In law and for many other countries as well,

In this assignment, I am going to discuss the roles and
responsibilities of professional practitioners in promoting the diversity and
individual rights with reference to my chosen issue (Euthanasia) within a
health and social care setting in modern Britain. In this essay, I will be covering the learning outcomes
and I will also demonstrate the following, such as a clear understanding of the
concepts of values, diversity, and rights
within Health and Social Care setting. A clear understanding of the rights and
responsibilities of individuals (service users), of workers and of society, and
of the complex relationships between these. A discussion demonstrating a
critical appreciation of a current issue within a Health and Social Care
setting.  

What is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia is the act of deliberately
ending someone’s life in order to stop them from being relieved of their relevant suffering. For example, this could be considered as euthanasia
if a physician (doctor) tries to deliberately give their patient an overdose of
the drug on her or his express request to
stop their pain and agony. Although euthanasia is forbidden by law in most
countries, still there is a number of supporting believers who think it
should be legalised. In many cases, euthanasia has taken place because the
dying patient asks for it within the countries which allow euthanasia and in
some cases, there is euthanasia where the
terminally ill patient’s request gets
rejected such as in UK. The word euthanasia comes from Greek which means good
death (happy or fortunate within death). (Franklin, 2013 p. 6)

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-For explanations of Euthanasia see Appendices A

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are
similar but not the same. For example,
the difference between them is that a
doctor putting a plastic bag over his or her head in order to slowly suffocate
them, or giving the patient who has terminal illness a lethal injection, an
overdose of drugs, such as Tizanidine, Carisoprodrodol,
Methocarbamol and this is addressed as euthanasia. If the doctor, nurse,
service provider or a family member deliberately encourage the dying person by helping him or her to take what has
been provided in ending their suffering is considered as assisted suicide. Euthanasia
and assisted suicide are both illegal under the English law and for many other
countries as well, which means that both euthanasia and assisted suicide is an
act of crime. The assisted suicide is illegal under the terms of suicide Act
1961 and anyone caught in assisting suicide could face up to 14 years in
prison. Depending on the condition euthanasia is considered as murdering and
the maximum punishment for this type of act is life imprisonment. (Euthanasia
and assisted suicide NHS.uk, 2017)

 

 

 

Should a suffering patient have the right to request doctors to end their life?
The right to euthanasia is a significant topic which concerns many people
around the world; there have been many debates on whether a dying patient
should have the right to relieve
themselves from endless pain and agony with the consent and assistance of
physicians. Many people are against euthanasia
and assisted suicide because of their religion and moral beliefs. The others
are for it on this issue because of their feelings, and compassion towards
patients with terminal illness, and respecting their values, dignity, and rights to choose what they want to do with
their life. Many peoples main concern with euthanasia and assisted suicide is
the competence of being terminally ill or living the rest of their lives
suffering, most of the terminally ill
patients who are in their final stages have requested their doctors to help
them in exercising active euthanasia. In fact,
it’s very unpleasant to know that these patients are suffering from being terminally ill and the only option they think
of is to end their suffering by choosing euthanasia or assisted suicide. (The
Right to Assisted Suicide, 2017)

People that are
within the favour of euthanasia argue that the civilised society should allow
ill patients to die in dignity and without any going through any pain and also
the people who want to support them should
be allowed to assist if the ill person is unable to manage the last action of
assisted suicide or euthanasia on their own. The people with terminal illness
have stated that their bodies belong to them so they should have the right to
be allowed to do whatever they want. This means that they shouldn’t be
pressured to live longer than they want to, and making someone continues living
when they don’t want to according to them it violates their personal freedom
and it takes their human rights away from them.

The Law in the UK

In the UK’s law
euthanasia has no special legal potion. The instances describe euthanasia as
murder or manslaughter; however, the
suicide Act 1961 makes it offense of
crime in taking part in euthanasia and
assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is prohibited by the section 2 of the
Suicide Act 1961 and voluntary euthanasia is considered as murder within UK’s
law, since 1961 the law has been reviewed but there haven’t been any great
changes. (Bowcott, 11/01/2018) The Human Rights Act 1998, campaigners have
claimed that denying of the right to release oneself suffering from unbearable
pain and agony amounts to inhuman, it’s a violation of the privacy and family life (Article 8), counts as
discriminating the legality of suicide and the dying person’s inherent dignity
and their rights to die is violated by the current legislation. The subject
euthanasia is very divisive and controversial, raises an array of sophisticated
morals, philosophical, ethical, religious and social issues. In the UK many of these concerns were aired within the case of Diane Pretty who
suffered from motor neuron disease because she was in so much pain and
agony she requested her husband to end her life without being prosecuted for
helping and assisting suicide. (politics.co.uk, 2017)

Diana Pretty who
was dying from Motor Neurone Disease (MND) wanted to control the time and the
way she wanted to die with Dignity in
Dying campaign. Mrs. Pretty’s case was

 

 

Unsuccessful because the House of Lords rejected her request; they said that
the right to life doesn’t include the right to die. They stated that the right
to private life does not include a right to decide when and how to die. Then Mrs. Pretty took carried her case to EU Court
of Human Rights, Diana argued that the right to life includes a right to choose
what you want to do with it such as whether or not to carry on living. The European
Court also disagreed; they said to her that the right to life was not
determined by the quality of life so it
couldn’t be interpreted as also giving the right to die. But unlike the House
of Lords, the EU Court said that Diana’s
right to choose how she wanted to end her life came within her right to respect
and value her private life. The EU Court also stated that the ban for assisted
suicide in the UK can be a justification
in order to protect vulnerable people. (Diana pretty | Dignity in Dying, 2017)

The Dignity in
dying is a united kingdom’s national campaigning organisation and 82% of the public supports the choice of assisted
dying for adults who are terminally ill. The campaign believes that everyone
should have the right to a good death, including the option of assisted dying
for the people with terminal illness and mentally competent adults. Many of the
professional supporters encourage and support the campaign, they also want to
see the law change so the dead people
have the choice at the end of their life. The healthcare professionals also
support the idea of assisted dying with
dignity in dying campaign. One of the healthcare professionals said that ‘there
is nothing humane by forcing people with
terminal illness to stay alive as long as they could, no matter how good the care they receive from the professions
forced into inhumanity by an insufficient law.’
(Prof Klim McPherson, husband of the
late Dr. Ann McPherson CBE.  She died on 28th May 2011 from pancreatic
cancer and Ann founded the HPAD and also was the first chair of dignity in
dying campaign) (Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying, 23 Dec 2017)

Netherlands was
the first country to legalise euthanasia and assisted euthanasia. But they have
placed a strict set of conditions for people who wants to take part in
euthanasia and assisted suicide, for instance the patient should be suffering
unbearable pain, their illness should be incurable and the demand must be made
within a full consciousness by the patient (Euthanasia and assisted suicide
laws around the world, Thu 17
Jul ’14 17.04). Voluntary euthanasia is illegal nearly in
all countries but some of the countries still ban the idea of euthanasia. In
some cases, compassion for another person’s suffering might lead to an
individual to carry a merry killing and take the risk of paying a penalty of the law. Today, the MARS and
voluntary euthanasia for terminally ill people is still possible in Belgium, United
States of Oregon, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Vermont, and Washington. Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands they also provide assistance to both of
the

 

 

people who are severely disabled and those who are very elderly and suffer from
medical problems.

The public
opinion in the UK generally agrees with
the possibility of old age rational suicide (SOARS). In 2010 an ICM national
Poll of 1,008 of the adults revealed that the 66% agreed and in 2013 a further
ICM was shown that 70% of those interviewed agreed with the idea of old age
rational suicide. In order for old age rational suicide to become legalised, it
needs to have a very strict safeguarding in place, for instance in a hospital
setting there should be two doctors one of them a consultant geriatrician, making an agreement with the individual that they are mentally
competent and has been carefully considered all of the possible options. Having
an interview with the independent legal expert who has experienced family
matters, in order to make sure that there isn’t any pressure on the individual
from relatives. Having a writing period of at least two months that’s made
between the request and the possible medications being prepared in place, this
should be taken into consideration by an experienced healthcare professional. Providing
a report to the central government office, but it’s very unlikely that the
possibility of old age rational suicide being legalised
in the UK (MARS, Poll, 2015 pp. 103-104).

In Belgium after
having years of debates the law of euthanasia came into force on 23 September
2002. Before 2002 euthanasia was illegal in Belgium, the legislation allows
physician to carry out with euthanasia on the service user, who’s in a
medically futile condition or suffering from a condition that can’t be cured
(Anon, 2018). The role that’s played by the nurses within carrying out
euthanasia way vary from simple presence in an individual to the actual
administration of the lethal medication. In general the role of a nurse
consists the primarily in assisting the patient and their family. Within the
Dutch care homes, the administration of the lethal medications are usually
carried out by physicians and sometimes this is delegated to a nurse. For
example, 21 percent of Dutch specialists stated that the nurses sometimes
administer the lethal medication under their supervision. (Van de Scheur A, van der Arend A, 1998)

Religion and Philosophy
For many people, religion plays a big role in euthanasia
and it’s central to their lives. For others, religion might only be significant in
relation to rites of passage such as birth, marriage, and death. Many people have experienced that there is no doubt in
religion providing them understanding and making their soul comfort for
individuals who are facing death and dying, therefore unsurprisingly religion
plays a central role in law and within ethical matters. Another word for
euthanasia is the mercy of killing, nowadays euthanasia is one of the most
concerning issues within the society. Most people accept such an easy and quick
way to death and they argue that euthanasia should be legalised, but on the other
hand euthanasia conflicts, many religions
and could bring negative influence to the whole society. Therefore it should never be legalised and there are many reasons for this problem. For example,
euthanasia violates the religious beliefs
of many different nations. Death is one of the most important aspects which
every religion deals with. Every faith has provided an explanation and the
meaning of dying and death, they have
provided an understanding and comfort for those individuals who are going
through terminal illness and facing death.

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the
religions pay a specific attention towards death and according to most religion
all human beings life is sacred and it’s worth protecting or living your life. The
higher power- people in most religions disagree with euthanasia on moral grounds;
they say that only a higher power can decide whether to end a life. Most
Christian people don’t approve of euthanasia and some of them completely forbid
it. The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t accept anyone having the right to die,
and they believe that euthanasia and assisted suicide are a rejection of God’s
command over life and death. Similarly,
the same roles apply

to Judaism and Islam (Roman Catholic
Church, 2013 p. 26). In Islam Muslims are against euthanasia, they believe that
every human’s life is sacred because it’s
given as a gift by Allah (God) and Allah choose how long every human should
live for. Within the Holy book Quran it clearly states that ‘when their time
comes they cannot delay it for a single hour nor they bring it forward by a
single hour’ (Quran 16:61), this means that the length of one’s life is
destined and we cannot do anything to interfere with it. Only Allah he who has
created you is the only one that has the right to end it. Don’t take life which
Allah (SWT) made sacred, other than in the course of justice (Quran 17:33). (Bbc.co.uk,
2012)

The last two
attempts in order to change the law on assisted suicide were unfortunately
blocked by the well-organized lobbying
from Christian organisations and by the
unanimous opposition of Bench of Bishops in House or Louds. Unluckily this is
very upsetting opposition because it doesn’t represent what most Christians
want and from the last opinion of polls,
it shows that 78% of worshipers support a change within the law (Badham, Rev,
Prof. Dr. Paul, 2015 p. 135).

The History of Euthanasia
The word
euthanasia is seen in two different ways, for some euthanasia carries a
negative connection it saw the same as murder, however for some
euthanasia is seen as the act of putting a terminal ill patient to death
without going through any pain, or letting the patient suffer from a painful
disease and dying in that condition by withdrawing from the surgery or medical
measures and this is called passive euthanasia. For example within a hospital
setting where the physician withholds extreme medical measures with the
expressive agreement of the patient. It has been argued that ‘two dangerous
ideas lie just below the surface of awareness… usually,
they are not proper to be voiced openly, there are groups of unfortunate people
whom the society may well do without and that they cost a lot of money which
could be sent on something useful.’ (Dr.
Pollard, 2012 p. 9)

In Conclusion to my assignment, I have discussed the roles and
responsibilities of professional practitioners in promoting the diversity and
individual rights with reference to my chosen health and social care issue such
as euthanasia. In this essay, I have
tried my best to cover the learning outcome L01, L02, and L03, such as a clear
description of the concepts of values, diversity, and rights within the health and social care setting. I have
explained in full description the rights and responsibilities of individuals
such as the service users, service providers, and the society. I have also
discussed and demonstrated a critical appreciation of the current issue. Euthanasia
is the act of helping terminal ill patients die and end their life from
suffering. Rayfield (2010) stated that there are other better choices which
could be made instead of choosing euthanasia
if everyone wants to create a society full of care and compassion to help the
dying people.

Word count= 2485 + 515= 3000

APPENDICES

 

-APPENDICES A
The forms of euthanasia include:
active and passive, voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary. The active
euthanasia is when an individual deliberately and directly causes the terminal
ill patients death and passive euthanasia is when the individual just lets the
patient die. For example, passive
euthanasia can be done in a hospital setting where it’s allowed within the
countries that accept euthanasia by withdrawing, such as switching off the
machine which keeps the patient alive or withholding from the treatment for
instance not carrying out the surgery anymore which would extend their life for
a short period of time. Voluntary and involuntary euthanasia- voluntary
euthanasia takes place when the dying person requests and non-voluntary
euthanasia takes place when the individual is unconscious and unwise able to
take decision for themselves then someone else other than the patient has to
make the decision on whether he or she should die or not. Assisted suicide is
the act of deliberately trying to encourage the other person in killing
themselves.

 

The family member of an individual
with terminal illness gives or helps them with taking strong drugs and knowing
that the individual intended to use that particular drug in order to kill
themselves, the relative could be considered as assisting suicide.
Psychological factors which cause people
to think of euthanasia include feeling
the burden on family, friends or service
providers, loss of control, dignity, or not being like other such as
independent. (Bbc.co.uk, 2017)

 

-APPENDICES B
The History of Euthanasia
Euthanasia has a
very long history; euthanasia was used by ancient Greek and Roman society in
order to avoid public disgrace. In the United
Kingdom, the royal physician gave the
dying King George V a fetal dose of morphine and cocaine (1936), and
according to the physician’s notes,
they did this in order to ensure a pain-free
end and to hasten the king’s death for an announcement
in newspapers. The mercy killing of King George v coincided with proposed legalisation within the parliament in order to legalise euthanasia and that was also rejected.
As George V lay comatose on his deathbed
in 1936 he was injected with the dose of fetal morphine and cocaine to end his
suffering. This was kept secret for fifty years, the truth that King George V was helped to die by injections
of long drugs was revealed on the publication
of the medical notes which the physician named Lord Dawson took during the
period (Dawson, Lord, Physician to King
George V, Cartwright, 2014 p. 40).