Thursday, 9 January 2014

A letter on Euthanasia (Divya,Daniel,Berwyn,Achutha)

The science of life: A letter to the local government explaining our final stance on euthanasia

Divya(a): Variation of legal and medical definition of death across cultures

-Death and dying is a universal human experience throughout the globe. Yet human beings’ beliefs, feelings and practices in regard to this experience vary widely between different religions and cultures.
-Some cultures, such as the Hindu, see death as a stage in the cycle of life where a person is thought to die and is reborn with a new identity. This exit and reentry into life can occur multiple times whereas Christians believe that death only occurs once. Christians also believe that not  everything ceases at death; the person sheds his/her bodily form and continue living in spirit waiting for their judgement. Among some Native American tribes and certain segments of Buddhism, the dead and the living coexist, and the dead are believed to be able to influence the well-being of the living.


Daniel(b): The Criteria for declaring someone as brain-dead

- Unresponsiveness (A test is done to see if the person is responsive.)
- Absence of reflexes (The person’s reflexes will be tested physically eg. A doctor touching the eye with a piece of cotton.)
- Apnea/Inability to breathe without a ventilator (A person who is brain-dead cannot breathe as the brain is unable to send signals for the person to breathe.)

Other tests
- The physician may check for the flow of blood to the brain, this is to check if blood is actually still flowing continuously to the brain. A person who is brain dead won’t have blood reaching the brain.
- The use of an electroencephalogram(EEG) will be used to measure brain waves. People who are brain-dead will have a “flat” EEG as brain waves are absent.

Divya(c): A persistent vegetative state is when the patient has suffered severe brain damage and is in a state of partial arousal. In medicine, a patient is declared to be in the state of coma when he/she is unconscious for more than 6 hours. Patients in coma or persistent vegetative state can still recover compared with the irreversible stop of brain activity, known as brain death.


Euthanasia is an ethical issue because some religion believe that life is given by God, and only God should decide when to end it.Some people also fear that if euthanasia was made legal,people would abuse the law regulating it and people who did not want to die would have been killed.

Euthanasia is the act of removing the life support when someone is in a coma or vegetative state.Many argue that through euthanasia relieves a person ,who is in a vegetative state, of pain and suffering because they cannot do anything or are useless to this world but in many cases , the patients still can sense their surroundings and can feel.Some of them, can move their little finger or a small part of the body.If they can escape from that state , wouldn’t the pain and suffering be worth it?


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