The controversy surrounding euthanasia has raged on for years now, drawing intense emotions from the two opposing camps. Controversy not only extends to the practice itself but also its definition. Euthanasia is simply a physician assisted death to some, while others regard it as murder. This is a debate that threatens to divide the society into two. On one hand we have the moralists and the deeply religious who believe it is unethical and immoral; to them it is a form of murder.
On the opposing side we have the liberals who believe it is a rare chance presented to a patient to make an informed choice in regard to his or her life considering the patient is under pain and death seems to be the only answer (Rachels, James, 1986). The position of this paper is that euthanasia is neither wrong nor immoral. These are just arguments that are made by the moralists to deny other patients a right to make their own choice.
The history of euthanasia dates back to the days of the old Greek when Hippocrates warned against the practice by physicians to prescribe drugs meant to kill their patients or in anyway give any form of medication to the patients to end their own lives. This is what came to be popularly known as the Hippocratic Oath The twentieth century witnessed increased activism for euthanasia coupled by the cropping up of euthanasia societies. There are a number of reasons that leave many people convinced that euthanasia is a proper practice that should be embraced by the society and law.
One of these reasons would be the freedom of choice. Modern democracies and progressive nations that adhere to the ideals of enlightenment understand amply the importance of choice. It is a core necessity in liberal democracies. People should be given a chance to make their own choices on issues they consider important to their lives. A patient should be allowed the freedom to rule on his own whether he wishes to pass on or endure the suffering. The essence of euthanasia is to ease pain and suffering of patients who are beyond help.
This is a decision that should be made by the patient, the doctor and probably the family involved with no fear of retribution or ridicule (Paterson, Craig, 2008) Those who have had family members with terminal illnesses understand quite the magnanimity of the economic costs and time required to try and make such a patient comfortable in the strong glare of eminent death. If people were to accept euthanasia and quit making a moral issue out of it, the colossal amount of money used to meet such huge expenditures can be channeled to more urgent needs.
Terminally ill patients have to receive immense attention and medication taking quite a lot of doctor’s time. This attention can be directed to other patients who have a higher chance of pulling through. Euthanasia can also ease the pressure burdening family members and friends who have to call on such patients knowing very well that death will certainly come knocking. These would be relieved to go on with their economic life without being consumed by guilt. Those opposed to euthanasia do so on the basis of its immorality and unacceptability in the society.
Others say that it is a violation of God’s rules as it is His to take life. They also say that it is against the Hippocratic Oath and if accepted people would be using it as an excuse to kill those perceived to be a burden of the society (Panicola, M. , 2004). These arguments at a superficial glance may sound tenable, further analysis however would reveal that they are but lame excuses to deny a patient the right to sanction his or her own death, putting a stop to immense pain in the face of a sure death. What they should urge the government is to institute a watertight legislation to regulate the practice of euthanasia.
People should accept that it is not in any way immoral, it is just but a rare choice made by a patient wishing to escape the unbearable pain.
Panicola, Michael. 2004. Catholic teaching on prolonging life: setting the record straight. In Death and dying: a reader, edited by T. A. Shannon. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pg 6-9 Paterson, Craig, 2008. Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: An Natural Law Ethics Approach. Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate. Pg 16-18 Rachels, James, 1986. The End of Life: Euthanasia and Morality. New York: Oxford University Press. Pg 168Sample Essay of Paperial.com