Prof. Anthony Fraser
English Comp 1
May 5, 2015
Euthanasia: A Moral Dilemma
In a brightly-lit, cold white room, Dr. Jesse is discussing the extent of the life-threatening disease that a patient, Mark, has. Mark has a chance of survival, but only for about two torturous months where he will have to separate himself from his normal life and engage in chemotherapy every day. When first hearing about his situation, Mark immediately decides that plowing through two painful months is not worth his time or effort, and he wishes to end his life on a positive note without wearing down his body since he will have to depart sooner or later anyways. Now when confronted with Mark’s decision, Dr. Jesse freezes and rationalizes with his beliefs to try and figure out the morally correct resolution to this problem. Like Mark, many other ill patients ask for life termination to relieve themselves from suffering and many other doctors, like Dr. Jesse, are also placed in this position where they must choose to either follow the patients’ requests, or to try and keep the patient living despite their wishes. Who has the power to make this decision about ending a patient’s life, and to what extent? A terminally ill patient has the right to request the act of euthanasia as long as he or she is deemed as consciously aware.
According to the online Princeton Wordnetweb dictionary, consciousness is “an alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation”