Imagine a person goes to the doctor and finds out that he or she has inoperable or advanced stage cancer, AIDS or some debilitating disease like Lou Gehrig’s or Multiple Sclerosis. Death is an inescapable fact of life, but in scenarios with cancer, AIDS and other fatal diseases, it is closer and might be more painful than one hopes. Recent developments in Belgium pertaining to the legalization of euthanasia in terminally ill children , as well as the coverage of the case of French citizen Chantal Sebire, who was s suffering from esthesioneuroblastoma( a rare, incurable cancer of the nasal cavity which would progressively damage her brain and eventually kill her) remind us of the topic of euthanasia . Due to her condition CCC SS lost her ability to see, her sense of taste and smell were significantly impacted. After her plea to allow euthanasia was denied by French government, she was found dead two days later. Autopsy revealed “fast acting barbiturates in Sevier’s system three times the lethal dosage” (Townsend 7).
Cases such as of CCC SS, when people resolve to take their life using the means available, make religious, legal and medical community deliberate on the problem of euthanasia and reminds the state of the urgency of statutory regulation of euthanasia. Their primary dispute around euthanasia is about the value of human life. While medical science advances allow maintaining biological functions and postponing death by working in a regime of a controlled process of dying by taking the choice of time and manner of death out of ill patient’s hands (Yount 11). However, availability of euthanasia gives the control to the dying person.
In order to fully understand the topic of euthanasia , the key terminology should be defined. “Euthanasia originates from the Greek words 'eu' (meaning good ) and 'thanatos' (meaning death), to imply a good or gentle death” (Cornock 34). Generally it can be divided in two forms: active and passive. Termination of person’s life to alleviate their suffering and pain due to illness and suffering (active form). Also, it could be in a form of patient ceasing or refusing to take medical measures to prolong life (passive). Depending on individual’s consent euthanasia can be voluntary- done with person’s permission , and involuntary- done without wish or permission of the dying person. Sometimes active voluntary euthanasia is also called “physician assisted suicide” (4). The field of this paper is voluntary active euthanasia .
Many people wonder about how euthanasia can be justified ?Opponents of euthanasia use religion as one of the most persuasive forces that affects people’s choices. And the foundation for the religious counterarguments in the debate lies in the principle of sanctity of life. It is based on the proposition that human beings are created by God, therefore, human life is sacred. Following their reasoning , euthanasia is a direct violation of the...