Euthanasia


Should one be allowed to decide whether to live or to die? Euthanasia is a subject that has been debated for many years but it has still not come to a conclusion yet. Only some countries like Holland allow it. I think that euthanasia should be permitted everywhere because I believe that people have the right to control their own lives.


There are a lot of moral and ethical reasons why euthanasia should not be allowed, for example absolute respect for human life. Some people have strong beliefs that euthanasia should not be allowed. These people’s beliefs should be recognised. In most countries and societies there are strict bans against taking human life unless it’s under a certain circumstance such as war or even capital punishment. So no one should take life unless it is under these circumstances.


The sufferer could be making a poor decision. If the patient were in extreme pain, his desire to die would be greater so that he could relieve his pain. So his decision is influenced by his state of depression or condition. This might be relived by proper medication. After the treatment the patient may no longer desire to die.


There could be a conflict of interest. This only applies when a carer or guardian has to make the decision for the sufferer. For example if the carer was going to receive a large amount of money or property if the sufferer died there would be more motivation to make this hard decision. The carer might not be thinking of the patient’s wishes.


Autonomy is important but there are limits and these limits should be recognised. No one should be able to decide everything for himself. "No man is an island," meaning that no one should make the decision to die in isolation. There are others who could be affected by the decision being taken, like friends and family.


A technical reason why euthanasia should not be allowed is that the doctor could diagnose the disease wrong and there might be medical advances. Diagnosis is not a perfect skill and mistakes can occur in the prediction about the outcome of the patient’s health. Also, as knowledge expands new drugs and treatment might cure the patient’s condition. Therefore in some cases euthanasia deprives people of prolongation of their life.


Euthanasia may undermine medical research. One of the reasons why there has been a great medical advancement this century is the desire to develop treatments for fatal illnesses. Medical research is essential if medicine is to advance further. Euthanasia would threaten the whole process because the focus would change from curing the condition to killing the person with the condition.


Does the government have the right to make people suffer? They absolutely don’t. If a person is suffering so much that there is no chance of survival then he should be allowed to choose, himself, if he wants to live or die.


There are also ethical and moral points on why euthanasia should be permitted. One of these points is that we have to respect the sufferers’ autonomy. You should be able to exercise as much control over your life as is possible. There is a quote, "The right of individuals to consultation and participation in decisions affecting all aspects of their lives should be allowed." This means that a sufferer should have the absolute right to choose whether to live or to die. If and when a sufferer decides that life should end, legal euthanasia would provide the way of ending it, which is safely, without placing another person or group of people in legal danger.


We should allow people to value quality of life instead of the holiness of life. When a person is suffering from severe pain or is severely restricted by illness and his/her life depends on drugs, those who value quality of life more that sanctity of life may wish to die. Euthanasia should be permitted so that these people can get what they want.


Euthanasia should be legalised to end suffering. This is for people who are terminally ill and will never recover and has expressed a desire to die. The suffering takes away their peace and pleasure. Another aspect of this is the suffering of the carer. Caring or watching someone who is