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Pros and Cons of Legalizing Euthanasia

Apr 17, 2023 | 0 comments

Apr 17, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

Euthanasia is defined by Somerville (20) as the art of killing a patient with an incurable disease or in an irreversible coma painlessly and also referred to as physician-assisted suicide or merciful killing. There has been debate in most nations whether they should legalize euthanasia as it is forbidden in most countries safe for few countries like Belgium. Legalizing euthanasia is a sensitive topic that raises concern among most people and several groups such as the church, humanitarians, and more so the health care sector that is directly involved. The arguments for and against euthanasia have been circulating morality, justice, and compromise with religious leaders voting in favor of their beliefs concerning the giver and taker of life and politicians weighing the economic impact of supporting lives until their last breath. However, no matter the arguments it is clear that the legislators are reluctant to legalize euthanasia regardless of the pressure and even accusation of enjoying the pain of its citizens due to fear of misuse that may become uncontrollable thus overruling its noble intentions.

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Euthanasia does help a patient to end his suffering earlier this is beneficial. It is being argued that it is worthless for a patient to endure pain when the result which is death has been established (Downie 39). Death is death and not even waiting for the right time would change the sorrow that comes with death for both the patients and their relatives. No one ever enjoys the suffering of another and it breaks their hearts to watch them suffer when nothing can be done to ease their pain and the only alternative to reliving a person’s pain is manager believes that every individual’s life is invaluable hence presents the need to preserve them. Voluntary euthanasia as everyone is destined to die. Therefore, euthanasia should be adopted.

Maintaining life supporting machines is very expensive; therefore euthanasia helps to lower medical expenses for both the hospital and the patient’s family (Downie 42). Euthanasia would help save the hospital a lot of resources that would be used to develop other sectors as it is pointless to spend a lot of funds on an individual who is in no position to survive for a very long time since some people can stay in the coma for even a year but would still not survive thus ending their lives would save a lot in terms of resources.

Euthanasia has been opposed by the church that has raised concern over who has the power to give and take life. Legalizing euthanasia would give physicians the power to end life yet according to religion only God has that power to end life as he created (Morris 68). Therefore, the practice would be undermining their beliefs and practices and rendering religion worthless. They argue that there is nothing as merciful as killing death is death and only God has the authority to determine the destiny of an individual just should be left for God to decide. Legalizing euthanasia would also make it difficult for religious nurses forcing them to choose between their religious beliefs, values and their job yet in a real sense nurses and physicians are a great asset to society.

Euthanasia has been described as power since it gives a third party power over another person’s life which could easily be misused. There is fear that legalizing euthanasia could cause more harm than the good it was intended to accomplish. There are high chances that those administering euthanasia could easily be manipulated to act for their own personal interest or the benefit of other people and not for the good of the patient, and as long as it is supported by the law such misuse would be difficult to contain (Somerville 115).

Euthanasia contradicts the healthcare sector’s goal which emphasizes the value of human life and dictates that physicians ought to ensure the survival of a patient at all costs. By killing a patient they demonstrate only the opposite of that goal and would be going against the oaths taken by all physicians that forbid them from taking a human life (Berghs, Castle, & Gastmans 443). Legalizing euthanasia would bring conflict among the physicians as they would be acting against their beliefs and goal and with time people would lose faith in them to protect and value the life of human beings. It would be difficult to save and kill at the same hence most people argue that it should not be legalized to maintain the faith of the society in the health care system and allow physicians to do their job without unnecessary interference.

There is the fear of a tremendous decline in quality of health care based on the notion of a slippery slope if euthanasia is legalized (Hallard 500). At the rate different kinds of new diseases are mushrooming in the current society it would be safe not to legalize euthanasia due to the reluctance of physicians in their job. Adopting euthanasia prevent physicians with easy choices instead of challenges that keep them motivated to come up with a cure for incurable diseases which later would increase the cases of euthanasia which possess a great challenge to human existence in the future.

Humanitarians argue that euthanasia is helping a patient commit suicide which under the law is a murder that is a crime against humanity (Somerville 117). Therefore, euthanasia is against human rights to live as it denies an individual the opportunity to live until their last breath and the opportunity to die at the right time and places conditions on the value of human life which is immeasurable. Euthanasia is a crime punishable by law according to humanitarians hence should be discouraged live alone being legalized.

Euthanasia should not be legalized under any circumstance given the power that comes with it and the manipulation that may result in more harm than good. Euthanasia also renders the value of human life worthless literally imposing a condition on human existence which is inhuman and unjust that allows physicians to lose focus in their work and with time all those diseases that cause such conditions would be rampant in society given the trending mushrooming of different diseases in the current society. Also, committing suicide is unacceptable and that means and so is being accomplished of the suicide mission (Wong 258). Therefore, for the immeasurable value of human life and the future of human existence in a less disease-oriented environment euthanasia should not be legalized.

In conclusion, the debate concerning the legalization of euthanasia is ongoing in many nations and results in conflict among different groups including the church, politicians, humanitarians, and healthcare experts. The debate has raised concern whether there should be conditions to the value of life with people asking questions whether dreadful pain endured by a patient with incurable diseases or in an irreversible coma that is set to die is worth it. Also, people are worried about the negative impact of legalizing euthanasia that may occur as a result of its misuse, the future quality of health care, and religious leaders worried about interference in their religious beliefs since to them only God has the power to terminate life at His own chosen time which requires no human interference. The debate over the legalization of euthanasia goes on with every nation observing countries like Belgium that has legalized it before making their decision.

Works Cited

Beer, T. D., C Gastmas, and B.D. Casterle. “Involvement of Nurses in euthanasia: A review of the Literature.” Journal of Medical Ethics (2004): n page. Print.

The journal discusses the role of nurses in euthanasia. Nurses do have the responsibility of administering euthanasia as they interact directly with the patients in case it is legalized. Administering euthanasia is a challenging task to them as ending a life is a difficult choice.

Berghs, M., B. D. Castle, and C. Gastmans. “The Complexity of Nurses’ Attitudes Toward Euthanasia: a Review of the Literature.” Journal of Medical Ethics (2005).441-446. Print.

The journal discusses the analysis of the survey conducted to find out about the feeling of nurses concerning euthanasia since they are the people to administer it. Most nurses were found to be unaffordable with that responsibility. Some cited religious beliefs as a reason for the discomfort and others felt it was against human right to devalue human life at any point in time.

Downie, Jocelyn G. Dying Justice: A Case for Decriminalizing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2004. Print.

Downie argues that euthanasia should be adopted. According to her adaptation of euthanasia would save the health care system money as some of those life support machines are very expensive. She brings out euthanasia as a pain remedy to both the patients and his/her close members.

Griffiths, John, Heleen Weyers, Maurice Adams, and John Griffiths. Euthanasia and Law in Europe. Oxford: Hart Publishers, 2008. Print.

The book discusses the debate over legalizing euthanasia in different European nations. Belgium is included among the states that have adopted euthanasia. However, most nations are reluctant to legalize it as they are uncertain about its impact on the healthcare system and the society as a whole which lean more on the negative.

Lavi, Shai J. The Modern Art of Dying: A History of Euthanasia in the United States. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2007. Print.

The book gives arguments concerning the need to allow euthanasia. Some of the reasons include the need to end a patient severe pain in a painless way. Shai argues that the pain is not worth enduring as death is the result and ending it earlier makes no difference.

Lillehammer, Hallvard. “VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA AND THE LOGICAL SLIPPERY SLOPE ARGUMENT.” The Cambridge Law Journal (2002). 545-550. Print.

Hallvard is against euthanasia based on the notion of a slippery slope. He argues that the value of health care services would decline. This is likely because, according to him, physicians would relax in their job and would not be able to keep up with the ever mushrooming different types of diseases.

Morris, John F. Medicine, Health Care, & Ethics: Catholic Voices. Washington: Catholic U of America P, 2007. Print.

Morris writes about the objection of the church on legalizing euthanasia majorly the Catholic Church. The church feels that euthanasia undermines their religious beliefs. This is because it gives human beings the power to end the life of another human being yet only God has that capability.

Smets, Tinne, Johan Bilsen, Joachim Cohen, Mette L. Rurup,, and Luc Deliens. “Legal Euthanasia in Belgium Characteristics of All Reported Euthanasia Cases.” Medical Care (2010): n. pag. Print.

The journal discusses the impact of euthanasia in Belgium considered that it has been legalized. There have been challenges since its legalization including misuse that has proved difficult to control. However, euthanasia has been beneficial in the economic sector. The journal portrays the experience of Belgium as a learning platform for other nations.

Somerville, Margaret A. Death Talk: The Case against Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2001. Print.

Somerville argues against euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. She views it as a violation of human rights to degrade the life of a person at some point in his/her life. She also cautions against the damage that euthanasia would cause due to the power that comes with it.

Wong, David S. Legal Issues for the Medical Practitioner. Hong Kong: Hong Kong UP, 2011. Print.

Wong views euthanasia from a legal perspective. Legally physicians are not supposed to take life under any circumstance and that includes euthanasia defended by the oath they took. Wong sees legalizing euthanasia as an act that would bring conflicts in the health sector concerning their beliefs and loyalty.

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