Looking at the Rights and Wrongs of Euthanasia
In my essay I will look at the rights and wrongs of euthanasia and
look at it from the points of two different major religious groups.
The first religion I will look at is Christianity. Christians believe
that euthanasia is wrong because each persons suffering is caused
because God believes that person has done something wrong and deserves
to be punished. The second religion I will look are humanists.
Humanists believe euthanasia is ok because no human being should have
Euthanasia, which literally means "good death," may be defined as "a
mode or act of inducing or permitting death painlessly as a relief
from suffering." It is an effort to make possible a "gentle and easy
death" for those afflicted with an incurable disease or injury in its
terminal stages. It is beneficent euthanasia if, and only if, it
results in a painless and quick death, and if the act as a whole is
beneficial to the recipient.
Humanists say "To require that a person be kept alive against his will
and to deny his pleas for merciful release after the dignity, beauty,
promise, and meaning of life have vanished, when he can only linger on
in stages of agony or decay, is cruel and barbarous. The imposition of
unnecessary suffering is an evil that should be avoided by civilized
We believe that our first commitment as human beings is to preserve,
fulfill, and enhance life for ourselves and our fellow human beings.
However, under certain conditions, a meaningful or significant life
may no longer be possible. It is natural for human beings to hope that
when that time comes they will be able to die peacefully and with
dignity. When there is great distress and the end is inevitable, we
advocate a humane effort to ease the suffering of ourselves and
others, without moral or legal recriminations.
From an ethical viewpoint, death should be seen as part of a
life-continuum. Since every individual has the right to live with
dignity-however often this right may in fact be violated-every
individual has the right to die with dignity.
Euthanasia presents an ethical problem for patients who know that
their condition is incurable or irremediable and their suffering
unendurable only if their theology or philosophy has persuaded them
that no human involvement in the termination of life is morally
permissible. For ethical humanists, euthanasia should be no problem.
Pain or suffering is to be endured with as much dignity as patients
can summon, as long as there is present a possibility of relief or
cure. It is not to be endured when it is completely pointless,...