The similarities and differences between euthanasia and murder

Having read The Deadly Choices at Memorial, I am shocked by the scenes that happened in a hospital under the circumstance of hurricane. When I read to the part of doctors and physicists giving euthanasia to some patients in the 3rd D.N.R. series, a question comes into my mind: the border between euthanasia and murder lies in what place? There are two points that the two actions share, which makes the border ambiguous. First, both euthanasia and murder are illegal in most of the places around the world. If one decides to carry out either of the actions, the person will understand that law will investigate the self until an appropriate decision is made to the “killer”. A person that has clear mind will react as what Richard said to Mulderick: “Euthanasia’s illegal…. There’s not any need to euthanize anyone. I don’t think we should be doing anything like that” (Fink, page 14) Second, the process and result of euthanasia and murder are almost the same: A person chooses to use an object for killing another person, and acts out till the person’s death. The two sharing points can lead to many wandering or complex law cases in reality, as the arresting to Pou in the article (Fink, page 26).

The two actions differ in their motivation: Due to a kind of humanistic characteristic of people – one should leave being tranquil and painless – the physicists have the power to treat the patients with euthanasia, and the power can be positive and reasonable. Adding the risk of being charged of law, the situation brings ethical dilemma for the executers, which can be proved by the action of Gremillion: crying and grabbing his arm, while saying “I can’t do this” (Fink, page 18-19). However, a murder in general often initiates because of hatred or disappointment, which are negative emotions of human kind. Although the killers with such mindset may hesitate before execution, the power keeps working to make them commit the guilty. Another difference can be the person’s purpose for taking the action. Because of the irreversible illness and the triage policy, it was almost certain that some patients in the Memorial Hospital is going to be treated to death. If the physicists act out euthanasia, the purpose will be reasonable, because they consider both the victims’ and the hospital’s situation, even facing with the law’s punishment. Therefore, it is different from murdering, whose purpose can be gaining something valuable from the victim to support the murderer’s self. Thus, one can know that the murderer does not consider either the feeling or benefit of the victim.

If people face complex cases as what happened in the article, the differences between euthanasia and murder can be the key points that help solve the problem.