When the person’s life is full of everyday sufferings because of diseases and there are no perspectives for the recovery, the question of possible euthanasia becomes urgent. The problem of euthanasia is discussed from many perspectives with references to the social, medical, ethical, and religious aspects.
There are two opposite visions of the problem which are based on different backgrounds. Thus, those persons who are inclined to examine the issue within the social and medical contexts often support the idea of euthanasia as appropriate to follow the patient’s will and relieve the sufferings.
The opponents of this vision build their arguments with references to the ethical and religious aspects of the problem (Tulloch). Although both positions can be supported with a lot of arguments, people should change their absolutely negative vision of euthanasia because the right to die with the help of physicians can be considered as one of the human rights; euthanasia is supported to help the person and relieve the torments; it is possible to choose the palliative treatment, passive or active euthanasia.
People have different human rights according to which they can regulate their personal life and choose the legal ways to follow. It is possible to discuss euthanasia as the right to die along with the accentuated right to live the desired life (Cavan and Dolan; McDougall and Gorman).
Thus, LeBaron states that “the individual has certain rights guaranteed under the law and the Constitution that allow them to choose when they can die” (LeBaron). Those people who suffer from everyday pain and whose life resembles a survival can choose the death as the way to cease their sufferings.
However, there should be strict criteria to choose euthanasia as the only possible variant to change the situation and help people to relieve the unbearable pain. Euthanasia should be discussed as the extreme means available for those patients who have no perspectives for the further recovery (Burkhardt and Nathaniel).
From this point, it is impossible to discuss euthanasia as the way to kill because it can be considered as the required medical procedure (Torr). That is why, it is important to accentuate the necessity to concentrate on each individual case and make the significant decision to use or not euthanasia as the only method to resolve the problem.
Euthanasia can be realized with references to different techniques used. Active and passive methods of euthanasia should be chosen according to the patient’s state, patient’s will, and the family members’ viewpoints (Nys). The supporters of euthanasia and their opponents discuss the controversial question of the palliative treatment as one of the ways to realize euthanasia (Materstvedt).
According to LeBaron, “theologically and morally it is acceptable for a patient to choose palliative treatments that may result in death” (LeBaron). The social vision of palliative treatment is not as negative as of euthanasia, but the procedures have the same results.
The opponents of euthanasia can provide many arguments depending on the ethical and religious aspects of the question. Thus, Lahl pays attention to the fact that euthanasia is prohibited by the Hippocratic Oath because physicians must “never assist in suicide or practice euthanasia, nor suggest it” (Lahl 39).
The religious argument is based on God’s right to give the life and allow the human death (Sheldon; Torr). However, the medical science is often opposite to the religious principles, and ethical points should be discussed with references to the patient’s desire and perspectives for the recovery.
Thus, euthanasia is possible, and the problem is only in the public’s opinion. Euthanasia should be discussed as the personal right to die along with the other human rights regarding the personal life. Definite criteria to realize euthanasia in relation to the concrete cases should be stated clearly. It is the person’s right to choose the active or passive euthanasia as well as the palliative treatment.
Burkhardt, Margaret, and Alvita Nathaniel. Ethics Issues in Contemporary Nursing. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.
Cavan, Seamus, and Sean Dolan. Euthanasia: The Debate over the Right to Die. USA: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2000. Print.
Lahl, Jennifer. “Thank God Hippocrates Was Pagan”. Human Life Review 38.2 (2012): 39-42. Print.
LeBaron, Garn. The Ethics of Euthanasia. n.d. Web. <http://www.quantonics.com/The_Ethics_of_Euthanasia_By_Garn_LeBaron.html>.
Materstvedt, Linda. “Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide in Scandinavia – with a Conceptual Suggestion regarding International Research in Relation to the Phenomena”. Palliative Medicine 16.4 (2002): 17-32.
McDougall, Jennifer, and Martha Gorman. Euthanasia: A Reference Handbook. USA: ABC-CLIO, 2008. Print.
Nys, Herman. “Euthanasia in the Low Countries: A Comparative Analysis of the Law Regarding Euthanasia in Belgium and the Netherlands”. Ethical Perspectives 9.8 (2002): 73-85. Print.
Sheldon, Tony. “Being ‘Tired of Life’ is not Grounds for Euthanasia”. British Medical Journal 326.11 (2003): 71-80. Print.
Torr, James. Euthanasia: Opposing Viewpoints. USA: Greenhaven Press, 2000. Print.
Tulloch, Gail. Euthanasia: Choice and Death. UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2005. Print.