The Case Against Euthanasia Essay

1184 words - 5 pages

A recent survey by the Canadian Medical Association discovered that “ . . . 44 per cent of doctors would refuse a request for physician-assisted dying . . . ” (Kirkey 2). Euthanasia is defined as assisting a terminally ill patient with dying early. In many countries the legalization of this practice is being debated in many countries. All doctors against assisted suicide, including the 44 percent in Canada, are on the right side of the argument. Euthanasia should not be legalized because it is unnatural, it violates the Hippocratic Oath, and laws are to extensive.
Protecting life is the ethical view of society today, and legalizing euthanasia offsets that. Religious figures have recently welcomed the idea of getting God back into this debate. Ed Feinstein, senior rabbi of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California states that, “It [prayer] recognizes God as the one who decides ‘Who will live and who will die’” (Wood 3). Assisted suicide is a peculiar process and not the intended way to die. Similarly, the constitution of India argues that euthanasia transgresses the right to life in Article 21:
‘Right to life’ is a natural right embodied in Article 21 but suicide is an unnatural termination or extinction of life and, therefore, incompatible and inconsistent with the concept of ‘right to life’. It is the duty of the State to protect life and the physician’s duty to provide care and not to harm patients. If euthanasia is legalised, then there is a grave apprehension that the State may refuse to invest in health (working towards Right to life). Legalised euthanasia has led to a severe decline in the quality of care for terminally ill patients in Holland. (Math and Chaturvedi 1)
Euthanasia is conflicting with the “right to life” campaign, and it is immoral of doctors to carry out the procedure. If euthanasia is legalized it will change the integrity of doctors and pressure them to advise other terminal patients into euthanasia.
In addition to defying society’s perspective, euthanasia also counteracts the Hippocratic Oath doctors take at the beginning of their career and places them in an unsafe environment. Lynn Pasquerella, president of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, who has a PhD in philosophy states, “ . . . health care providers are likely to experience ever-increasing moral distress over how to abide by the Hippocratic Oath’s enjoinder to first do no harm in a society in which death continues to be viewed as patently un-American” (Wood 3). Doctors who agree with the Hippocratic Oath cannot have any association with euthanasia procedures without going against the oath. In the words of Andy Ho, senior writer of The Straits Times, when doctors assist suicide, they not only violate the Hippocratic Oath to “not to give a lethal drug to anyone if . . . asked, nor will (he) advise such a plan,” but also make killers of themselves (Ho 3). In other words, doctors do not go to medical school to take the lives of treatable patients,...

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