Legalizing Voluntary Euthanasia Essay

1038 words - 4 pages

Today, voluntary euthanasia is getting closer to being legalized in more than just one state in the United States. “‘Voluntary’ euthanasia means that the act of putting the person to death is the end result of the person’s own free will” (Bender 19). “ Voluntary euthanasia is an area worthy of our serious consideration, since it would allow patients who have exhausted all other reasonable options to choose death rather than continue suffering” (Bender 19). The question of whether or not voluntary euthanasia should be legalized is a major debate that has been around for years. Because the issue of whether people should have the right to choose how they want to live or die is so complex. With the advances in technology today we have made it possible to keep a person alive for longer periods of time, even when a person is permanently unconscious or has brain damage. However it seems reasonable to believe that there are many conditions in which voluntary euthanasia should be allowed, and there are many organizations that support the choice of voluntary euthanasia. So why is it that so many do not support the choice of the way a person wants to live or die?
There are many common arguments people have against voluntary euthanasia. One argument against voluntary euthanasia is that “the old, disabled and incurably ill would feel they should choose voluntary euthanasia so that they were not a burden on others….” (Anonymous Common 1). However there is no real evidence to show that this problem will arise if voluntary euthanasia is legalized. Another argument is “there is always a possibility of an incorrect diagnosis or the discovery of a treatment that will permit either survival or recovery” (Anonymous Objections 1). This is something that will always be there and we will not be able to completely rule out. As long as voluntary euthanasia is explained in great detail to the person this should not be considered a problem. It is said that with the legalization of voluntary euthanasia it will “undermine individual and corporate incentives for creative caring” (Anonymous Why 2). People who argue against voluntary euthanasia ask why not make appropriate and effective care and training more widely available, not to give doctors the easy option of euthanasia.
There have been organizations supporting the legalization of voluntary euthanasia in Britain and in the US for years now. They have had some public support but were unable to achieve the goal of legalizing voluntary euthanasia in either nation. In England a society, called “The Voluntary Euthanasia Society” was founded to make voluntary euthanasia legal for an adult that is suffering. The first group that was formed in the US that was for the legalization of euthanasia was the Hemlock Society. This societie’s purpose was to support the decision of a person to die and to offer support when a person is ready to die. The only way the society would support a person was if the person...

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