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Euthanasia Legalization as an Unethical Practice Essay

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Updated: May 16th, 2021

Introduction

Euthanasia is an elective practice that has emerged in the recent past to meet the needs of patients suffering from terminal conditions. In different jurisdictions, there are policies and laws that either support or legalize this medical procedure. Different societies, religions, and communities have presented diverse opinions and arguments whenever addressing this issue. Some of them believe that euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are powerful practices that can address the needs of persons suffering from terminal conditions.

Others believe that these medical procedures are impermissible since they are against social, ethical, and religious values. The argumentative paper presented below provides evidence-based insights and ideas to explain why it is unethical and inappropriate to authorize euthanasia.

Thesis statement

The decision to legalize euthanasia is an idea that societies should ignore since it places many global citizens at risk, fails to provide adequate safeguards, diminishes social values, and undermines the teachings of Islam.

Legalization of Euthanasia

Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are modern medical inventions that have affected the quality of medical services available to patients with terminal conditions negatively. Pereira (2011) defines “euthanasia as a procedure aimed at ending the life of a patient at his or her request” (p. e38). Physicians usually administer or inject the targeted individuals with lethal chemicals. In many nations that have managed to legalize euthanasia, most of the affected individuals lose their lives prematurely. This means that euthanasia amounts to medical malpractice and should be illegalized in every society.

In countries that promote euthanasia, a number of checks have been introduced to ensure that practitioners and doctors do not ignore their patients’ rights. For example, they should take the issue of informed consent seriously. The law also requires that physicians form multidisciplinary teams and involve patients’ family members. The outstanding message is that some health professionals might embrace this process to terminate the lives of individuals for personal gains (“Euthanasia and assisted suicide,” 2017). This means that euthanasia should not be legalized since it is capable of affecting the health outcomes of many people suffering from different terminal conditions that cause severe pain. Some of these illnesses include cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

The move to permit euthanasia might have negative effects on the future of the medical practice. Mathieson (2013) indicates that caregivers and physicians should embrace these principles whenever treating their patients: autonomy, justice, fairness, caring, and professionalism. This means that they should always engage in actions that will empower the targeted patients and make it possible for them to achieve their potential (Blasco, 2016). Legalizing euthanasia will also discourage many scholars and researchers from pursuing evidence-based procedures for treating terminal conditions or managing patients.

Human beings can analyze different societal and professional values to understand why euthanasia should be illegalized. For instance, ethical principles encourage human beings to promote the concepts of justice, fairness, equality, and autonomy. The outstanding meaning or interpretation is that human beings should strive to take good care of others (Dhanda, 2012). Killing is also inappropriate since it will result in the loss of life. Individuals planning to address the question of euthanasia should consider these values and principles in order to make informed decisions.

The issue of human value is another attribute that explains why there is a need to disallow euthanasia. Religious and social principles encourage all people to protect life by all means. This is the case since the human value is something that all communities should take seriously. Strinic (2015) indicates that people should not pursue euthanasia when it appears to benefit or serve the interests of patients’ family members, friends, or relatives. With this kind of understanding, it would be wrong for any individual to debase, impoverish, or degrade human life. This means that all societies should be ready to protect all people by illegalizing physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia.

People with terminal illnesses might reach a critical stage whereby they might be unable to make appropriate or meaningful decisions. Most of them would allow their relatives to present appropriate clinical suggestions throughout the care delivery process. The issue of euthanasia is usually considered at such critical moments. When those involved elect it, chances are high that the patient will be unable to achieve his or her potential (“Euthanasia and assisted suicide,” 2017). The outstanding message is that many people with chronic conditions might lose their lives against their wishes or expectations. This argument explains why it would be necessary for governments to prohibit this medical procedure.

Another important reason why euthanasia is inappropriate is based on Islamic teachings. According to Allah, Muslims should be against this malpractice since it is irreversible and eventually results in death. A true believer will remain conservative and provide adequate support to the targeted patient until he or she dies naturally. Muslims who are opposed to this practice will encourage physicians to embrace the power of evidence-based programs and medical services to ensure that more individuals lead high-quality lives (Nikookar & Sooteh, 2014). The use of multidisciplinary teams will also deliver positive results.

Introducing new laws allowing physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia is a move that can affect the experiences and the welfare of vulnerable citizens. Individuals living in poor conditions might be forced to choose this practice to avoid emotional, economic, or financial burdens. Those who are depressed, disabled, or elderly will be affected the most (“Euthanasia and assisted suicide,” 2017). The levels of anxiety and fear will increase significantly among these members of society. Some individuals might go a step further to take advantage of those who are at risk or living in poor conditions.

The legalization of euthanasia is a move that has been imposed on physicians to end human life. This is something based on the idea that patients have the right to make the best decisions about their lives (Strinic, 2015). Such a decision will automatically restrict these professionals’ autonomy. The outcome is that many people who depend on others might be forced to die prematurely. This development will affect the experiences, life goals, and achievements of many people suffering from different terminal conditions (“Euthanasia and assisted suicide,” 2017). When healthcare professionals, stakeholders, policymakers, and communities consider these opinions, they will be able to support new guidelines aimed at illegalizing euthanasia.

Opposing Views

Despite the above arguments, some proponents of euthanasia believe that the process should be permitted in an attempt to meet many patients’ health needs. For example, Strinic (2015) indicates that societies can permit euthanasia under these conditions: informed consent, terminal conditions, and imminent death. Using the concept of morality, some people argue that the practice should be allowed if a patient chooses it autonomously.

Those suffering from terminal conditions are encouraged to embrace this practice. Strinic (2015) also believes that euthanasia should be pursued as an evidence-based practice that seeks to maximize the health outcomes and experiences of the greatest number of persons suffering from life-threatening medical conditions (Nikookar & Sooteh, 2014). Different groups have also indicated that euthanasia is a practice informed by emerging evidence in the field of health and can address the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual suffering many people with chronic illnesses face. These arguments have continued to force different organizations and societies to continue presenting their opposing views.

These views continue to encounter criticism from different moralists, religious leaders, ethicists, and medical practitioners. This is the case since the legalization of euthanasia is an idea that will affect the lives of many individuals and make it hard for them to achieve their goals in life (Blasco, 2016). The ultimate goal is to meet the health needs of all people and empower them to achieve their potential.

Counterarguments

Modern thinkers and physicians who are opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia believe that the most important objective is to protect human life by all means. Different religious teachings indicate that God created the universe and everything in it. The choice to end a person’s life might be against the patient’s wishes. Additionally, people should understand that they have no control over life, including their own. Social and ethical values promote the most appropriate decisions and actions that support people’s goals in life (Stern, 2013). The legalization of euthanasia can result in situations whereby people kill their sick enemies. This misbehavior will remove all safeguards and controls existing in different societies.

The field of medicine should also be pursued in such a way that it transforms the experiences of all patients for the better. Professionals should consider emerging ideas and concepts that will result in proper palliative care (Blasco, 2016). This kind of achievement means that all stakeholders will embrace the most appropriate practices and procedures to maximize people’s medical experiences. This means that the legalization of euthanasia is an idea that will result in improper health support. Practitioners and physicians will also be incapable of serving the interests of all individuals in need of superior medical services (Nikookar & Sooteh, 2014).

Consequently, the malpractice will affect their rights and make it impossible for them to lead high-quality lives. Religious leaders should go further to teach more followers about the issues surrounding euthanasia and the reason why they should avoid it by all means.

Conclusion

The above discussion has presented numerous views to explain why it is wrong for different communities and governments to allow euthanasia or assisted suicide. This is the case since such procedures are capable of undermining the value of human life. In conclusion, legalizing euthanasia is a process that all societies should refuse since it places many global citizens at risk, fails to provide adequate safeguards, diminishes social or societal values, and is against the teachings of Islam.

This initiative will protect all humanity and encourage more researchers to undertake numerous studies in the field of medicine to present superior clinical guidelines for treating chronic conditions successfully. Such an achievement will also ensure that the medical and spiritual needs of all persons with chronic conditions are met, thereby being in a position to pursue and achieve their goals in life.

References

Blasco, L. P. (2016). . Web.

Dhanda, S. (2012). Legalization of euthanasia: A persisting dilemma. Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization, 3, 40-46. Web.

. (2017). Web.

Mathieson, S. E. (2013). . Web.

Nikookar, H. R., & Sooteh, S. H. (2014). Euthanasia: An Islamic ethical perspective. European Scientific Journal, 2, 179-185.

Pereira, J. (2011). Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: The illusion of safeguards and controls. Current Oncology, 18(2), e38-e45.

Stern, J. (2013). Euthanasia and the terminally III. Web.

Strinic, V. (2015). Arguments in support and against euthanasia. British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research, 9(7), 1-12. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Euthanasia Legalization as an Unethical Practice." May 16, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/euthanasia-legalization-as-an-unethical-practice/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Euthanasia Legalization as an Unethical Practice." May 16, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/euthanasia-legalization-as-an-unethical-practice/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Euthanasia Legalization as an Unethical Practice'. 16 May.

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