Euthanasia is also referred as an act of ‘mercy killing’. It is the practice of ending a life with the intent to free one of suffering, pain and illness. The laws on Euthanasia vary from country to country, state to state. In most places, the procedure is only permitted when operated under certain conditions, while in other countries it may be completely illegal to carry out the procedure.
Euthanasia is classified as voluntary, non voluntary and involuntary. It has been debated whether or not non voluntary is counted as euthanasia due to the fact that those patients can’t make a decision for themselves. e.g coma, someone in a vegetative state or children too young to make a decision. Involuntary euthanasia is illegal and often discriminated worldwide due to the fact it is performed on an individual who could give consent.
Active and Passive Euthanasia
The procedure is classified as active or passive. Passive euthanasia is a gradual process such as a patient discontinuing their medication, turning off life support etc. This procedure is more recognised and supported. In turn, active euthanasia is where a patient is given a direct dosage of lethal injection.
Countries and states that allow Euthanasia
Assisted suicide is legal in: Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and some states in the US (Oregon, Colorado, Vermont, Montana, Washington DC, and California). Although the procedure is illegal in most countries/states, many offer alternate options such as hospice.
For and Against
The procedure is open to abuse. Hence, even in someone’s dying moments, there are those who put themselves first and have ulterior motivations behind their actions.
The definition and motives behind Euthanasia has been a topic of debate. The issue is whether or not people with ulterior motives can or rather, will they take advantage of the system. To start off with, euthanasia must be ‘solely in the best interest of the one who is receiving it’. But it opens up a loophole, the possibility of alternate motivations from another party (receiving inheritance etc).
In many cultures and beliefs, God plays as a significant role in life, death and suffering. Suffering is often regarded as a ‘test’ of faith from God. Many people believe that after enduring the suffering and hardship comes reward. Another belief is that God is the only one who should be able to decide when we die. Euthanasia is a form of suicide so thats against most religious morals/believes. Furthermore, it is believed that euthanasia devalues life and give people the impression that suicide is the ‘better’ way out.
Elevate suicide rates
The right to die
” Where is your humanity?”
People often talk about the right to a life, but what about the right to die? To allow someone the right to end their suffering in rational and appropriate conditions is only humane. The primary reason to legalise euthanasia is to relive pain and suffering for both the patient and their caretakers. Putting ourselves in their shoes and the perspective of those around them, watching someone we deeply care about suffer, the thought itself is painstaking.
No one wants to burden their loved ones, no one wants to die painfully. Thus, the very least we can do is respect other people’s decision.
Reality of the matter
Euthanasia is a form of medically assisted suicide. Yet someone who is endlessly suffering, unable to be dependent or move should be entitled to euthanasia. Both their physical and mental state is disintegrating, and no longer could them themselves or their love ones watch on. As a result, this can be a burden both financially and emotionally. On average, a day in intensive care amounts to $4000+ (can vary in different countries). In this time, the money used could be spend on another cause (such as donating it etc). All it does is prolong the inevitable from happening.
“Despite the initial reaction that money should not be taken into consideration for a human life, the truth of the matter is that in our world today this has become a reality”
Some overall thoughts
In conclusion, there are many sides and different opinions on the topic, and throughout the countless debates, we as a society have pointed out major loopholes and flaws but also raised concern over our moral believes and humanity. What will we let define us?
What are your thoughts on Euthanasia?
Are you for or against? Why?