The movie, You Don't Know Jack is about Dr. Jack Kevorkian a Michigan well-known pathologist, activist and painter who defies American law by assisting in the suicide of critically ill persons. Dr. Kevorkian sparked national attention after helping more than 130 critically ill people terminate their lives through mercy killing or euthanasia between 1990 and 1999. Dr. Kevorkian justifies his actions by arguing that mercy killing was the noblest service to humanity and the only way to save critically ill patients from needless pain, suffering, and allow them die with dignity. However, most of the people see Dr. Kevorkians work as murderer and violator of professional and medical ethical principles. A Michigan court executed Dr. Kevorkian in 1999 for second hand murder bringing to an end his death crusade.
Dr. Kevorkian first patient was a 45-year-old woman called Janet Adkin and she was suffering from Alzheimers disease. This was a degenerative disease characterized with intellectual impairment and memory loss.
Yes. Physician assisted suicide (PAS) should differ depending with illness and should only be recommended for terminally ill patients. Upon confirmation of critically ill patients desire to die, two independent doctors should confirm patients condition to be irreversible and unbearable. Government should also play an important role in regulating assisted homicide through routine and fixed homicide laws. PAS should be a rational choice for a terminally ill patient who chooses to die to escape unbearable suffering. No person would wish to see his last months of life suffering from deteriorating mental health, severe physical pain, or being dependent on others on everything including hygiene or declining mobility. Some of the acceptable considerations for diagnoses of PAS include sanity of the patient through evaluation for depression or any psychiatric disorder, assessment of patients competence of making such a decision and severity of pain caused by the illness.
No. Philosopher Peter Singers functionalism argument that patients with Alzheimers and infants aged up to twenty-four months are not persons, and, therefore, it is not wrong to kill them is a mare tautology. It is wrong to kill such patients or to destroy fetuses and embryos since all human beings regardless of if a person or person is a human. Therefore, such advocates should find sufficient rationalization in humanity history instead of making their arguments personal (Joe carter the gospel coalition).
Initially, I thought death should occur naturally and no person should be allowed to make a rational decision to take away his life. PAS seemed a second-class murder, an abuse on human sanctity and dignity: A practice that warranted no position into the medical world. I also perceived Dr. Kevorkian as an advocate of death, an immoral personality, and a murderer. However, the movie changed my notion such that I now see him as a medical maestro who tirelessly fought for transformation. Therefore this movie has enabled me understand that an ill person has right to choose a dignified and humane death instead of finally being reduced by a terminal illness into a childlike state.
From the movie, You Dont Know Jack I have learnt that under certain circumstances terminally ill persons might need to prematurely terminate his or her life through PAS. These patients includes patients suffering from severe pains caused by the illness, persons showing no signs of recovery, persons who have lost most of their physical and mental abilities etc.
Wijdicks, Eelco Fm. (2011). "Movie Review: Why Neurologists Need to Know Jack." Neurology Today 11.1. Web.
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