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Death By The Process Of Euthanasia

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Question:

Write an Essay on Euthanasia Should be legalized or not?
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Euthanasia which means gentle death or easy death is one of the significant issues in the medical field that has been the matter of intense debate for a long time. It encompasses several  dimensions, from passive (withholding supporting measures or treatment) to active (introducing something for causing death) to involuntary (guardian’s consent) to voluntary (patient’s consent) and physician-assisted ( when medicine is prescribed by the physician and is administered to the patient by the third party for causing death). Euthanasia that includes a request to premature end the one’s life has contributed towards the debate regarding the role of this kind of practices in the health care setting (Karlsson, & Berggren, 2011). Hence, the purpose of this essay is to discuss whether participation in the killing of an individual is morally, ethically, and professionally sound despite having the consent and agreement of the patient. Basically, this essay will provide arguments against euthanasia based on various ethical, religious, and moral grounds, and why it should not be legalized?  

Euthanasia: Should be legalized or not?

Euthanasia can be described as the deliberate acceleration of the individual death based on the various terminal medical circumstances and conditions. In the present era, despite scientific and technological advancements, there is still controversy and ambiguity over the concept and acceptability of euthanasia or peaceful death. Many consider that euthanasia provides the patients with an incurable, disabling, degenerative, or debilitating condition an option of dying in dignity, and can relieve them from unbearable suffering (Van Baarsen, 2009). Further, the supporters of euthanasia consider that it can relieve the burdens of the patients from their relatives. Banning euthanasia can cause the patients with terminal illness to suffer needlessly. However, there are various ethical and moral aspects regarding the concept of euthanasia globally based on the principles of religious beliefs, personal morality, and ethical backgrounds that considers euthanasia to be a wrongful act (Doeck, 2016).

For millennia, euthanasia was regarded as legally and morally unjustifiable, however, some pro-euthanasia advocates consider it to be justified and ethically sound. According to some of the pro-euthanasia advocates, respect for the right of the patient to self-determination and autonomy indicates that the competent adults possess the right to choose death. They argue that during the process of decision-making, patients can choose euthanasia, and the states possess no right for preventing them from doing it.  However, the research demonstrates that the reason behind requesting euthanasia by the dying people are far more frequently due to fear or concern of social isolation along with the fear of being a burden on their families instead of pain (Somerville, 2012). Being a burden or avoiding loneliness does not stand out to be a sufficient justification. Moreover, when it comes to the patient having a mental illness, the process becomes more complicated. As mental illness alters one’s thought processes and generates negative thoughts over positive ones, it can impact the thinking capability of the patient. Hence, giving the right to autonomy for choosing death is not justifiable, and there are other reasons behind this kind of decisions than just pain or disease (Giand, 2016).

 


Euthanasia is also considered to be a wrong act based on various religious beliefs that consider it to be morally and ethically unjustifiable. However, according to the American professor Joseph Fletcher who was a pioneer in bioethics considered euthanasia to be morally sound. He admits that changes in the science and technology have enabled the person to ‘play God.’According to him, as we play the role of God, we have the right of evaluating one’s quality of living, and if it is useless, it is justifiable to end it. However, it is an argumentative statement as who and how it can be determined that the life had no value or became valueless (Vodiga, 1974)? On the other hand, according to the Catholic Roman Church’s teachings, euthanasia is considered as a crime against God and life, which is also supported by Roman Catholics who considers life to be sacred. Further, as per the Islamic beliefs, any kind of self-killing and reasons for death and life are in the hands of their Allah. Nobody possesses the right to harm this life, which is bestowed by Allah, indicating their disagreement on euthanasia whether passive or active. Hence, on religious grounds, there is no justification to end the person’s life, no matter whatever the circumstances are (Naga & Maryyan, 2013).

Further, euthanasia can also raise certain morally unjustified behaviors like mala fide intention. As in today’s world of declining justice and morality, there exists a possibility of misusing euthanasia by the relatives or family members for their personal benefit, for instance, for inheriting the patient's property. Further, it has been observed that the passive euthanasia take place in many cases when poor patients along with their family members are incapable of affording the huge costs in the medical treatment, hence, they withdraw or refuse treatment. Further, in case if the euthanasia is legalized, it can lead to commercialization of various health care as they will serve the patient’s death sentence just for the meager sum of money. Hence, euthanasia in many cases can lead to unethical and immoral behavior, thus raising various moral, legal, and ethical issues (Math, & Chaturvedi, 2012).

Conclusion

Relieving pain, improving the patient’s life quality, restoring dignity, and giving patient back the power over their lives and well-being is far better in comparison to fatal injections. As many people prefer euthanasia due to fear of isolation or being a burden on others, most of the patients are visibly relieved when the patients are informed that there is no option of euthanasia. Though many supporters consider euthanasia to be advantageous, it has been observed that when the fears are properly dealt, symptoms are controlled, and appropriate emotional, spiritual, and practical help is provided to the patient, it is very rare that they will ask for death by the process of euthanasia. As there are more ethical, moral, and religious issues linked to the concept of euthanasia in comparison to the pros of it, euthanasia should not be legalized in Canada.

 

References

Doeck, L. (2016). Doctor-assisted dying: Why religious conscience must be part of the debate. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 30 March 2017, from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/doctor-assisted-dying-why-religious-conscience-must-be-part-of-the-debate/article29252574/

Gand, K. (2016). How mental illness complicates medically assisted dying. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 30 March 2017, from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/how-mental-illness-complicates-assisted-dying/article30193498/

Karlsson, C., & Berggren, I. (2011). Dignified end-of-life care in the patients' own homes. Nursing Ethics, 18(3), 374-385.

Math, S., & Chaturvedi, S. (2012). Euthanasia: Right to life vs right to die. Indian Journal Of Medical Research, 136(6), 899-902.

Naga, B., & Maryyan, M. (2013). Legal and Ethical Issues of Euthanasia : Argumentative Essay. Middle East Journal Of Nursing, 7(5), 31-39.

Somerville, M. (2012). When is euthanasia justified?. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 30 March 2017, from https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/when-is-euthanasia-justified/article4392696/

Van Baarsen, B. (2009). Suffering, Loneliness, and the Euthanasia Choice: An Explorative Study. Journal Of Social Work In End-Of-Life & Palliative Care, 4(3), 189-213.

Vodiga, B. (1974). Euthanasia and the Right to Die - Moral, Ethical and Legal Perspectives. Chicago-Kent Law Review, 51(1).

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