Euthanasia is a word that comes from ancient Greece and it refers to “good death”. In the modern societies euthanasia is defined as taking away people’s lives who suffer from an incurable disease. They usually go through this process by painlessness ways to avoid the greatest pains that occurs from the disease. A huge number of countries in the World are against euthanasia and any specific type of it. One of the most important things being discussed nowadays is whether euthanasia should be legalized or not. This essay will focus on comparing positive and negative aspects of euthanasia in order to answer to the question whether euthanasia should be legal or not.
There exist three different types of euthanasia: active, passive and voluntary. Active euthanasia refers to the process of injection of painkillers and sleeping pills in order to reduce the time of suffering of a patient by making his death less painful. On the other side, voluntary euthanasia refers to the case of the conscientious patient, who voluntarily demands from the doctor to give up on treatments. In this case the patient is conscious that he will die soon and regardless that stops the treatments. In my discussion related to whether euthanasia should be legalized or not I will refer only to active and voluntary euthanasia arguments.
There are many negative aspects of legalizing euthanasia. One of the important negative factors would be the power that the doctor has in deciding about the patient’s life. As it is written in the book “A natural law ethics approach”, legalizing applications of euthanasia’s forms are attributing the doctors the role of God (Paterson 28-29). As a result, it becomes doctor’s decision for the patient, for him to live or not. Doctors are professionals in their jobs, they know what they need to do, but this does not make it right for them to decide who should stay alive and who should not. There would be some cases when doctors will take into consideration the financial situation of the patient while deciding whether to apply euthanasia or not. For example if a patient cannot afford to pay for the continuous health treatment an immoral behavior of doctor would be suggesting euthanasia in order to save some money from this patient’s treatments. It is unethical and immoral of doctors to behave so but we should certainly consider it as a possible alternative.
Moreover, euthanasia is restricted by the church. This is another important point that we should consider, especially for religious people. According to “Death and Dignity” it is emphasized that “Life is a gift from God and it is only God who can take it back”. Christian’s point of view considers euthanasia as a crime against church, religion and God. Christians consider this as an immoral act. When considering the religious factor as well, we can conclude that no one has the right to take control over our lives, especially when we are unconscious.