Bioethics Reflection on the case of Emily: Emily’s apprehension is common among persons whose worth as a person is measured on their

ability to be able to function, both physically and emotionally, as a complete human being. Meaning, without disabilities that hampered their normal functioning as a person. When they thought that they are no longer able to function according to their natural tendencies and thought that they are becoming a liability and a burden to their families, they become so desperate that, either one kills himself/herself or ask somebody to do the act of ending their life. Whichever way, the end goal is to end their own sufferings or the suferings of those who are tasked to take care of the patient. Emily’s wish to die is for her the only dignified way of ending the sufferings of her loved ones, and for her to be able to dignify whatever is left of her natural elements that were not ravished by her illness. “Allow me to die” for Emily is the only respectable way of honoring a flickering life that sustains her but at the same time, slowly, also killing her. What she had as the remaining link with her loved ones are also the one sustaining the hope of her loved ones to save Emily from her own way of dignifying life – death. Perhaps, what prevented Bob from really allowing Emily to die by attaching her to “tubes” was Bob’s way of dignifying the life of Emily to the end, regardless of whether Emily is still functioning as a human being or simply living because of tubation. From the perspective of Bob, he has no right to take away the life of Emily no matter what are the considerations; for Bob, perhaps the only dignified way to die is to let the course of nature do its job, and not with any interference or intervention from mortals or any life-support systems. Everyday, we are confronted with life dilemmas and our response to it are reflective of how we value life over death or vice versa. Life, for some, must be given primordial importance over any pragmatic considerations or technicalities. Not because it is a God given gift but rather of its intrinsic value to man; thus, it must be respected as it is. No amount of rationalizations can deter one from preserving life over patient’s request for a dignified death or mercy killing by the loved ones. But for others, practical consideration matters when confronted by a choice between whether life is still to be dignified when everything is lost and the body is no longer functioning, or when the patient himself ask for a termination of his own life. Emphatizing with Bob, it is very difficult to let go of somebody through means outside the processes of natural properties of things. Though Emily’s request is an exercise of her autonomy, one should also consider that when one makes a decision regarding such case of ending one’s life, one is shifting the burden to those who will do the act of ending one’s life and those loved ones who will be left behind. The guilt is there always as long as one lives. I feel and I think it is a violation of one’s dignity to live to do the act of ending one’s life. Perhaps given different situations, like war, where medical facilities are not designed into prolonging one’s life, mercy calling can be administered; however, in the case where life sustaining machines are available, there is no last recourse, but the life itself. When life gives up despite the machines, so be it. I don’t believe that life is inexhaustible forever. Somewhere, someday in one’s confinement, it will end. Of course, it is very difficult for the emotions and practical matters of those who are doing the caring, but, I think, it is part of the commitment of

being-in-relationship with another. One must endure others as part of having a life and dignity as persons who are capable of sustaining life according to what the natural processes dictates.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful