Euthanasia Essay

1418 words - 6 pages

Euthanasia

Since the evolution of man, infants have been born with severe illnesses. These
infants may be able to survive due to advancing technologies, but are left with
possible and probable defects. Many infants will die even though they are being
treated because they are not equipped to sustain life. These circumstances have
led to the debatable issue of infant euthanasia, or mercy killing, to allow these
babies an end to their suffering, and die peacefully. While many people feel that
euthanasia is murder, infant euthanasia should be legalized to spare terminally ill
newborns of long, painful deaths, and to spare them of possible life-long
disabilities.

Euthanasia is said to be morally wrong by pro-life groups. They point out
that infant's may not be suffering while they are dying. They also emphasize that
advances in pain management make it possible to relieve all or almost all pain.
These people say that children should be saved at all costs, no matter how great
the disability may be. They accentuate that the infants may be saved due to
advancing technology, and that there are also therapy treatments for their possible
disabilities.

However, in considering whether or not to treat a newborn, the main goal
should be to spare infants of long, painful deaths. Most experts believe that the
primary answer to this issue is to follow what's in the child's best interests. If his
mental and physical handicaps are overwhelming and it would be inhumane to
prolong his life, then treatment should be withheld or withdrawn. After all, saving
an infant for a life of suffering is hardly a humane and loving act. An infant was
born with a skin condition similar to third-degree burns over almost all of its body
for which there was no cure. The baby's mother was young, unwed, and indigent.
Providing basic nursing care caused tearing away of the skin. The infant could not
be fed orally because of blistering in the mouth and throat. Any movement of the
infant seemed to cause it pain. Even with intensive care its life expectancy, at
most, was believed to be days. It would have been reasonable, merciful, and
justifiable to have shortened the baby's dying by an intended direct action chosen
by the parent. ( In cases relevantly like this, it is not immoral or morally wrong to
intend and effect a merciful end to a life that, all things considered, will be
meaningless to the one who lives it and an unwarranted burden for others to
support. Among the women who work in the Stanford intensive care nursery,
several said that if they were to have an extremely premature baby, they would not
want it to be treated aggressively. One woman said that if she knew what was
about to happen she would stay away from a hospital with a sophisticated
intensive care unit. Others say they would make sure they were under the care of
a doctor who would not press...

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