To read this article I want you to do the following:
Forget religion, morality and ethics; instead think HUMANITY!
If you were a doctor in charge of the intensive care ward at a hospital and you have a patient who suffers in excruciating agony every single day, all day long. This patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and there’s not much you can do anymore. Pain killers are way past doing anything to the poor guy. And you know it’s just a matter of time before he dies.
Last time you visited the guy, he held your hand and begged you to end his life as he could not take it anymore knowing that there’s no hope for him to recover.
The question is: Would you do it?
Let me tell you: technically speaking, it is very easy. Inject the IV bag attached to the patient’s arm with a syringe of Potassium, and the heart will stop beating. Just like that. Or simply shut down his life-support system.
There is a case in a Dubai court where an Austrian doctor, E.A., has been accused of euthanasia.
The doctor is claiming that this is not true and he’s being set up by his colleagues. Dubai Health Authority has suspended the doctor’s license for practicing medicine in Dubai. He’s currently working in a hospital in Al Ain.
But regardless of all these details; what intrigues me is the struggle a doctor faces when witnessing such a case. And the same struggle a patient faces when asking for his life to be ended intentionally. Some people might think it is suicide; I personally think it is not.
I have hands-on observation about such cases, having worked in a hospital before.
You have no idea how heartbreaking it is to see someone fade away in so much pain, screaming his way through the day begging everybody he sees to relieve him of his agony.
I started this article by asking you to free yourself of all the bonds culture and tradition bestow upon us. Free yourself and think of both, the patient and the doctor. Regardless if this doctor actually did it, I know of a doctor who did; would you label this doctor a ‘murderer’? Should he be dealt with like other convicts or people accused of premeditated murder? Is there any ‘human’ excuse he can have that would convince you that it’s OK?
Now think of a patient on his death bed, with time keeping him away from his mundane relief, would you come to his aid with some relief? Would you at least wish him death?
I know many people who are ready to place doctors on death sentence for such an act; at least Dubai Court prosecution is seeking this punishment for Dr. E.A.
Apparently there’s a rumor going around that the Minister of Health has been terminated from his position just for trying to ask for a more lenient sentence. I just wonder why is it legal in countries like the US to terminate a person’s life; granted there should be a written consent from the patient and two other doctors witnessing the event to be done; yet it is still legal.
Does a patient has no other choice?
And does a doctor like Dr. E.A. becomes an angel of death if he fulfills a dying man’s wishes? I wonder…
The views expressed in this article are the author‘s own and do not necessarily reflect Arabian Gazette‘s editorial policy.