Introduction: A Matter Of Life And Death
Life is doubtlessly a wonderful gift, which is worth appreciating. The fact that in the present-day society, human life is put at the top of the entire list of values is a major achievement of the civilization and the fact that the current society is based on the principles. However, in some cases, the choice between living in misery and parting with the earthly suffering may appear. In other words, one may have the need to consider euthanasia as the merciful method of avoiding pain and misery.
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It would be wrong to assume that euthanasia is the invention of the XXI century. The very idea of terminating one’s existence with the help of a medical procedure emerged in England in the XVII century and was mentioned by Francis Bacon (Dowbiggin 23). At present, though, the procedure can only be carried out in Belgium, Canada, India, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and in several states of the U.S. (Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) (International Perspectives Legal Status of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide para. 1).
Since most of the arguments against euthanasia revolve around the issues related to religion, as well as the fact that euthanasia can be used as a weapon for criminal profiteers to gain more money, while the arguments promoting euthanasia are based on the human rights concept and, instead of promoting suicide, in fact, list pro-life arguments, euthanasia should be made legal in the United States and Europe.
In addition, when talking about euthanasia, one must keep in mind that there are different types of the given procedure, each having a unique status and offering a range of specific ethical problems. For instance, there is the so-called active euthanasia, which presupposes that the patient voices their desire to terminate their existence, and a passive one, which means that the patient’s life cases with the decision of the nursing specialist (Frieser para. 6).
Finally, it is important to remember that, despite the recent changes in favor of euthanasia, the laws in most states define euthanasia as “assisted suicide” (Frieser para. 4)
Arguments In Favor Of Euthanasia: The Right To Live And To Die
Addressing the issue of euthanasia, most of its proponents mention the fact that the given procedure aligns with the basic human rights, i.e., the right to live and the right to die. Therefore, depriving people of the opportunity to have euthanasia means infringing their rights. The fact that the people undergoing the procedure may be considered perfect organ donor and, therefore, save another person is another proof of euthanasia legalization being a reasonable step to take.
Finally, in a range of cases, people willing to have euthanasia face truly horrendous alternatives, such as the death of cancer, inability to move, etc. Therefore, it will be much more humane to suggest them the method of dealing with their diseases, which will allow for a more dignified death.
Arguments Against Euthanasia: Appreciating The Gift Of Life
Needless to say, most arguments against euthanasia are based on religious beliefs (Rockman 13). Indeed, according to most world religions, suicide, which euthanasia is classified as, is a sin and, therefore, must not be committed (“Not a Mercy but a Sin” para. 1).
Therefore, the arguments against euthanasia are rather repetitive. One of the most sensible arguments against euthanasia is that it is an irreversible process. Thus, after realizing that their decision was wrong, a person cannot reverse the process once the procedure commences.
Discussing The Sources: Where The Key Information Is Going To Come From
Due to the complexity of the subject, it will be required to consider a range of various sources, including legal papers, in the states that allow euthanasia and those that do not, recent articles and major works on the issue, case studies, both in the field of healthcare and law, etc. In addition, such sources as the consideration of euthanasia by the United Nations Organization will also be a must for the study to be carried out.
The materials related to the regulation of euthanasia issues will allow considering the issue from a legal perspective and evaluate the legal problems concerning the introduction of euthanasia into the state healthcare system. Case studies will help see euthanasia outcomes and, thus, evaluate its effects. Finally, the infamous case of Terri Schiavo (Fletcher 1) must be analyzed to come to a conclusion.
Conclusion: Legalizing Euthanasia
The arguments against euthanasia do not hold any water in the state where legislation is based on a set of reasonable rules and regulations. Being a decision that concerns a person’s own health and life, the euthanasia procedure must be a matter of a personal choice. Assisted suicide is the matter that the government should not intervene with, seeing how euthanasia is a strictly personal business.
In addition, religious concerns of a community must not affect the healthcare-related policies statewide. Hence, euthanasia must be legalized across the USA, as well as in those states that are capable of facilitating an easy and fast euthanasia procedure for its terminally ill patients.
Dowbiggin, Ian. A Concise History of Euthanasia: Life, Death, God, and Medicine. New York, NY: Rowman & Littlefield. 2007. Print.
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Fletcher, David B. The Terri Schiavo Case. Web.
Frieser, James. “Euthanasia.” Moral Issues that Divide Us. 2008. Web.
International Perspectives Legal Status of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. 2014. Web.
“Not a Mercy but a Sin.” Christianity Today (2008). Web.
Rockman, Priscilla. Euthanasia: A Study of Its Origin, Forms and Aspects. 2012. Web.