The Slippery Slope Of Euthanasia Essay

1289 words - 5 pages

The debate on whether voluntary euthanasia should be legalized has been a controversial topic. Euthanasia is defined as ‘a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering’ [1]. Voluntary euthanasia refers to the patients who understand the terms in the consent and sign up under consciousness, while involuntary euthanasia is performed against patient's wishes and some people may regard it as a murder [1].
There are two methods of carrying out euthanasia, the first one is active and the second one is passive. Active euthanasia means the physicians deliberately take actions which cause the death of the patients, for example, the injection of sedatives in excess amount. Passive euthanasia is that the doctors do not take any further therapies to keep the ill patients alive such as switching off the life supporting machines [1]. This essay argues that the legalization of the euthanasia should not be proposed nowadays. It begins by analyzing the problem that may cause in relation to the following aspects: ‘slippery slope’ argument, religious view, vulnerable people and a rebuttal against the fair distribution of medical resources. This essay concludes that the legalization of the voluntary euthanasia brings more harm than good.

Legalization of euthanasia would also place us on a ‘slippery slope’. The ‘slippery slope’ argument, proposed by Walker [2], stated that if euthanasia is legalized, more immoral actions would be permitted and those actions might not be able to keep under control. One example is that involuntary euthanasia would start to happen after the euthanasia has been legalized. The Netherlands has legalized the euthanasia twelve years ago. This law at first allows doctors practising euthanasia to the terminally ill patients who requested for. However, according to Benatar [3], the euthanasia in Netherland has become more permissive. He points out that originally only those patients who are terminally ill could request for euthanasia, but now euthanasia is permitted for chronically ill patients, psychologically ill patient and even severely deformed baby. Furthermore, evidence has shown that the patient consents requesting for euthanasia are not required in Netherlands. This would result in involuntary euthanasia and some people regard it as the first step towards the Nazi-style genocide [4]. They fear that euthanasia would be practised on government opponents ultimately. In summary, legalizing euthanasia may lead to something presently unthinkable being permitted.

Apart from the ‘slippery slope’ argument, practising euthanasia is against the will of God. Christians and Jewish believe that every human being is the gift of God and is made in God’s image [5]. Legalizing euthanasia means interfering with the natural process of death. They hold a view that we should respect the life processes of birth and death created by God and practising euthanasia is regarded as ‘play...

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