Why Is Euthanasia Ethically Wrong Essay

Euthanasia advocates Patients are constantly receiving criticism from those who believe that euthanasia is not ethical and should be illegal everywhere. Euthanasia can be defined as the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease. The practice of euthanasia is illegal in most countries. Euthanasia can be either voluntary, non-voluntary, or involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia occurs when the patient requests to die. Non-voluntary euthanasia occurs when a patient is either unconscious or unable to make a choice regarding their death and an appropriate person makes this decision for them.

Involuntary euthanasia occurs when the patient wishes to live but is killed anyway and is considered murder. There are different laws regarding euthanasia in every county. Voluntary euthanasia is only legal in some countries. Non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia is illegal everywhere. The terminology concerning euthanasia is constantly changed to try to find phrasing that will convince others to support legalization of euthanasia. Those against euthanasia believe that it devalues human life and doctors should not participate in the killing of people.

Despite these critics there are many advocates who are trying to legalize euthanasia for suffering patients. Voluntary euthanasia should be legal everywhere for terminally ill patients because everyone should have the freedom to make decisions about their own life, it allows humans to die with dignity and the prolonging of an illness can damage organs which could have otherwise been donated. Everyone who is terminally ill should have the right to decide when and how their life should end.

Dickens explains that euthanasia can “benefit terminally ill patients by relieving their suffering” (1997, para. 1). Making someone suffer any longer than necessary when they no longer wish this for themselves is cruel. If a patient has no chance of survival and is in excruciating pain they should have the freedom to choose whether they wish to receive treatment or not. Dickens also points out that “physicians would be willing to practise euthanasia and assisted suicide if these acts were legal” (1997, para. 1).

If a patient makes an informed decision regarding their death and their physician is willing to help them then euthanasia should be legal. When someone is terminally ill they have very little control over anything in their life. Allowing patients to make an informed decision about when they wish to die and end their suffering gives them back some control in their life. This control show the patient respect and gives them the freedom they should have when making decisions about their own life. Euthanasia allows patients to die with dignity.

Dignity can be defined as the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect. Somerville explains that “below a certain quality of life a person loses all dignity” (2009, para. 9). There is no point in making someone live against their will when they can no longer enjoy life the way they want to. Somerville also explains “respect for dignity requires the absence of suffering, whether from disability or terminal illness” (2009, para. 9). To respect the dignity of terminally ill patient’s euthanasia should be an option for them.

Euthanasia is only a last resort for those who do not want to spend however many days they have left in complete suffering and pain. This shows respect for patients as well as their families who are also suffering seeing their loved one with such a low quality of life. Somerville points out that “one’s dignity is violated if one’s autonomy is not respected” (2009, para. 14). Illness can take away from an individual’s ability to make decisions leaving them with no quality of life.

Euthanasia allows patients to hold on to their independence and freedom by quickly and humanely ending their suffering with their dignity intact. The Prolonging of illness can damage organs which could have otherwise been donated to save another person’s life. Many patients wish to donate their organs and could if they were given the choice to decide when they wish to die. This would not only give them the freedom to make this decision for themselves but they would also die knowing that they were able to save the life of someone else by giving them something that they couldn’t use anymore.

Baer points out that “[i]t would be difficult, if not impossible, for individuals to trust physicians if they knew that physicians were engaged in killing” (1993, para. 1). Physicians have sworn an oath which does not allow them to take part in the killing of people. Individuals against euthanasia believe that physicians should not take part in directly causing death because they will not be able to keep it under control. Euthanasia would never be legalized without regulations and controls in place. If euthanasia were legalized then doctors would not be breaking any oaths or laws.

Physicians are knowledgeable professionals who can provide their patients with all of the information needed to make an informed decision. Physicians should be treated with respect and not judged when they have not done nothing for you to think otherwise. The option of euthanasia would only be given to those who are terminally ill so that they can make their own decision and not prolong suffering and pain for themselves and their families. Gibson explains that “human life is sacred and it is wrong to kill another human” (2008, para. 3).

Those against euthanasia believe that it devalues human life and we should only “[do] unto others as we would have others do unto us” (Gibson, 2008, para. 7). Euthanasia gives patients the freedom and respect to make one final decision in their life when they are not able to make any others. This actually shows that they value their life enough to not suffer unnecessarily. They want other to remember them when they were happy and not in pain. Euthanasia can also give patients a chance to donate organs which again shows that they really do value human life.