In this documentary, assisted euthanasia is the result of the patient’s decision since some people prefer to die in dignity in order not to burden their loved ones with looking after their health. However, this is done for patients suffering from incurable diseases, which cause unbearable pain and prevent the patient from functioning normally.
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The difference between suicide and assisted euthanasia is that suicide occurs when a person of sane mind takes away their own life to evade problems they deem unsolvable – it is considered as an immoral act. On the other hand, assisted euthanasia is an intentional and painless termination of an ill person’s life with the purpose to stop their suffering – it is considered to be an act of mercy.
In the documentary, Kees van Wendel de Joode was suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which was taking away his ability to move his limbs and talk, as well as affecting nerves in his brain and leading to paralysis. Thus, given that ALS has no cure, and the condition would definitely get worse, the patient just wanted to die at a time of his own choice.
According to the documentary, Dr. Sidney van Oijen is an individual who is highly concerned and empathetic to his patients. Doctors are under oath to alleviate the suffering of their patients. In that case, performing assisted euthanasia on Kees de Joode was the only way of stopping the patient’s suffering as nothing else could have been done to help his situation. Furthermore, it was also the patient’s idea, and he had the support of his wife, Antoinette.
More so, even though euthanasia may be the patient’s decision; it may have a morally troubling effect on the doctor performing the procedure. The documentary fails to show a morally responsible treatment since the patient has not exhausted all ways of treatment. Furthermore, the doctor is left feeling like he helped commit a moral wrong due to his role in ending someone’s life. The documentary fails to show this effect wholesomely since it is biased as it advocates for euthanasia.
In the documentary, the pharmacist notes that Kees de Joode did not have a pharmaceutical history and there was, therefore, a doubt that they did not explore all the possible options to help solve the problem before terminating his life. The pharmacist would have offered analgesics and antidepressants.
Thus, the pharmacists’ role is to determine if the patient has received all the necessary medication before they decide to end their life. As a pharmacist, I would not participate in the process. Although for a terminal illness, the amount of medication given to the patient will not improve their condition, but will only maintain it.
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Dr. Jack Kevorkian was well had the right to help with the suicide since Ramon was in the last stages of AIDS. He had lesions on his body, which appeared everywhere making it difficult to sit, tumors that were not reduced by chemotherapy, ulcerations all over his body, and he constantly had diarrhea with an odor that forced him to use diapers that were changed by his partner.
Furthermore, Ramon could not go anywhere as he was fatigued, and above all,, he was in great pain, and AIDS is not curable. Thus, he wanted to die in dignity and reduce the suffering of Lionel. Hence, Dr. Jack was going to end his suffering upon his request.