Another scenario that is often at risk for euthanasia is that of a patient who has been positively diagnosed with AIDS. This disease involves several complications that are brought about by the destruction of the immune system of the individual. A full blown AIDS patient may thus suffer difference diseases from pneumonia to tuberculosis. There are a significant number of AIDS patients who feel helpless and would resort to ending their life by requesting their physicians or nurses for access to toxic drugs that they could take at their own preferred day and time.
Since AIDS is now present in almost every country around the globe, it would be alarming to find that the deaths related to AIDS may even increase if euthanasia were legally accepted in most countries. There may also be cases that would involve elderly patients who have lost their interest in living a full life due to the suffering that they experience with their chronic illness (Jotkowitz et al. , 2008).
The legalization of euthanasia may thus result in a magnified number of deaths among the elderly patients because it is likely possible that these patients would request for a treatment method that would end of thus suffering (White et al. , 2008). The concept of euthanasia may also influence a patient’s perception of the physician or healthcare professional who is attending to his medical condition (Ronen et al. , 2009). These professionals have long been considered as highly trained personnel who have the capacity to fully understand every medical condition that they treat.
In addition, healthcare professionals are considered as skilled persons that carry the knowledge on how to prolong an individual’s life. However, the entire image of these healthcare professionals may be tinged with the negative impact of the concept of euthanasia, wherein patients may then see healthcare professionals as accomplices of the death process because they are equipped with both the knowledge and materials that could kill a patient.
It is also a general observation that patients often do not understand the effects of particular medications that are given to them and thus when a patient is aware that euthanasia is legal, he may acquire a distrust of his physician, as well as his nurse because he would always think that a certain drug that is being administered was meant to kill him. This kind of paranoia may also influence the recovery of a patient because there is a strong connection between the mental condition and the physical well-being of a patient.
Another social problem that may be related to euthanasia is the patient’s perception that his family wants him to die so that they are not obligated to take further care of him (Ganzini et al. , 2002). Euthanasia may be treated by the patient’s family as an easy solution to the stressful and tiring experience of taking care of a chronically ill family member. It has been established that when cancer or any terminal disease affects a patient, the entire family is affected because each one has to help out in caring for the relative.
In addition, there is a reshuffling of responsibilities in the family, especially when the patient is the head of the family. A chronic disease is also costly to the entire family, wherein expenses are significantly increased and at the same time, the net income of the family is decreased especially when the patient is a parent (Mukhida, 2007). In cases wherein the patient is one of the children, the net income of the family is still affected because one or both of the parents are obliged to take time off from work, resulting in deductions in their regular pay (Kon, 2008).
Pressure may also be felt by an elderly patient, especially when he feels that his adult children are reach a stage of fatigue in taking care of him, while the grandchildren are left behind in day care centers or at home with a babysitter. In this scenario, the elderly patient feels extreme guilt that he is causing his adult children to spend more than the necessary time away from their own families (Andrews, 2008).
The pressure may further increase when his condition has been determined by the physician to worsen, instead of improve. The elderly patient generally feels that his medical condition is hopeless and that his family would be better off without having to take care of him and thus he requests his physician to provide him a medication that would ultimately end all this suffering (Giese, 2009).