Webster’s in many countries. It is also

February 14, 2019 Philosophy

Webster’s dictionary defines euthanasia as, “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy”. The definition of euthanasia put in plain words how much release it carries to those who choose to involve themselves in it. It provides relief for them. The issue of whether we should forbid euthanasia has been widely debated in our community recently. In fact, this practice is illegal in many countries. It is also an important issue because it is highly provocative and is becoming an increasingly hot topic almost all over the world. It has a purpose, and it should be valued as satisfying an emptiness created by our occasionally inhumane modern society. For this reason, many different arguments have been put forward about this issue. Many people think that it is not right to kill a person even if they are terminally ill because this person need a chance to live along and see his life, but I will argue that in some situations, when all other options have been used, euthanasia is in fact morally permissible. I will discuss several points to demonstrate my controversial position. These points will include counterarguments such as that euthanasia may weaken the responsibility of doctors to save lives, the argument for holiness of life, and that it may not be in the best interest of the patient.
Weakening the Responsibility of Doctors to Save Lives
Persons who are opposed to the fundamental idea of euthanasia and supported suicide may claim that this practice weakens the responsibility and commitment of doctors and nurses to protect lives. Making euthanasia accessible to all patients, no matter what their conditions are, may lead to overuse which would turn out to be a problem. Patients who could be healed may not want to make the effort to be treated. Therefore, they, immediately following their diagnosis, choose euthanasia as the best solution to get rid of their diseases. This consequence, if it were to happen, could absolutely undermine the obligation of doctors to save lives. In some situations, a doctor’s care may turn into being replaced and surpassed. Patients, with illnesses or conditions that normally end in death, may start to rapidly be represented to the thought of euthanasia as opposed to years of fighting their own bodies. Others think that letting euthanasia may also discourage the search for new treatments and medications of incurable diseases.
The argument that the legalization of euthanasia would ultimately undermine the effort of doctors to protect lives is without doubt a slippery slope argument. We cannot undertake that if euthanasia is made rightful, it will lead to overuse and to the undermining commitment of doctors to save lives. These are certain possibilities. Nevertheless, we are not sure how society will act in response to the legalization of euthanasia. Data was gathered for so many years in Oregon where physician assisted suicide became legal in 1997. It was decided that there is no current truthful support for slippery slope worries about the threats of the legalization of assisted dying. Terminally ill patients who live through continuous pain and suffering must not continue suffering only because we do not know what will occur if euthanasia is permitted. I am in no way proposing that euthanasia have to be an outlet for everyone who deals with a serious disease or condition. In contrast, I am suggesting that for patients who have been considered to be terminally ill and have exhausted all other possible options, euthanasia should be their only given option to choose as an escape from their persistent pain and hurt. If euthanasia were to be made authorized, preferably it would only be an available and accessible option for those facing the situation I have described.
Holiness of Life
When deliberating the ethics behind euthanasia one must recognize the argument against it regarding life’s holiness. According to Doug McManaman, a deacon and a religion philosophy teacher at a Catholic academy in Canada, thinks that within the last 40 years there has been a subtle change in the way we view human life in general. In addition, he thinks that the idea of life’s quality has become more widespread in recent years. The approach of life’s holiness considers life as holy sacred, pure, and most of all, priceless. It concentrates on the idea that God created human so one must not take that lightly since life is a gift. The viewpoint of quality of life focuses more on the quality of one’s life, and the way they are living. For instance, a person, who is now in a coma and not functioning normally, would be considered to have a lower quality of life than someone who is in good physical shape and functioning normally. Doug McManaman claims that this approach sets a higher value on a human life, which is of greater physical and mental quality than of a human life, which is of lesser physical and mental quality. He assesses that even if someone is in a coma, he still contains the same inherent value as other capable bodied humans. It is basically because they are human. He also argues that this outlook of life evaluates people for their productivity, and their ability to benefit and do good to society.
McManaman ignores the fact that only because a person decides to make an end to his life through euthanasia does not necessarily mean that they do not appreciate his life as much as others do. Moreover, those who support patients in euthanasia do not essentially think that the patient’s life is no longer as much valuable as it once did before. While most people consider that human life is so precious, they are looking for living the greatest, most satisfied life they can ever live. Occasionally, it includes stopping life a little bit short to conserve and protect its quality. He utters that euthanasia is never defensible and acceptable for the reason that it always leads to murder. However, if a patient is demanding to be euthanized, it cannot be positioned in the same category as another person who is killed for an unsound reason. For example, let us suppose that an 80-year-old man is hurting from the late stages of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), has almost totally lost his aptitude to move by himself, and is wheelchair ridden. He has lived a full life in which he married the love of his life, had children and grandchildren, and is happy with what he has achieved. He appreciates his life but his disease has harshly reduced his quality of life and he is ready to die. Most of people would agree that it is just because this male is looking for ending his life does not mean that his life does not have the same value as someone who dies a natural death.
Patient’s Best Interest
The final counterargument that I will tackle is that concerning whether or not euthanasia is always in the patient’s best interest. Those not in favour of the use of euthanasia may assert that a patient who requests to be euthanized may not be making the right decision. When taking into consideration of the best interest of the patient, there are many sub arguments to think through. For instance, the patient who has been deemed as terminally ill may feel as they are a trouble to their families and loved ones. Besides, they may think that, through their own suffering, they are imposing constant sorrow on their families. This emotional state of guilt may consecutively result in making a terminally ill patient desire dying even though it is not in their best interest. Those who are reasoning against euthanasia might contend that the blame of the patient may push them to ask for euthanasia. One may also maintain that a patient can possibly be misdiagnosed as terminally ill, and may search for euthanasia as an escape because of this error. This last argument affirms that there are many factors that could cause the death of a patient who did not essentially have to die.
Euthanasia should not be taken for granted especially by those seeing it as a way of dying. I will admit that a terminally ill patient may very well be overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and sadness if they have the impression that they are hurting and destroying their family by being so sick. Nonetheless, if legalized throughout the United States, I do not deem that euthanasia should be a source of cure given out to all those that demand it.
If possible, patients would go through psychological testing to make sure that they are stable, and have the correct state of mind to make such a finite decision. Moreover, if a patient call for euthanasia, added tests would be managed to prove that their sickness is in fact terminal, and that the patient was not misdiagnosed. In places where euthanasia is now legal, like for example Netherlands, there are so many limitations and boundaries on when it can be applied. If a patient demands to be euthanized, the attending physician must check with at least one other independent physician who should also assess the patien,t and express their view on their condition. There are ways to validate that patients who are either unstable or misdiagnosed are not euthanized. As a result, terminally ill patients should not be deprived of their right to choose to die.

In conclusion, euthanasia is morally permissible in cases where the patient’s disease or condition is incurable. I have focused on a few of the possible counterarguments to the practice of euthanasia but none of these arguments appear solid enough for one to approve that terminally ill patients should agonize instead of requesting relief through euthanasia. Euthanasia is a finite solution to the end of one’s suffering. However, if all other possible alternatives have been used, it is ethically permissible to assist in it. If euthanasia were to be made legal in the way that I have outlined, I believe that it would become an effective way to bring to an end the constant anguish of patients agonizing from terminal diseases.

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