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Ethical issues of euthanasia in Kazakhstan

Библиографическое описание: Гусак Н., Оспанова Н. А. Ethical issues of euthanasia in Kazakhstan // Юный ученый. — 2018. — №3. URL: http://yun.moluch.ru/archive/17/1230/ (дата обращения: 24.05.2018).



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The meaning of the word euthanasia in English is an «easy death» (Oxford dictionary) [1]. It means taking life of person that suffers from unbearable pain in case of incurable disease such as a cancer with the goal to stop the suffering.

Due to BBC (Lewis 2015) [2] nowadays the euthanasia is used as a type of way out in such European countries as Scotland, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Albania, Switzerland, United State (certain states) and Canada. Despite this fact the euthanasia is considered to be an illegal and destroying ethical and cultural rules. For instance, this procedure is banned in Kazakhstan. In correspondence with the Codex of Kazakhstan Republic (article 141, since 2009) [3], such method is illegal in Kazakhstan. In addition, due to the law about health protection of citizens in the Republic of Kazakhstan, life-sustaining equipment could be switched of only in case of an official pronouncement of death. In correspondence with the words of L.Karp and T.Potapchuk, a number of anonymous surveys was conducted and showed data that a plenty of examples of using the euthanasia in practical experience of medical workers was done without any type of punishment. Usually these facts remain unnoticeable and are not included to official documents (Karp & Potapchuk, 2004) [4].

Child oncologist Ualikhan Zhumashev claims that children suffering from oncological diseases are not taken in hospitals. Doctors close doors in front of them after finding out their diagnosis. «But I think that those kids could be treated. On 1–2 stage — 100 %, 3 stage — 60–80 %, 4 — under 40 %. However, we have problems with drugs and qualified staff. But it does not mean that the euthanasia is required» (Zhumashev) [5]. Ualikhan Zhumashev considers that Kazakhstan needs more children hospices to look after kids with oncological diseases rather than the assisted suicide. At the end he concluded that the euthanasia is not needed in our country.

To give a particular example from the TV program Almaty (2016) [6], the girl from Almaty, Galina Bochkareva asks for the euthanasia. She has the disability of the first group. The girl cannot move by herself. She says she is tired of being a burden for relatives who turned away from her. Due to the ban of euthanasia in Kazakhstan, Galina asks a help to go abroad for the euthanasia. Such kind of travelling called a suicide tourism and is not forbidden in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Here the problem is not in the need of euthanasia, it is in the extremely low level of medicine in Kazakhstan. Local doctors do not care about patients that have serious disorders, especially if they cannot be treated.

Mixed method was used and such tools as an interview and survey were applied. A survey gave the general statistics about people’s opinion, namely more than a half of people who passed the questionnaire was for the euthanasia and 70 % of them even supported the idea of it being used in Kazakhstan. As for the question about the reason why the euthanasia is banned in our country, the highest percentage (41.7 %) was gained by the low level of development of medicine. The second place was owned by following two variants: euthanasia is ethically incorrect (33.3 %) and it has a contradiction with a religion (33,3 %).

Furthermore, survey has a question about the age of participants because it was important to compare the age with the attitude to the euthanasia. Founding showed that people over 20–30 years old are not sure (44 %) or against (19 %) about the euthanasia (Picture 1) due to their conservative views or other factors, while the youngest ones support it (60 %).

Диаграмма

Fig. 1. The attitude towards euthanasia among young people.

 

Диаграмма

Fig. 2. The attitude towards the euthanasia among people over 20.

 

Interviews were conducted among different ages and a person with a medical specialization. As for an adult’s opinion, she behaves to the euthanasia dissonantly. «If I felt sick, I would use it.» However, the interviewee claims that this is a big sin and she is not willing to gather sins before the death. Also the adult answered that the euthanasia violates the moral standards and is not compatible with any religion because any faith believes that it is a suicide. As for the young generation’s point of view, they behave to the euthanasia calmly and quite good. This age is less spiritual than their parents, so they are not against such procedures. As for the reason of ban the euthanasia, a teenager gave an interesting point. He suggested that the equipment for the procedure is really expensive. As for the medical worker’s interview, she responded that she is a humane person and there is a lot of arguments for and against. According to her words, she would never stop someone’s life as a medical worker.

The idea of euthanasia is a controversial topic and both experts and populations agree with that. The Codex of Kazakhstan bans its using and the biggest part of people thinks that it is the right decision. Generally, the literature and the results from primary research showed the same data: people are not against the idea of euthanasia, but do not want its legalizing due to different reasons that were considered in the second research question.

 

References:

 

  1.                Euthanasia. (n.d.). In Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/euthanasia
  2.                Lewis, P. (2015, October 6). Assisted dying: What does the law in different countries say? [web log comment]. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-34445715
  3.                Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan. (2017). Health of the people and the health care system [Data file]. Retrieved from http://www.adilet.gov.kz/ru/faq/razreshena-li-evtanaziya-v-respublike-kazahstan
  4.                Carp, L. L., & Potapchuk, T. B. (2004). The problem of euthanasia: «For» and «Against». Retrieved from http://ecsocman.hse.ru/data/422/927/1219/019.KARP.pdf
  5.                Cyrullic, A. (2010, May 17). In the medical community of Kazakhstan, the problem of euthanasia was not considered relevant [web log comment]. Retrieved from https://www.zakon.kz/172445-v-medicinskojj-obshhestvennosti.html
  6.                (2016, July 15). A disabled girl from Almaty continues to insist on euthanasia. [web log comment]. Retrieved from https://informburo.kz/novosti/devushka-invalid-iz-almaty-nastaivaet-na-evtanazii.html

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№ 3 (17), июнь 2018 г. г.

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