Natural Death Act

As I write this constructive speech the very question that echoed in my mind is that if there is a right to live, how come there is no right to die?

Many years ago euthanasia is supported by Socrates, Plato, Hippocrates and Seneca the elder of the ancient world in the sense of hastening the person’s death. Also euthanasia become more accepted during the Age of Enlightenment. Today although the medicine and equipment in the Age of Enlightenment is different from 21st century technology there is still incurable diseases.

There are two kinds of euthanasia, the Active and Passive euthanasia. Active is ending a person’s life using lethal injection while passive is the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment in a terminal condition or permanent unconscious condition.

We are in favor in legalizing the passive euthanasia affirming Senator Miriam Defensor- Santiago filed the Senate Bill 1887 or the “Natural Death Act” last October 24, 2013. The Bill propose that right of a patient to stop his/her medication in the presence of two witnesses. It indicates his/her desire to die at home, the person shall be discharge as soon as reasonably possible. This bill also protect the Hippocratic Oath. It says there that any physician who will participate in withholding the life sustaining treatment from qualified patient shall be immune from illegal liability including civil, criminal or professional conduct sanctions unless otherwise negligent. In short, legalizing euthanasia does not aspire to violate the ethical and moral code rather just provide an option to those who really need them.

My team support this because of the following practical concerns:

First, it is the right of patient to choose to die. Since the right to life gives a person the right to not be killed if they do not want to, proponents of euthanasia argue that respect for this right will prevent euthanasia being misused, as killing a patient without their permission would violate their human rights. It can also be argued that because death is a private matter, if there is no harm to any other people, there is no right to deny someone‘s wish to die.

Second, it ends patient emotional tortured. People who are faced with a terminal illness experience just as much emotional turmoil as physical pain. The option to die gives them peace they deserve. We must not imprison them in the body they no longer feel alive.

Third, it relieves financial suffering. Let’s face it 80% of the Filipinos is living in poverty, how can the family afford keeping the patient on life support, knowing that the patient will be in vegetative state, no matter how he/ she was kept alive? We know that we, the Filipinos will do everything to keep their love ones alive, we valued a person more than money but it is for the benefits of many and others who still have a great future ahead.

Another possible reason for the justifying of euthanasia is the lack of space in hospitals for those who can be cured and saved. It is bitter to acknowledge it, but this problem exists in our country. Those who want to live have no chance to get the proper treatment and care while those who want to die cannot give their place to them.

Life and death is inseparable. The question is are we preserving life if there is really life in the heart-lung death, whole brain death and higher brain death? Or are we just postponing the death? Were all going to die. We all need to face death. And we all wished to die with dignity and peace.

To clarify it further when it comes in morality. The euthanasia we propose is not a murder or homicide. Mercy Killing and murdering is unlike terms. What’s the difference? Motive and intention. Murder includes evil desire but Mercy killing is having the intention to set the patient free for his/her good.

As I done series of reading regarding this topic, including the testimony of the people, I realized that there are battles that is worth fighting for but not all battles is worth living for. Sometimes we have to let go of someone we no longer in our hands to hold back.

When my professor in Argumentation and Debate announced that we will be in affirmative side of Euthanasia, I was like, Lord I can’t do this. Seriously, even this is just a class activity. So I asked Him if Euthanasia is the right thing to do, I mean the passive one, but He’s answer is silence. I don’t consider His silence as a yes or no. But I may say that throughout my preparations and even in our actual debate last night, I learned to depend on His strength and confidence.

I didn’t expect that I will the best speaker with the average of 98%. You see, my argument is simple, in fact I myself can see the weak spot to turn it down. I don’t even memorize my speech and I don’t really like the topic. I don’t know what Jesus did during my speech but all the praises belongs to Him!


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