The voluntary death by which a man puts an end to intolerable suffering is really an act of redemption.
Ernst Heinrich Haeckel
Write a unified essay in which you perform the following tasks. Explain what you think the above statement means. Describe a specific situation in which the voluntary death by which a person put an end to intolerable suffering would not be an act of redemption. Discuss what you think determines the choices of voluntary death in the face of human suffering.
From Barron’s MCAT 2008
Haekel believes that a man enduring intolerable suffering can be salvaged or rescued by voluntary death. Here, the term “redemption” may even carry the meaning of fulfilling what’s obligated of the suffering man, as if the right to end his life is his to redeem.
Whether or not a person has the right to end his own life is a dilemma faced by policy makers and medical professionals world wide. If a terminally ill patient suffering from metastatic cancer, who understandably suffers from intolerable pain, wishes to discontinue the life-supporting treatments, it may seem cruel and unreasonable to deny his request. In this case, his loved ones may agree that the suffering man should be salvaged from his needless pain.
However, if a patient suffering from an intolerable pain, say an amputation of a limb, is expected to recover from it, then the voluntary death is not an act of redemption, but of escape. Although his life would be compromised by his injury, he can still lead a productive and fulfilling life. Choosing to end his life to avoid the suffering and struggle is not only cruel to his loved ones, but also irresponsible to himself, because, although the suffering may be intolerable, it is not meaningless in this case.
Ran out of time here… but what the heck