Euthanasia is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “The painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma”.
As a starting point, let’s focus in on a popular proposal to end the worldwide debate: the freedom to choose. Some would say that this argument then justifies suicide, but what must be considered is that euthanasia concerns people in a state of extreme suffering or disease. There is no question in my mind that in order for one to even speak of euthanasia in a positive way you must assume that the decision is taken by the patient themselves, while in a stable mindset and has very valid reasons for wanting to be euthanised. If they believe their life is no longer worth living, how can you tell them they are wrong?
A second, more emotionally-removed benefit of euthanasia is the amount of money the healthcare system would save. At first this may seem heartless, but honestly, think about it for a second. Why use so much money to sustain a person in such a severe case, if they no longer feel the urge to live? Would it not be better to put that same money towards aiding people who do? It may be somewhat depressing food for thought, but the logic to it can’t be denied.
Now let’s look at it from a different point of view, what could be wrong with euthanasia? To start with, the most common reason the public has to go against this practice must be brought up: religion. Almost all major religions today forbid the killing of another human, and thus euthanasia conflicts with the ethics of any religious person. I myself am not religious, but I can fully understand the moral battle that a person might have with this issue.
Another predicament caused by euthanasia is the risk of corruption and the difficulties concerning law. You need to ask yourself the question: how easy would it be for a doctor to murder a patient, for whatever reason, under the pretext of euthanasia? How easy would it be for a family to accuse a doctor of murder, unbeknownst of their relative’s wish? A dead man can’t testify, so how would we resolve an issue like this?
In conclusion, there really is no universal answer to this issue. The jury is so split, has been for so long, and both sides present such strong opinions on the subject that it’s difficult to see it ever being entirely resolved. My opinion is that it should be legal. Some countries, such as Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, and Columbia (to name a few) have legalised it, which is proof to me that there is a way to suppress- if not eliminate- the aforementioned cons. I hope to see a world one day in which there is an end for the people who need it most.
By Maxim Mouret
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