The Shark’s Mane

The Shark’s Mane


At the core of ethics, there are questions that really divide the masses and show just how challenging questions of ethics can be. Questions regarding euthanasia have been of great ethical contemplation for some time, and society is beginning to answer these questions. Recently, in California, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation which enables terminally ill patients to kill themselves by means of assisted suicide. Legislation of this nature is relatively new and quite controversial in this country, though California did model it after Oregon’s 1997 death-by-choice law. If I were a terminally ill patient going through excruciating pain, and I did not feel I had anything unfinished to tend to in my life, I would take great comfort in knowing I could painlessly and legally end my own life. However, having much value for life, I do not know if I would want to end my own life in that situation, but that is because I am not in that situation. It would be very narrow-minded for a healthy person to say that killing one’s self is wrong, even if one is terminally ill. To do so would be to completely rule out the possibility that the pain or angst of the terminal illness might be unbearable. If those that are healthy could understand that it is impossible to accurately answer a hypothetical question like, “would you kill yourself if you were terminally ill,” then they would see that this question is only for the terminally ill to answer. Still, there are some that are vexed by the death-by-choice legislation because they believe they know what is right. Contradicting viewpoint may branch from religions, conservatism, or something else; but either way, these views fail to take in to account the fact that they do not know what it would be like to be terminally ill. The shark knows not the land, as the lion knows not the sea.

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