Active euthanasia has remained a controversial issue in different parts of the world. This happens to be the case since the topic revolves around the termination of a person’s life to end pain or suffering. Within the past five decades, different groups have presented diverse opinions that continue to reshape the future of this debate. This paper gives a detailed analysis of the arguments and counterarguments associated with this issue.
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While many people present the notions of medical ethics, the right to life, and the availability of palliative care to oppose active euthanasia, there are those who support it since it is evidence-based in nature and tackles the problem of intense pain in chronic conditions.
Arguments for Legalizing Active Euthanasia
The questions of active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide have become sources of moral and ethical concerns since they give other people the power to end life. Due to the nature of this controversy, some experts have focused on the terminal and chronic conditions that are associated with different complications, including severe pain. Monteverde uses these attributes to define “active euthanasia” as the deliberate act of terminating the life of a patient experiencing pain (5). There are specific arguments that many experts have presented to support this evidence-based medical practice.
The first one is that it revolves around the issue of compassion. According to Stokes, many supporters of this practice acknowledge that there is a need for societies to allow individuals who might be experiencing suffering to die peacefully (151). This means that medical professionals can select the process of euthanasia as a powerful approach for dealing with some of the complications associated with different conditions, including cancer.
The second idea many people in support of active euthanasia give is that of autonomy. For instance, Monteverde indicates that modern laws should be informed by the concept of civil rights. Human beings are entitled to specific freedoms, including the liberty to decide when to choose death over life (6). With this kind of understanding, societies should empower patients and medical professionals to select active euthanasia whenever they want. The ultimate objective should be to overcome the problem of human suffering.
Some people have gone further to argue that this evidence-based medical practice should be permitted since governments and communities have the power to control it. With the implementation of superior laws and policies, those involved will act ethically and avoid homicidal practices (Stokes 152). The government can also introduce powerful approaches to monitor how medical facilities and health professionals meet their patients’ needs.
Counterarguments and Responses
The fact that active euthanasia has been legalized in many countries across the world means that different people support it. Unfortunately, the nature of this medical practice continues to trigger diverse opinions among policymakers, religious groups, medical professionals, and citizens (Monteverde 5). This scenario explains why specific individuals have always presented their opposing views or ideas. The first counterargument is informed by the ethical nature of this practice. Monteverde reveals that euthanasia is against the medical professional since it fails to encourage physicians to preserve life (6). Permitting it will make it easier for medical practitioners to ignore the rights of disabled or terminally ill individuals.
The idea of long-term medical care emerges as a better option for meeting the needs of patients experiencing intense pain. This approach emerges as the second counterargument many scholars and professionals present to reject active euthanasia. The provision of continuous medical care can result in positive health outcomes in patients with terminal conditions (Stokes 152). The third opinion many professionals present is that this practice can become uncontrollable. The case of the Netherlands reveals that many physicians do not report different treatment procedures involving active euthanasia.
Despite the nature and quality of these counterarguments, it is evident that those suffering from different terminal conditions experience intense pain. Such individuals are usually unable to achieve their goals or lead healthy lives. Stokes goes further to indicate that the affected patients will eventually die after prolonged anguish or suffering (153). With proper regulation, societies can legalize euthanasia as an evidence-based medical procedure.
The above argumentative paper has presented powerful views to support and oppose active euthanasia. It is agreeable that specific conditions tend to trigger intense pain, including cancer. The use of emerging practices in healthcare can make a difference and minimize suffering. Due to the nature and complexity of this topic, experts and policymaker should consider the ideas both sides present in order to make superior and sustainable decisions.
Monteverde, Settimio. “Editorial: Nursing and Assisted Dying: Understanding the Sounds of Silence.” Nursing Ethics, vol. 24, no. 1, 2017, pp. 3-8.
Stokes, Felicia. “The Emerging Role of Nurse Practitioners in Physician-Assisted Death.” The Journal of Nurse Practitioners, vol. 13, no. 2, 2017, pp. 150-155.