José E. Colón Serrano
December 04, 2013
In Barbara Huttman’s "A Crime of Compassion”, she develops the conflict undergone by the author, a nurse who performed euthanasia without the approval of her superior. Euthanasia in accordance to “BBC-Ethics” is the termination of life of a very sick person in order to free them from their suffering. In most cases, euthanasia is carried out because the person who is seriously ill asks for it, but there are cases where a person cannot make such request. The author was taken to the Phil Donahue show as if she was taken to court, but in the eyes of the audience she already was guilty of committing a crime. This essay will argue that Huttmann made a wise decision and did not commit a crime. She made a very difficult decision to free Mac of his misery and live with a peaceful conscience.
During the 80's euthanasia was not a common procedure for hospitals. There are patients like Mac who are very ill and transformed from a strong, young person in to a skeleton trapped in a hospital bed. When people are very sick and have to lay in bed for months without showing a bit of progress, as in the majority of the cancer cases, they are in agony.“The Doctor believed that life must be extended as long they have the means and knowledge to do it” (Huttmann 114). This was a very scientific method of thinking. Doctors did not consider the emotional impact of the disease on the patient and the family members. Physicians are supposed to know when a person can have a chance to recuperate from sickness. In Macs case, the Doctor did not get emotionally involved and chose to endlessly approve resuscitation efforts. That is why a lot of nurses like Huttmann developed affection towards their patients and their families to the point of risking their jobs while supporting them.
It is acceptable when "the first time Mac stops breathing, the nurse called "code blue" allowing the team rush in to resuscitated him" (114). However, it...