Euthanasia means “mercy killing,” or in its original Greek, “good death.” In modern usage, euthanasia encompasses multiple practices including lethal injections, doctors assisting suicides through prescribing legal doses of drugs, and withholding basic care from non-terminal patients. In all cases, euthanasia is purposefully intended to cause the death of a person.
The Problem With Euthanasia
Euthanasia is a direct threat to human dignity, patients’ rights, and the disabled. It endorses killing a patient as a solution to problems that can be solved through better medical or personal care. Real compassion for the dying comes through meeting all their needs: physical, emotional, and spiritual. The goal must be to eliminate suffering, not the persons who suffer.
Patients should be allowed to die naturally. Patients are not obligated to use extraordinary or heroic medical treatment that would only prolong the dying process. Ordinary care and treatment should be provided to all patients to sustain their daily needs and comfort. When a person has clearly reached the end of their life, the focus of medical treatment may be switched from curing to caring, but never to killing.
Euthanasia Threatens Patient's Rights
Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Genevieve Marnon frequently works with end-of-life situations. In 2016, Genevieve’s father, Bob Tank, went to the emergency room with a dangerous pulmonary embolism that required a fight to stay alive. Tragically, Bob’s life as a sick person was seen as of less value than an able person. Genevieve was no longer helping strangers with end-of-life cases, but fighting to save her own father’s life.
Plan Ahead to Protect Yourself
Michigan law recognizes that competent adult patients maintain a right to accept or refuse any treatment that is being utilized or offered to them. A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a legal mechanism which allows you to appoint a person to make health care decisions for you should you become unable to do so. You can download this free booklet which provides information and a health care power of attorney form that adheres to Michigan law to help ensure your rights and wishes are respected.
This brochure examines the laws that allow people to commit suicide through a lethal prescription of drugs.
End of Life Care: Advanced Directives
This brochure looks at various advanced directives, and informs you about which are best for protecting patients’ rights and wishes.
End of Life Care: Positive Care or Euthanasia Pitfall?
This brochure discusses three important aspects frequently involving end-of-life care: hospice, pain management, and medically-assisted feeding of food and water.
End of Life Legislation
There are several important state laws in Michigan that address doctor-prescribed suicide, hospice, and other end-of-life issues. Visit our prolife law directory to learn more.