The Role Of Euthanasia In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

1055 Words 5 Pages
In the novel Of Mice of and Men by John Steinbeck, George and Lennie are an unlikely pair who form a father-son dynamic. With George as the father figure, having to protect Lennie and Lennie as the son who cannot survive without George. It is this unhealthy dynamic between the two that leads George into euthanizing Lennie. Euthanasia is the mercy killing of someone who cannot make the decision to be killed themselves. According to the BBC Ethics Guide, euthanasia includes cases of one being in a coma, being too young, senile, mentally retarded, brain damaged, or mentally disturbed to the point of being a danger to themselves (Source A). George is justified in killing Lennie because Lennie had become a danger to others, if George had waited …show more content…
Whenever Lennie is alone, he is either killing something or hallucinating. According to The Groningen Protocol for Euthanasia in Newborns, “Requirements that must be fulfilled: The diagnosis and prognosis must be certain, hoplessess and unbearable suffering must be present, and the diagnosis, prognosis, and unbearable suffering must be confirmed by at least one independent doctor” (Source B). Lennie not being able to take care of himself, along with his hallucinations hinting that he has a mental illness, shows that George killing him was Lennies best option. By the end of Of Mice and Men, Slim confirms that Lennie needs to be killed when he finds out that he killed Curley's …show more content…
According to author Alexander A. Kon. of “Neonatal Euthanasia is Unstopportable: The Groningen Protocol Should Be Abandoned.” Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, “Without the testament of the patient herself as to the nature and magnitude of her suffering, physicians can never accurately weigh the benefits and burdens of child’s life” (Source C). Moreover, Alexander A. Kon believes that it is a physician's job to never harm their patients which contradicts neonatal euthanasia which is why it cannot be supported. However, if a patient's diagnosis and prognosis were causing them severe pain, and was confirmed by a doctor, the support of euthanasia is strictly conditional. Meaning that euthanizing a patient is permissible due to it promoting good end. Therefore, George is justified in killing Lennie because he had become dangerous, Lennie would have had to suffer a worse death from Curly, and Lennie would have been killed either because of his disability of George letting him live on his

Related Documents