Euthanasia is the painless termination of a patient’s life through overdose or use of a lethal injection. It could be voluntary, involuntary, or non-voluntary. Voluntary euthanasia is conducted with the consent of the patient; involuntary is conducted against the will of the patients while non-voluntary euthanasia is conducted when the patient’s consent is unavailable. Euthanasia is a perfectly laudable practice as long as it is done at the will of the patient, or the patient’s health is so critical that he cannot recover. According to proponents, euthanasia helps to end the patient’s suffering, respects one’s autonomy, eliminates wastage of money on irrecoverable individuals, alleviates the patient’s loved one from continued grief, eliminates artificial living, animals are always killed in cases of extreme sickness and so should be humans, and it is a normal medical practice in the contemporary world. On the other hand, opponents hold that euthanasia is undesirable because it psychologically devalues the quality of human life.
This essay explicates the proponents and opponents views on euthanasia.
Animals are always killed in case diseases perceived dangerous and incurable affect them. Euthanasia will ensure that human beings are also killed in the most dignified and painless manner. Human beings could be killed as long as they give consent to the execution of the practice. Euthanasia is the sole solution to individuals who do not wish to live life with non-curable or rather dangerous illnesses that have the potential to spread (Lee and George, p100). In addition, physicians should perform their practice, as they deem moral. In cases where the condition is to the extreme, they should intentionally kill as animals would be killed due to continuous weakening.
According to proponents, the practice is the only means to end long-term suffering among patients. Critical conditions have exposed individuals to extreme permanent sufferings that would only be terminated by painlessly killing them with lethal injections and overdose. Patients should not be left to suffer as they await natural death. Euthanasia cancels immense sufferings among individuals by ensuring that they peacefully die and put to rest all the pain they underwent (Busè, p20). It is ethically upright to save one from trouble rather than see him succumb to it. Individuals should be eliminated in this ethical process rather than leaving them to commit suicide.
Euthanasia helps alleviate grief among the patient’s loved ones. Close relatives are the most affected in case the patient is subjected to endless suffering. The patient’s condition would lead to many unanswered questions among his loved ones as they empathize with him. Loved ones are exposed to immense stress and sometimes shed tears as they think of the sufferings their own blood is subjected to. In order to help reduce stress and grief among loved ones, euthanasia would help by eliminating the suffering individuals. Loved ones would thus have a break from continuous grief.
Individuals should not be left to lead an artificial life. Artificial life is means patients are made to breathe and eat via specially connected tubes. This is an undesirable kind of life as the patient is bedridden and would probably not do any constructive activity in the community. This is especially common among patients who go into a comma. Euthanasia would help eliminate this kind of life where an individual is forced to live. These individuals are as good as dead because of their inability to participate in neither anything nor talking (Norman, Jackson and Rosenbaum, p125). They should be painlessly killed and issues relating to artificial life disregarded. Euthanasia would be a reasonable action to take for the sake of eliminating artificial existence.
Euthanasia would reduce medical costs to a reasonable degree. Critical conditions and situations attract excessive expenditure. The patient could be permanently admitted for an incurable disease (Lee and George, p130). This would lead to payment of large amounts of cash to keep the patients in hospital. The money paid towards this could be in excess leading to the failure of meeting other vital needs. Euthanasia would help solve this problem because the patient is eliminated earlier if deemed to be on the verge of death. Other individuals are required by physicians, to buy expensive drugs that would not lead to their recovery. Euthanasia is the most reasonable action to be conducted in such situations.
On the other hand, opponents argue that euthanasia devalues human life in the entire world. An individual’s life is taken for granted because of the easier nature of eliminating it (Norman, Jackson and Rosenbaum, p107). In addition, they hold that it is unethical to end one’s life even with his consent. They have a feeling that encouragement of such a practice would undermine the general human life and make it lose value. I disagree with this argument because euthanasia is only conducted in case of critical conditions where the patient is deemed an irrecoverable case. This is not devaluation to human life; it is morally upright because the individual is helped to escape continuous suffering. Human life is given its desirable value as the individual is painlessly killed. Thus, it is a moral practice as long as it is executed at the correct time and conducted in the right manner (Tulloch, p102).
In conclusion, euthanasia is the intentional termination of an individual’s life. It would be conducted with the patient’s consent or non-voluntarily if loved ones give the consent. It is a morally correct practice as it would help end an individual’s suffering, would alleviate the grief faced by loved ones, and would help to save the excessive amounts of money spend on keeping individuals who would never recover. Opponents argue euthanasia is an undesirable practice that devalues human life by easily terminating it. Euthanasia is right as a long as it is executed correctly.