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Euthanasia; A Divided World Essay

1594 words - 7 pages

Euthanasia is the medical practice of ending one’s life in order to preserve their dignity and relieve extreme pain when quality of life is low. There are several methods of euthanasia of which people choose from. These methods include active, passive, voluntary, involuntary, indirect and assisted euthanasia. As of now, only a few countries have legalized euthanasia. The countries most known for the legalization of it are Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. In a recent news article titled “Why I Support Assisted Dying”, a Canadian poll revealed that 26 % of physicians would be willing to actually participate in assisted dying and that if euthanasia were legalized, more and more ...view middle of the document...

“In speaking of physician assisted suicide, it has been said that seeking a physician’s assistance, or what can almost seem a physician’s blessing, may be a way of trying to remove stigma and show others that the decision for suicide was made with due seriousness and was justified under the circumstances” (Hogan,2010). Thus, a doctor’s assistance removes attached stigmas and should have euthanasia promoted in a positive way. Nonetheless, doctors should not be forced to carry out suicides if they do not agree, but should refer patients to other consenting doctors. So, the question that remains is, “if health care professionals not only can, but must, adhere to the wishes of a patient who no longer wishes to be treated, does it not stand to reason that they should also be permitted to assist that patient in dying?” (Vogel, 2011).
The central reason why euthanasia should be legalized is that it preserves quality of life. Instead of a patient spending his/her last few months of their life in immense physical pain, they should be able to opt out of suffering and have a doctor euthanize them. Rather than a patient facing incredible pain and suffering that could drag out for months or years, euthanasia would allow them to alleviate from such suffering. “Euthanasia is promoted as a merciful response to suffering” (Hogan, 2006). Thus, euthanasia is simply a means of allowing patients to eliminate/lessen unnecessary suffering. “Today, we can be very sick for a very long time at the end of our lives because life can be prolonged by modern technology. This can create legitimate concerns about the quality of these prolonged lives” (Hogan, 2006). Not only is quality of life worsened but it is also often extended more than need be. In some cases, doctors are prolonging lives and prolonging suffering only to have illnesses lead to vegetative states. Surely, someone with a serious illness would not want to end up like this, neither would a loved one want to see someone dear to them in such a state of impaired consciousness. “For terminally ill patients, death is not the only certainty, but so are physical pain and mental suffering. In a way, we view life after a diagnosis of terminal illness as a period of time in which the patient’s overwhelming experience is that of futility” (Chan & Lien, 2010). In severe cases where euthanasia would be an option, the illnesses are usually so severe that self-sufficiency and dignity are taken away. Euthanasia allows patients to take back control and die with dignity instead of living their last few months not being able to feed, think, or breathe for themselves. Regarding today’s laws, society denies people with terminal illnesses the right to die with dignity but accepts putting down animals that are in pain or even euthanizing criminals on death row. Even though these are all separate issues on their own, those suffering with a terminal illness should be given the same chances and rights to a dignified death.
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