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發布時間:2018-1-3  編輯:0731zypx  已被訪問:1894次
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Euthanasia: For and Against

  "We mustn't delay any longer … swallowing is difficult … and breathing, that's also difficult. Those muscles are weakening too … we mustn't delay any longer."These were the words of Dutchman Cees van Wendel de Joode asking his doctor to help him die. Affected with a serious disease, van Wendel was no longer able to speak clearly and he knew there was no hope of recovery and that his condition was rapidly deteriorating.

  Van Wendel's last three months of life before being given a final, lethal injection by his doctor were filmed and first shown on television last year in the Netherlands. The programme has since been bought by 20 countries and each time it is shown, it starts a nationwide debate on the subject.

  The Netherlands is the only country in Europe which permits euthanasia, although it is not technically legal there. However, doctors who carry out euthanasia under strict guidelines introduced by he Dutch Parliament two years ago are usually not prosecuted.

  The guidelines demand that the patient is experiencing extreme suffering, that there is no chance of a cure, and that the patient has made repeated requests for euthanasia. In addition to this, a second doctor must confirm that these criteria have been met and the death must be reported to the police department.

  Should doctors be allowed to take the lives of others? Dr.Wilfred van Oijen, Cees van Wendel's doctor, explains how he looks at the question:"Well, it's not as if I'm planning to murder a crowd of people with a machine gun. In that case, killing is the worst thing I can imagine. But that's entirely different from my work as a doctor. I care for people and I try to ensure that they don't suffer too much. That's a very different thing."

  Many people, though, are totally against the practice of euthanasia. Dr. Andrew Ferguson, Chairman of the organisation Healthcare Opposed to Euthanasia, says that "in the vast majority of euthanasia cases, what the patient is actually asking for is something else. They may want a health professional to open up communication for them with their loved ones or family - there's nearly always another question behind the question."

  Britain also has a strong tradition of hospices - special hospitals which care only for the dying and their special needs.

  Cicely Saunders, President of the National Hospice Council and a founder member of the hospice movement, argues that euthanasia doesn't take into account that there are ways of caring for the dying. She is also concerned that allowing euthanasia would undermine the need for care and consideration of a wide range of people: "It's very easy in society now for the elderly, the disabled and the dependent to feel that they are burdens, and therefore that they ought to opt out. I think that anything that legally allows the shortening of life does make those people more vulnerable."

  Many find this prohibition of an individual's right to die paternalistic. Although they agree that life is important and should be respected, they feel that the quality of life should not be ignored. Dr. Van Oijen believes that people have the fundamental right to choose for themselves if they want to die: "What those people who oppose euthanasia are telling me is that dying people haven't the right. And that when people are very ill, we are all afraid of their death. But there are situations where death is a friend. And is those cases, why not?"

  But "why not?" is a question which might cause strong emotion. The film showing Cees van Wendel's death was both moving and sensitive. His doctor was clearly a family friend; his wife had only her husband's interests at heart. Some, however, would argue that it would be dangerous to use this particular example to support the case for euthanasia. Not all patients would receive such a high level of individual care and attention.

  安樂死:贊同還是反對

  "我們再也不能耽誤了,……我難以咽下食物……呼吸也有困難……,渾身疲乏無力,……不要再拖了。"荷蘭人齊斯·范·溫德爾臨死前請求醫生幫助他一死了之時說了這番話。

  他因身患重病,說話已經不很清楚,他知道自己毫無康復的希望了,而且病情正在迅速惡化。在接受醫生注射那致命的最后一針之前,范·溫德康最后三個月的生活被拍成了電影,去年在荷蘭的電視臺首次播出。此后,有20個國家先后購買了這個電視節目,每在一國放映,都會在全國內引起一場對安樂死的議論。

  荷蘭是歐洲唯一的允許安樂死的國家。盡管安樂死在技術上還不具有合法性,但如果醫生按照兩年前荷蘭議會制定的議案的嚴格指導原則實施用安樂死,但如果醫生按照兩年前荷蘭議會制定的議案的嚴格指導原則實施用安樂死,通常是不會受到法律的追究的。這些指導原則規定,當病人極度痛苦,沒有治愈的可能,而且一再要求的情況下才能實施安樂死。另外,還必須有第二位名醫生證實已經符合上述條件,并且要向警察機關報告病人的死亡。

  能允許醫生結束他人的生命嗎?齊斯·范·溫德爾的私人醫生威爾弗雷德·馮·奧依金解釋了他對這個問題的看法"哦,這種情況和我計劃用機關槍殺死一大群人完全不一樣。若是那樣,殺人是我所能想象的最可怕的事。但我作為醫生實施安樂死和用槍殺人是絕對不同的。我是關心人,我要盡量保證他們不受更多痛苦。這和那種情況完全是兩碼事。"

  然而,仍然有很多人堅決反對使用安樂死。"反安樂死健康醫療"組織的主席安德魯·福格森說:"在使用安樂死的大多數病例中,患者實際上需要的是其他的東西。他們可能需要在健康專家的指導下,與所愛的人或家人進行交流。"英國晚期病人收容所有著牢固的傳統,一種專門護理垂危病人并滿足他們特殊需要的特殊醫院。國家收容所委員會主席和收容運動的發起人茜西莉·桑德斯認為,使用安樂死把護理垂危病人的其他方式都排除了。她還擔心允許使用安樂死會減少很多人對于照顧和關心的要求。"在今天的社會里,這樣很容易使老年人、殘疾人和靠他人生活的人們感到自己是社會的負擔,應該從生活中消失掉。我覺得法律上任何允許縮短人們生命和作法都會使那些人變得更容易受傷害。"

  很多人發現禁止一個人選擇死亡的權利是沒有道理的。盡管他們也認為生命很重要,并且應當尊重生命,但是生活的質量也不容忽視。范·奧依金醫生認為如果人們想死,他們應當有選擇死亡的權利:"那些反對使用安樂死的人們是在告訴我們要死亡的人沒有這種權利。當他們病重時,我們害怕他們會死去。但是有的情況下死亡是人們的朋友。在那種情況下,為什么不使用安樂死呢?"

  但"為什么不呢?"是一個會引起強烈的情感的問題。那部反映齊斯·范·溫德爾死亡情景的電影既感人又發人深醒。很顯然,這位醫生是他們一家人的朋友;溫德爾的妻子也是一心為丈夫好。然而,有些人爭論說用這種特殊事例來支持安樂死是危險的。再說,不是所有的病人都會受到如此周到的個別護理和關注。
      
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