Euthanasia—it always seemed like the way to go for me. Why not pull the plug or end someone’s life, whom you have been told is in pain or suffering? And for that matter, what happens when it is a person that you most deeply love and cherish?
I always tried putting myself in these situations. If I were suffering, I would certainly want someone to pull the plug. I understand to fight for your life is ideal and can lead to miraculous healing. However, sometimes we just have to face reality and realize that someone could be in pain while we contemplate whether to keep or let go.
After reading The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia by J. Gay-Williams, there are many other components that are crucial in making the ultimate decision. For instance, Gay-Williams states, “a mistaken diagnosis is possible, and so is a mistaken prognosis. Consequently, we may believe that we are dying of a disease when, as a matter of fact, we may not be.”
Misdiagnoses’ happen more frequently than we think. It would be a complete mistake to not research further or consider this. After all, nowadays society has developed hundreds of diseases, illnesses, etc., that supposedly allow us to believe we are abnormal or that we are different. Yet as Gay-Williams states, “recently, many psychiatrists and sociologists have argued that we define as ‘mental illness’ those forms of behavior that we disapprove of. This gives us license then to lock up those who display the behavior.” These ideas ultimately become embedded into our minds, leading us to believe there is always something wrong. Eventually, even the most subtle or unserious situations can eventually seem crucial due to ‘mental-illness’ information overload. All this can be misleading in allowing us to believe the less severe illnesses are unmanageable or hopeless.
For example, if your mother or close family member is being held on life support due to some type of disease or illness, you are likely to entrust and rely on your doctor. The doctor, who has a wide spectrum of knowledge about these diseases then explains it is severe or hopeless to change, and what are you supposed to think?
I believe we have to be critical. In addition to this doctor’s wide array of knowledge on these types of illnesses, who is to say he/she is correct about the sickness or even the level of sickness? Who is to say this doctor is simply exaggerating the illness due to his/her inclination that your close family member is better off dead? Also, the reality is, nobody has you or your family’s best interest in mind the way you do, therefore someone might just not care as much
More so, it is always the easy thing to do and believe what you hear. It is always easier to jump to the conclusion that a person, may in fact be suffering dreadfully. However, we must all remember to keep open minds and consider that not all doctors have the truth or even the best interest of another. It is natural for us to entrust them, yet rather than agreeing, we need to possibly do our own research and question whether these situations are actually feasible within the particular circumstances.