Why I still believe euthanasia should be legal
The legalization of euthanasia has become a hot topic in the world today, and it, like any other divisive issue, has supporters and opponents. Every side has valid points, as they are adamant about their respective positions on the issue. Euthanasia is a painless method of ending a patient’s life who is in an irreversible coma or has an incurable terminal illness (Arabjanov, 2012). Euthanasia should be legalized in all countries, in my opinion. This stems from an evaluation of verity that illegalizing euthanasia is illusory and patients and their families have the right, liberty, and freedom to choose whether they want to live with the pain of a terminal disease or they would wish to end their suffering as long as this causes no harm to another person.
In recent years, euthanasia has become popular across the globe with many patients and their families taking it as an option instead of letting their family members suffer pain from terminal illnesses. Chan and Tse, argue that legalizing euthanasia could be a leeway to unwarranted deaths by unscrupulous family members and health practitioners (2016). However, prior to allowing a terminally ill person to exercise his/her right to euthanasia and die with dignity, there are hefty conditions that should be met. For instance, the patient must be an adult and terminally ill, he/she must be in severe pain and mentally competent while making the decision and at least two independent physicians must satisfy that the named conditions are present. Therefore, the concerns of abuse and vulnerability of patients are addressed and thus should not stop the legalization of euthanasia.
On the same line, the argument that legalizing euthanasia will cause several undeserved/mass deaths is not logical according to medical conclusions because there is protocol to be followed before reaching a decision that euthanasia is the remaining option. The states and other concerned parties should change their focus and find other reasons to disqualify the legalization of euthanasia because most of their arguments are illusory. Most of their allegations are just mere assumptions without inductive reasoning that should be ruled out and legalize euthanasia. From this, it is easier to support the fact euthanasia should be legalized.
In addition, every person has right to choose to die when his/her life becomes undignified and excruciating. According to Rodgers, Booth, Norman, and Sowden, the quality of life is greater than the length of life, and there is no reason whatsoever to force a patient to live a life with an intolerable pain (2016). Most patients with terminal illnesses face a horrific future, for instance, the failure of the vital organs of the body, and the decline of the body whereby they are forced to depend on artificial life support machines. In fact, this is very expensive for their family members who end up bankrupt in the end yet the illness leaves the patients in an incapable state. Therefore, if euthanasia is made legal, the patients can escape all the above, and it will also save the family members from spending all their fortune on an incurable condition.
Opponents argue that euthanasia should not be legal because of religious reasons. They argue that all religions value the human life, therefore, regardless of which situation an individual is undergoing; being assisted to should not be an option at all. However, despite all these arguments, I still believe that euthanasia should be legalized because permitting a terminally ill person to make a decision to end their life is a humane and compassionate choice. Individuals should not be forced to endure pain against their wishes when there is a viable option like euthanasia. These patients have a right to choose what they want for their lives, and this includes making a decision about ending a life that is no longer of quality (Sulmasy, Ely, and Sprung, 2016).
The idea surrounding the legalization of euthanasia has generated heated debates from all quarters. Despite the several documented evidence of its benefits for patients with terminally ill patients, many governments across the globe have delayed giving the issue a positive approach citing the lack of a consistent and reliable scientific data to back up its significance. Besides, many states fear that upon its legalization, there is a likelihood of abusing the rights of patients in the process and this can further worsen the state of health (Chan and Tse, 2016). However, I still believe that euthanasia should be legal because there is overwhelming evidence that the process relives patients from agonizing pain from chronic illnesses that have no cure. Why let a patient suffer chronic pain for several days yet at the end of the day, he/she will still not survive the disease.
In conclusion, assisted suicide/euthanasia, as it is commonly known is a complex issue that involves various stakeholders. These include patients, health experts, governments, the opponents, and the proponents. Even though the views of all everyone should be taken into consideration before the full legalization of euthanasia is done, we should look at what most of the patients want and how necessary the process can be for patients with unbearable pain from an incurable disease (Parmar, Rathod, and Parikh, 2016). Euthanasia is illegal in several countries. However, with proper education and regulations, euthanasia can be legalized without any opposition and criticism. It is evident that euthanasia still faces criticism on its application and safety with many bodies fearing that the process might be misused (Emanuel, Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Urwin, and Cohen, 2016). Nonetheless, I still believe that euthanasia should be legalized because terminal ill patients have a right to exercise their liberty on whether to stay alive and endure the agonizing pain from terminal illnesses or they end their lives through euthanasia. A civilized society should allow terminally ill patients to die without pain and with dignity by legalizing euthanasia.
The supporters and the opponents of euthanasia have genuine issues with their arguments, but one thing that comes out clearly out of these arguments is that euthanasia should be legalized. No one should impose his/her views on a decision made by a severely terminally ill person because we do not know the pain they are going through (Frye, and Youngner, 2016). However, before its legalization, specific policies should be put in place to protect the patients from unscrupulous family members and doctors. With many nations supporting its legalization, many will learn of its importance and let euthanasia gain global significance and acceptance it deserves.
Arabjanov, A. (2012). Euthanasia as Seen by Law, Morality and Religion. New York: GRIN Verlag
Chan, H.M. and Tse, C.Y. (2016). The case of Ah Bun: Euthanasia and other Alternatives. In Ethical Dilemmas in Public Policy (pp. 23-38). Springer Singapore.
Emanuel, E.J., Onwuteaka-Philipsen, B.D., Urwin, J.W. and Cohen, J. (2016). Attitudes and Practices of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Jama, 316(1), pp.79-90.
Frye, J. and Youngner, S. J. (2016). A Call for a Patient-Centered Response to Legalized Assisted Dying: A Patient-Centered Response to Legalized Assisted Dying. Annals of Internal Medicine, 165(10), pp.733-734.
Parmar, P., Rathod, S. and Parikh, A., (2016). Perceptions of Patients’ Towards Euthanasia–A Medico-Legal Perspective. Age (Years), 20(12), pp.21-30.
Rodgers, M., Booth, A., Norman, G. and Sowden, A. (2016). Research priorities relating to the debate on assisted dying: what do we still need to know? Results of a Modified Delphi Technique. BMJ open, 6(6), p.e012213.
Sulmasy, D.P., Ely, E.W. and Sprung, C.L. (2016). Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide. Jama, 316(15), pp.1600-1600.