One of the reasons why people would opt for euthanasia is due to the health spending implication or financial problem suffered. As we all know, incurable illness need a long treatment and expensive medicine to continue the patient’s life. However, some of the people view it as a practice of wasting money for making a longer painful life. Cancer, for example, its treatment cost a lot of money to get medical care for the patient and it cause lots of second effects. From the information given by National Cancer Society of Malaysia, the cost for a patient to get radiation treatment is from RM 1000 to RM 4200 depends on his condition. This cost excludes of the doctor’s fee, chemotherapy and medication. Thus, the cost for curing a cancer patient’s is imaginable. If the patient can be cured, it is still worth for every single cents spent. However, some patient who is in the single stage of the illness is hardly to be cured. When the patient dies, his family members have to pay for all his debt. It could sound materialistic; however, euthanasia is the last option that the patient as well as the family member can make to stop the sufferance when there are no other options.
. Besides, the hospitality in worldwide is still not up to the level of the number of patient. The number of patient is far more than the number of neither the staff nor the hospital. Few months ago, when I went to a private hospital as I am suspect to get SARS; surprisingly the doctor told me that no room was available in the hospital. The first thing that appears in my mind is how I am going to get my treatment if there is no room for me. However, it is still acceptable for me as mine is just a minor treatment. How about those who get a serious illness that the treatment must get in the hospital? People might think that why not move out those patients who cannot be cured from the hospital and this is the time euthanasia comes to them. This might increase the availability of the hospital’s room.
Another leading influence of euthanasia has been identified as depression. Most of the depression center primarily on feelings of dependence on others, perception of oneself as a burden, a desire to retain some control during the last days or weeks of life, as well as a sense of diminished dignity or quality life in general. This information is given by a study done by a team of Dutch physicians. In the report, it state that out of the five most common reason of euthanasia, four reasons fall within the general domain of “psychological factors”. The most common reason, cited by 57% of patient was a “loss of dignity” while 33% of patient feels they are being dependant on others. Those who get terminal or incurable illness might feel that they are useless and could do nothing to his society, his family and also himself. Thus, he would feel that he has lost the respect of others as he does not contribute anything to them. Some of those patients would also feel they are now depending on others to live. They feel frustrated when everything in their daily life needs the helps from others. For example, a patient who is paralyzed after having an accident need people to help them in consuming foods, going to toilet and many others. Due to the reasons above, they choose to voluntary end up their life.
Another “explanation” for the interest in euthanasia is due to the ongoing development in the medical industry. Currently, the physicians have a greater degree of control over the dying process because of the emergence of the “modern medicine”. Although there is a possibility that people might stay longer, but not necessarily with the same quality of life that people had came to expect. This might mean that the life is prolonged with severe pain or disability. As we all knows, the medical treatment for a terminal illness or incurable illness is a long and painful process. This can be seen in some movie where those patients are having a bold head, weak and a feeling ‘tired of life’. I believe that not everyone can stand against such a long sufferance. Without the encouragement of the family or friends, they may rather choose to end up their life. Thus, it is not a doubt if a patient asks for the doctor or physician to practice euthanasia for the reason of pain. Based on the study published by a group of Dutch physicians, there are still 46% of patient who request for physician-assisted-suicide due to the pain they suffered during the medical treatment.
However, in most of the religion view, euthanasia is restricted except for certain situation. In this research paper, we would discuss when euthanasia could and could not be practiced for the three major religions in Malaysia which is Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism. For Buddhism, involvement in euthanasia has to be thought about carefully in terms of both physical and spiritual harm done to oneself or to another. Danger not only involves the taking of physical life. Besides, it also will put people under psychological pressure. Another important factor is the intention of anyone arguing for euthanasia. These points are the important consideration in deciding whether euthanasia is morally acceptable or not. Besides, each case may vary within the generally agreed ethical guidelines of doing no harm.
For Christianity, many of the followers argue that people do not own their life. God does. Life is the gift of a God. Therefore, nobody has the right to terminate it. This is why suicide is still viewed as a sin or a wrongful act. However, for those who do not take the above view questions to be faced are: which is more important, length or quality of life? Should the drug used to prolong the life of a person? Is the patient the one who make the decision and finally what about doctor’s right? Despite these questions, some Christians believe that euthanasia should be made lawful.
For Hinduism, it respects all forms of life, and negative attitudes against unnecessary killing. A prominent Hindu attitude is to say that the terminally ill individual has to wait till the right time has come for him or her to die. Those that take care for the terminally ill patient may seek for ways to lessen pain and suffering, but in principle they have no right to end the other person’s life. Nevertheless, suicide may be morally and ethically acceptable to Hindus in a number of situations. A situation often depicted is the case of an old man who becomes a ‘smanyasi’, performs his own funeral rites and then leaves this world. Similarly well known is the model of the ideal wife, ‘sati’, who burns herself with her husband’s body on the funeral pyre in order to remain with him. In addition, the literature also gives examples of suicide as a penance, an honourable way out of a life spoilt by a serious crime or sin. In some instances, there appears to be a moral duty to commit suicide, thus sparing the ruler the need to enforce the death penalty for a grave violation of dharma.
Euthanasia is not a new issue that emerged recently. It has a long history which is discussed since 19th century. The trends continued into the early 20th century, with many debates among the legal scholars and physician on this issue. Legal scholars argue that patient has their right to choose what they want for. On the other hand, the physicians who uphold the principles originally outlined by Hippocrates continue resisting the demand of increased patient autonomy. Regardless of arguments uphold by both parties, I personally think that the patient should be given a right to have a choice on their own life but with certain conditions. The conditions include approval from the doctor, acceptance by the family member, as well as final confirmation from the client (the desire to die must be a lasting one). This is due to the psychological factor faced by the patient. Some patient is incapability of making decision as they have a lot of sufferance during their medical treatment which leads to irrational thinking.