Free Euthanasia: A Controversial Issue Argumentative Essay Example
Euthanasia is very controversial and rightfully so: euthanasia is the issue of whether or not someone has the right to die when they are terminally ill or facing a lifetime of constant pain. Euthanasia is sometimes called physician-assisted or doctor-assisted suicide, because it is something that a doctor can, in theory, help a patient do. There are two types of euthanasia that are generally accepted in the medical community as very different: these are passive and active euthanasia. Passive euthanasia should be allowed under the law, and is allowed in many places, but active euthanasia is something that should not be allowed.
Passive euthanasia should be allowed because it does not require a doctor or other medical professional to actively kill a patient (Dowbiggin). For instance, when a patient is very ill and cannot survive on his or her own, the doctor can remove him or her from his or her feeding tubes or other life support systems and allow the patient to die without medical intervention (Dowbiggin). Some may say that this is cruel, but most countries allow doctors and patients’ families to decide if this is the best option for the patient in question, especially if the patient is incapacitated and cannot decide for him or herself (Dowbiggin). This is not a particularly cruel practice, because it often allows the patient to drift off into unconsciousness before death, and also allows doctors to give the patient plenty of medication to stave off the pain (Dowbiggin).
However, taking a person off life support is very different from accepting that a person who is not immediately in danger of death should be allowed to request that a doctor end their life. Active euthanasia is the process by which doctors actively help patients commit suicide-- this is the type of euthanasia that many people consider unethical. There is no way of knowing if a development will be made in medicine that will improve a patient’s standard of living or even cure his or her disease. People who support euthanasia may say that there is also no guarantee that anything will get better; however, death is a very final answer to the problem of long-term sickness. There is absolutely no chance for improvement if the patient chooses to end his or her life outright.
Another important argument against euthanasia is the issue of the doctors involved in the process. Doctors swear to do no harm. This is part of their oath. To actively help a patient die may not be something that many doctors will consider as a part of their oath to do no harm. There may be doctors willing to perform the procedure, but they would have to be very strictly regulated to ensure that the system is not manipulated or abused in any way.
The issue of euthanasia is not a simple one, and there are certainly arguments on both sides of the debate. However, there should be consideration of human life when discussing the issue of euthanasia. When people are ill or scared they are often not necessarily making the best choices for themselves, and euthanasia is a very permanent solution to their problems. When euthanasia is a choice that is made, there is no going back; treatments may not always be effective, but there are always new treatments to try.
Banerjee, A., and D. Birenbaum-Carmeli. 'Ordering Suicide: Media Reporting Of Family Assisted Suicide In Britain'. Journal of Medical Ethics 33.11 (2007): 639-642. Web.
Dowbiggin, Ian. 'From Sander To Schiavo: Morality, Partisan Politics, And America’S Culture War Over Euthanasia, 1950–2010'. Journal of Policy History 25.01 (2012): 12-41. Web.
Fosarelli, Pat. 'The Maintenance Of Life: Preventing Social Death Through Euthanasia Talk And End-Of-Life Care—Lessons From The Netherlands'. JAMA 304.13 (2010): 1500. Web.
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