Euthanasia is Still Murder

[ 5 ] April 23, AD 2012 |

I’ll make this article short and get straight to the point: Euthanasia is the deliberate killing of a person’s life, and so is murder. Yes, you’ve all heard of that before, and it sounds pretty clichéd now. I may appear naïve here, but let’s say for instance we get rid of the arguments pertaining to how euthanasia is justifiable.

First off, we focus on the term “killing,” and every time we hear it, negativity would always fill our minds. Nobody would want to see anyone get killed, except maybe for sadists. Generally, nobody wants to get killed and nobody should want to kill—and nobody should kill. I believe that killing is very much frowned upon in most societies.

What is this so-called “mercy killing”? Well, basically, it’s still killing, but out of mercy. Thanks, Captain Obvious. The thing is, the main method of mercy killing is ending one’s life. Imagine getting high grades in school—yet your method for doing so is bribing your teacher. And that’s Machiavellian; which means by our creed and our morals, we cannot simply accept that sort of mindset.

In Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the main character Raskolnikov kills the pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanovna. If anyone read the book, the main reason for Raskolnikov doing so is to test his theory that there are men which aren’t bound by law but merely by their own conscience. The reason, however, why he chose to kill Alyona was because the pawnbroker was a detriment to society. Thus, by killing her, Raskolnikov would also be doing the world a favor.

But was this murder justifiable? In any case, it wasn’t, and it could never be. The belief of “the end justifies the means” falls flat, as what is shown in the later parts of Dostoyevsky’s book. And I believe so that this is also quite true for euthanasia or mercy killing. It’s still killing, after all, even though the patient wants to be put down.

Having yourself euthanized is tantamount to suicide. Of course, we all know that suicide is a grave sin since it is an act of murdering yourself, as condemned in the Ten Commandments. I guess that’s enough to rule euthanasia as an immoral act which goes against the natural law.

Again, speaking from a perspective where we simply start from scratch and not considering all the other arguments which would seemingly justify things like euthanasia, it still boils down to two things: To preserve life, or to end it.

And from there, which one will you pick between the two? Your call.

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/jaredavatar-2-e1317737695228.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Jared Combista is twenty-one and comes from the Philippines. He writes about the Church, touching on the topic of distributism although he still considers himself a student and not a scholar on the economic philosophy. He writes for Verum Nocet, as well as his personal blog, The Secular Catholic. He also plays music and he has no idea how that has to do with anything.[/author_info] [/author]

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Category: Mercy and Killing, Symposiums

About the Author ()

Iconoclast, interested in economics, history, philosophy, Catholicism and a whole lot of other stuff.
  • http://acatholicsheep.wordpress.com Mariella Hunt – Teen Catholic Writer

    That’s deep…but so true…

    I think I want to read that book now…

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  • Perinatal Loss Nurse

    As a person who works in the trenches of life and death every day, Im a little dismayed at such a deep and important topic being touched on in a way that feels so shallow. The author is correct that euthanasia is bad and wrong no matter what name and motivation you put on it, but what can we actually learn about this that will tell us more than we knew before?

    So how and when are people in our society temped towards euthanasia and how can we influence them away from it? This site’s target audience is young people…yes young people die but statistically the most common death that young people suffer is their elderly relatives. Why might your elderly relatives be swayed towards euthenasia? Mostly because they fear being a burden or being in pain as they die (although Im not super-well-versed in adult care, I was an adult hospice nurse for a while, so I had some exposure). How can you influence this process? The most important thing you can do is to communicate to your elderly relatives that you love and treasure them and you will stand by and be with them as much as possible (as they near the end, although that might be left unsaid as it could be a little awkward to mention that at dinner).

    I remember going to a home of a gentleman who was dying and there was a hoard of teen grandchildren standing uncomfortably around unsure of what they could or wanted to do for their dying grandfather. It is normal when first working with people to get a lot of “I cant..I cant do this, I cant to that, I cant wash them, I cant give rectal medications, I cant watch them die..cant cant cant” but easing them into learning how is part of the big task. Once this man (who had been in terrible pain) was finally well medicated, I got his granddaughters to help turn & roll him in bed so that we could change his urine soaked sheets, wash him and put him in fresh clothes. I did the task with them teaching and coaching them through it…they were uncomfortable and full of “cants” but we did it and I will honestly tell you that they were DIFFERENT people after 12 minutes of service than they were before likely never to be the same again.

    One might wonder how overcoming “can’ts” in the hospice realm change and fuel people to learn and grow in other areas.

    I dont care for dying adults anymore, I care for dying babies. On this site I need not explain why abortion is wrong, but what about prenatal euthenasia ? That would be aborting a baby who was otherwise wanted because they are sick. Again, with this audience, I likely don’t need to make an elaborate argument. In the past 10 years or so, a movement to provide supportive, comprehensive hospice-styled prenatal care for them has been developed and is growing. It is called Perinatal Hospice and it is done in religious as well as secular settings. What you need to know is that there is a faction of ultra-conservatives who have decided that Perinatal Hospice is suspect because they fear that it will be used as a ruse to facilitate the deaths of babies who are disabled but not actually dying.

    This argument is horribly wrong for many reasons and I want you to be aware of this because if people discourage Perinatal Hospice, fewer programs offering support will exist and people who are “on the fence” of what to do when they get a grave prenatal diagnosis, more babies will be subject to prenatal euthanasia. When I set out to start my local program 7 years ago, I expected arguments from the left. In my city, I actually dont get much of an argument from anybody, but in the larger conservative press, I (and my peers) have been accused of ghastly things and eaten alive by people who I thought would be supportive but instead throw stones and accuse.

    The beautiful, precious babies encourage me in my faith and I am honored to care for them and share their brief but amazing lives. The fact that people who have never in their lives stood at a bedside at 3AM with blood on their gloves will tell me that Im wrong and my motives are suspect – they are the discouragers.

  • Rebecca

    It’s amazing how insidious this “mercy killing” gets sold. If you saw The Hunger Games, you’ll remember how Katniss killed a fellow contestant who was being mauled. When watching you feel a sense of relief that the mauling is over… but upon reflection, it’s distressing that what you are essentially feeling okay about is a “mercy” killing. It really bothered me. I have a feeling this is how this topic is going to start showing up in movies and tv shows so we start to begin to feel okay with it in certain situations. Then I’m sure we’ll see more moves in healthcare to allow it… Scary.

  • Perinatal Loss Nurse

    Rebecca,

    Fr Robery Barron created a wonderful response about the Hunger Games and how we should see it as a warning & take heed and I agree with him.

    I also agree that we need to be diligent and aware of what trends are in Health Care and that we dont get tricked into accepting something that is wrong. I implore everyone here though (perhaps keeping in mind the concern I voiced above) that while you are being prudent, aware and dilagent, that you not become accusatory of good decent Health Care workers. God lead some to pursue vocations of Medicine and Nursing and we ARE here holding back the deluge but horrible accusations from our brethren weaken us…please dont paint all of us with too-wide of a brush.