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Article de the weekly Economist à propos de l'euthanasie (document en anglais)

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This document is an article, whose author is unknown, taken out the weekly Economist issued on April 2nd 2009. It is stemmed from Charlemagne section because it contains information on current political and social events in Europe. This articles touches on the thorny subject of euthanasia. Indeed the picture puts the emphasis on the touchy behaviour of doctors face to a terminal patient. On one hand the doctor has a hammer which can be used to seal a coffin and on the second hand he carries a doctor's bag to save lives. This situation symbolizes that doctors are torn between putting a patient beyond hope of recovery out of misery or to left them dying away.

Let's see if the quotation "while there is life, there is hope" suits on this piece of writing.

On first reading the journalist underscores two opposed opinion on the issue of euthanasia. First the case of England where all kinds of mercy killing are strictly forbidden. What desperate some families who see their close relatives suffer. Face to medical impotency and faith healing some patients yearn for die in dignity yet this right is denied them. That is the reason why some families live in "grief".

Most of English's doctors, two-third of them in fact, cling to the Hippocratic oath and refuse to yield to assisted suicide.

Then the author focuses the attention on the case of Belgium. In contrast to Great Britain the Belgium government is more "permissive" and allows adult euthanasia. Nevertheless some pediatric nurses have broken the law by keeping silent on children euthanasia. There can be no doubt that their wish was to flout the law but to put those children out of misery instead of prolonging their life needlessly. Besides 89% of nurses wish to extend the law for children.

This opposition between two European countries shows us the actual dilemma raised by mercy killing.

If we are to believe a survey 146 children died due to euthanasia, in Flanders. To relieve of suffering their patients doctors use three different practices. The most common one is to stop their treatment. That is to say that doctors plump, most often, for stopping the vital care to a patient. Although this method is the most common, it is that I find the most inhumane, because the patient may suffer and slowly dying. Then they use huge doses of morphine which can kill. They also administer them death- inducing drugs. The journalist sounds to approve euthanasia since he qualifies it as "merciful".

Yet many considerations affect the choice to adopt or not mercy killing. The columnist distinguishes three central considerations:

First morale consideration that included religion and history. Religion opposes any kind of euthanasia. Because life is considered as a present from God and to put an end to this gift is a serious sin. In an excerpt from the Catechism we can read: "Whatever motives and means, direct euthanasia is morally inadmissible. It constitutes a murder what it is contrary to people's dignity and respect for the living God, life's Creator." Moreover euthanasia reminds people of awful practices during the holocaust. Efficiently "memories of Nazi programmes to murder unwanted citizens under the


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