaning that the patient has a lot more time.

Patients may give consent to euthanasia but may not have the right state of mind to decide the right

Often people who lean toward euthanasia are those who fear pain, poor quality of life, burdening loved ones with their care, etc. A patient with a terminal illness is vulnerable. They lack the knowledge and skills to relieve their symptoms and may be suffering from fear about the future and anxiety about the effect their illness is having on others. It is very difficult to be entirely objective about their situation.

Those who regularly manage terminally ill patients recognize that they often suffer from depression or a false sense of worthlessness which may affect their judgment. Their decision-making may equally be affected by confusion or inconvenient symptoms which could be relieved with appropriate treatment. Often people who lean toward euthanasia are those who fear pain, poor quality of life, burdening loved ones with their care, etc. This can interfere with their decision for choosing euthanasia because their state of mind isn’t right since they are thinking negatively about the stress and pressure that is building up. These patients need to know that they are valued and loved as they are. They need to know that doctors and everyone supporting them is committed to their well-being, even if this does involve wasting of time and money. The way we treat the weakest and most vulnerable people speaks volumes about the kind of society we are.

We live in a society where assisted suicide is acceptable, but is no better than a killer with motives. Euthanasia is a crime and should not be legal in Australia. People are dying from this when they can be saved by the palliative treatment that can easily relieve or reduce the symptoms and pain terminally ill experience and live the little time they have left happily. A doctor’s role is to save people's lives, now doctors have to kill patients and maybe inform false diagnoses. When a person could be saved but has lost hope from the bad news telling them how long they have left. It is never guaranteed that physicians can provide an accurate prognosis regarding a terminally ill patient.  

29 April 2022
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