Type: Definition Essays
Sample donated: Eleanor Abbott
Last updated: May 26, 2019
If a person was dying and wanted to end their life peacefully with their dignity would you allow them to have that right? Legalizing Euthanasia would give that person the right to die peacefully. Euthanasia is an act or calculated course of emission intended to shorten life with merciful motivation that is voluntary. The process in which euthanasia is enacted is carried out by physician assisted suicide or through taking pills prescribed to you. People are debating if euthanasia should be legalized.
The definition has room for error, but with laws set in place they can minimize the potential dangers some people are worrying about. Some of these dangers are people abusing this right for the wrong motivations. There is also a debate about if it is morally acceptable and ethical.
Euthanasia is peaceful and allows someone to die with their dignity and with compassion. The individual can die knowing they have lived a valuable life with their good memories at hand, instead of replacing them with suffering that is unavoidable. With this knowledge, euthanasia is a humane and ethical way of ending suffering. Euthanasia has a lot of controversy over if it should be legalized. Some concerns are if we legalize the process of euthanasia, people will abuse their new rights. When I say abuse their rights, some examples would be people making hasty decisions to end their life when they are not in the right mindset to be capable of making thought out decisions, and some individuals could be making decisions without the person who is being euthanized best interest at hand.”There are too many places where this can be misused, where people cannot be offered the sort of assessment and care that they fully deserve,”(Parnis). There is some concern that in a society with euthanasia suicide will become more acceptable.
With euthanasia legalized there is a chance that it will lead to involuntary euthanasia and non voluntary euthanasia (Pelligrino). The individual about to get euthanized could also have the mindset of being a burden to society. With this society it is indecent and not morally right. Patients could start to loose their sacred trust between them and the physician changing to be based on killing. If you decide to euthanize it denies the individual to make new experiences along with never being able to do everything they wanted in life.
There are many ways you could interpret euthanasia, but I am not supporting involuntary euthanasia, non-voluntary euthanasia, and passive euthanasia. I support euthanasia through strict laws ensuring the individual is protected and respected. The individual must have good reasons and is capable of making the decision.
A good model for these laws is in Canada. Canada has decided that not allowing people to consent to be able to die is unconstitutional (medical assistance in dying). But is only unconstitutional to ” the extent that they prohibit physician assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to termination of life and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition,” (Carter v Canada 147). The law C-14 in Canada legalizes assisted suicide and euthanasia. This federal law allows euthanasia and assisted suicide only when natural death is in the near future, also must meet the restrictions of the adult must be consenting and mentally aware, The patient should also have counseling and know the full extent of what they are about to decide. The law also prohibits euthanasia practice on individuals who cant make the decision for themselves (after legalizing euthanasia). The laws stay generally consistent in the United States where euthanasia is legal.
In the United States euthanasia is currently legal in CA, CO, OR, VT, WA, and DC. The individual has to be a resident, the minimum age is 18, there has to be six or less months until expected death, and there has to be two oral and one written request from physicians. But if you are below 18 your parents should be involved with counseling. Euthanasia is not allowed to be recommended or encouraged it is a choice for the patient.
A study was conducted on if euthanasia and suicide incidences correspond to suicide rates. The conclusion was “suicide is not significantly related to euthanasia,” ( Zalman,). Euthanasia isn’t necessarily about suicide its about how it helps the individual and their families “The average percentage of terminally ill patients who die while in pain: 55%,”(Euthanasia statistics). Its to help the percent who die in pain. A society where people die in vain and without their independence. A place where family members have to watch their loved ones die in suffering is more morally unacceptable and ethical than euthanasia. In places like Japan where suicide is more acceptable that was not from euthanasia it was the impact of their history on the present day Japan. In places where euthanasia is legal suicide is not popular and not accepted what is accepted is euthanasia and the message of peace that it brings.
People believe that assisted death is considered a crime because it denies that person to achieve their goals in life and do everything they wanted to do. But if that value of life is present in people who aren’t suffering they cant fully understand how not having value in their life feels. If your goals are unachievable because of the condition the individual is placed in and those experiences don’t have a positive impact instead feel like a burden then that value is gone. But it also counts in favor of what that person wants for their life because they request voluntary euthanasia. People also say killings a crime because it will deprive that person of good experiences. In a person who isn’t suffering there would be more positive or at least a balance of positive and negative experiences. But for the suffering individual they have decided that balance is not there, the negative out weighs the positive in their case.
Allowing them to have physician assisted suicide will save them from those bad experiences. So euthanasia is actually in favor of those two concerns. Physicians and their patient have a sacred bond that is usually formed over time. Only about 20% of people believe they would trust their physician less if euthanasia was legalized ( Hall). The majority would trust their physicians and with the patient most likely knowing their doctor well with regular visits they will have a trust established. Doctors should be able to decide if they will not carry out the patients wishes, and tell that patient so they can find a new doctor, so they don’t have to be euthanized by a stranger or have to go out and find a new doctor (Angell).
In conclusion euthanasia should be legalized through strict laws and should be monitored to be sure that people don’t abuse the right to attain euthanasia. Euthanasia should not be encouraged ,and people who choose that route should not be scrutinized. With euthanasia people will have a way to die with respect and on their own terms. Euthanasia is already legalized in multiple places and has not changed their society to make suicide more acceptable.
Physicians still respect their patients and the bond has not been affected detrimentally. With the “good death” people can die peacefully and no one should deny people that right.