Euthanasia is defined as the practice of killing a patient to limit their suffering. The physician causes the death of the patient from an incurable or severe condition. The life termination exercise may involve injection with drugs to induce coma by a doctor and stop the heart from operating. Euthanasia takes place in a medical facility in the presence of medical staff. It slightly differs from physician-assisted suicide (PAS), which refers to the “prescription of lethal medication be voluntarily self-administered by the patient.” Euthanasia causes intentional death. Multiple perceptions surround euthanasia. Some people think the process is illegal, while others believe it is better to end suffering after mutual agreement between the patient and the physicians. Mixed reactions erupt from euthanasia as people try to understand the ethical and legal issues surrounding the exercise. The dilemma emanates from whether people should decide whether to live or die (Balynska et al., 2019). Therefore, this essay argues both sides of euthanasia and identifies which side is stronger and more persuasive than the other.
Pros of Euthanasia
Euthanasia terminates patient’s suffering and relieves their people from mental, psychological, and financial strains. Euthanasia offers a quality dying experience and is used as the last resort when all other options fail. Instead of waiting for the patient to die in lengthy pain, the physicians decide to end their lives more comfortably without pain. People should dictate their lives, whether to die or live; thus should choose to die if they cannot withstand pain or incurable diseases. Euthanasia enables the patients to end the guilty of burdening their caregivers. Patients may feel ashamed of their status and dependence on people thus decides to undertake euthanasia because they believe death will still happen either way.
Cons of Euthanasia
Euthanasia contradicts the sanctity of life. Religiously, life is sovereign, and only God should take it from human beings. Euthanasia abuses human rights to life thus considered unethical. Patients often decide to undertake the exercise under emotional influence and may regret it if given another chance to be alive. Euthanasia may undermine the doctor-patient relationship because physicians focus on saving lives, but the patient may demand to undergo euthanasia to end their suffering. Euthanasia is unethical and should be considered illegal because it undermines human life and dignity. Euthanasia gives too much power to doctors and exposes the vulnerable to pressure to end their lives. Legalizing euthanasia may put the lives of the vulnerable under pressure and lead to less care for the terminally ill because their caregivers take euthanasia as an option for prolonged illness or suffering thus may be reluctant to serve the sick (Ten Have & Neves, 2021).
The cons of euthanasia outweigh the pros; thus, the disadvantages are more substantial and persuasive than the advantages. Euthanasia is an illegal exercise and should be discouraged because it devalues human life and puts the terminally ill at risk of losing their lives unlawfully. Life has intrinsic value and dignity, and people should strive to protect the vulnerable regardless of their conditions. Ending someone’s life because they suffer from severe pain or incurable condition is unethical. Assisting people to live should be a priority to everybody, including the patient, medical practitioners, and the general public. Euthanasia may be against the sanctity of life based on religion and traditions (Hurn & Badman‐King, 2019).
Balynska, O. M., Blahuta, R. I., & Sereda, V. V. (2019). Euthanasia or palliative care: legal principles of the implementation in the context of the realization of human rights to life (Scopus).
Hurn, S., & Badman‐King, A. (2019). Care as an alternative to euthanasia? Reconceptualizing veterinary palliative and end‐of‐life care. Medical anthropology quarterly, 33(1), 138-155.
Ten Have, H., & Neves, M. D. C. P. (2021). Euthanasia, General. In Dictionary of Global Bioethics (pp. 493-494). Springer, Cham.