PHI 200 Mind and Machine
Prof Jeanne Henry
January 31, 2012
After reading the article on ???Confronting Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: My Father??™s Death??? written by Susan Wolf brought to mind the day I found out my mother had died we found out through social security in an e-mail she had been dead for three years and we had no idea. We had no idea if it was a painful or painless. But I know that if she was having a painful death I would have to agree with Susan Wolf and I would have to say no. But concerning I have no clue on her death it makes it extremely hard to think about. I would not want my mother to have to go through that much pain so I would have made sure I kept a vigil.
My mother was a very loving and peaceful woman: she never complained during her sickness in the nursing home is where she spent her last days. We found this out after a lot of phone calls. I truly believe all she would have wanted is to die with self-respect. I truly believe that this how Susan Wolf??™s father felt. He no longer desired to be an inconvenience on his family and he wanted to die and die quickly so that his family would no longer suffer from the burden of observing him suffer. At this stage of their illness you really need to think about the dying person??™s well-being you can??™t think about yourself.
Besides having that in mind, I believe that this may be how Susan felt. Susan did not want to endure the loss of her father, she wanted to embrace her father and hold on to him as long as she possibly could but Susan knew that was not likely. Ethically she had a responsibility to her father and was accountable to make sure his requests were understood and seen through. However, Susan father asked that his death be ???accelerated??? Susan had to make an instantaneous choice. ???Reflexively, I said no, but with a promise- we can make absolutely certain they keep you comfortable??? (Wolf, 2008.) The ethical choice that Susan took confirms the love of her father and her beliefs.
This woman allowed her father??™s death to take its expected path. In addition, to looking at this subject from a religious point of view according to the Bible in 1 Corinthians 3:17 it states ???If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, which temple you people are??? (New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, 1984.) This statement states that the body is the temple of God and if anyone commits suicide or defiles the temple God will destroy, in addition, it is a sin to commit suicide. Even though Susan did not bring up religious ethics, Susan did make it a point to make a moral decision. ???It was he who traveled that read, not me. I paid my own price, though; I felt the heavy weight of his trust and the obligation to fight for him. I was scared I might fail, I felt very close to the jaws of death??? (Wolf, 2008.)
Susan had to reason about these issues. Susan is a very strong woman and theses issue were a lot to complete, by accepting full accountability of her father??™s life and death. As for myself I believe that if she had to do it all again, she would bring about the same conclusions and not anything would change. We have no control over death it??™s just a part of life, we are not the ones to judge God is the only judge nor are we to say when it is point in time for a loved one to perish. Even though I was not there when my Mother passed away I feel she had everything she need and that she would not have wanted me to have anything to do with assisted suicide and euthanasia. Because there is one thing I do know is that my mother believed in God. So in the end, no one has a say in the matter of death. Susan had completed all the right selections for her father wishes.
If my mother was in pain I would not have used the procedure of euthanasia, however I know it would have remained rapid and effortless if it was something she had request I would have to say no. I would have made the same decision that Susan Wolf had made for her father. I wonder if I would have had the forte to withstand till the end. And my answer would be yes I would have had to stand strong. Death has to take it natural course, I missed being by my mother side but I believe that is all that Susan Wolf wanted. Susan father trusted her with his last wishes and in the closing stages she made the right choices.
New World Translation of Holy Scriptures. (1984) Brooklyn, New York, USA: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York INC.
Wolf, S M (2008). Confronting Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: My Father??™s Death. Hasting Center Report, 38(5), 23-26.