During the last 100 years, medicine has advanced incredibly; humanity has learned to treat diseases that have killed thousands of people throughout centuries. However, there still are many sicknesses that not only cannot be cured at present, but also cause incredible suffering to people who have them. Patients with such diseases might want to ask for euthanasia, as life can be torturous for them. However, societies and laws of different countries trat euthanasia as something immoral and illegal—which is not necessarily right. Terminally sick people who are in extreme pain or suffering should be granted the right to euthanasia.
Often, a patient’s life is much worse than death. There are numerous diseases that modern medicine cannot cure, and which cause severe pain and suffering to patients. For example, the “locked in” syndrome: people who have it cannot move a single muscle. One of such sufferers, Tony Nicklinson, in 2010 and 2012 was denied his right to die by the British High Court. Unable to commit suicide himself and also unable to ask anyone to help him end his life (sufferers of the “locked in” syndrome cannot move even their tongue or eyeballs), Tony starved himself to death (Listverse.com). The number of patients suffering from this and other diseases, who have no other way to stop their suffering, is uncountable, but they are doomed to live. Is it not unfair that they are not allowed to end this suffering?
The opponents of euthanasia claim that helping a person to die is wrong, because one can never know when the cure for a terminal disease will be invented, or when recovery will occur; thus, claim the opponents, euthanasia shortens life spans of patients. However, according to statistics, in 86% of the cases, euthanasia shortened a patient’s life no more than one week—usually, just a couple of hours. Patients ask for euthanasia when their chances for recovery are nearly impossible; besides, the last days of a patient’s life are usually full of agony and excruciating pain, and euthanasia is the only way to stop it (Listland.com).
In addition, it should be mentioned that sustaining life in a terminally-ill body is cruel. As it has been mentioned, terminal diseases are usually accompanied by unbearable pain and suffering. At the same time, there is no premise to believe that the cure for such diseases as the “locked in” syndrome or brain cancer will be invented in the nearest future. At the same time, sometimes it is possible to keep patients alive for months and years, which means they will suffer throughout this period of time. Is it not similar to torture? Assurances and promises that there will be a cure someday do not deny the fact that doctors (and relatives of an ill person) consciously keep a patient in pain and humiliation for an undetermined period of time. Doing this violates a number of individual’s rights, and should not be tolerated (IFR).
As we can see, in some cases, euthanasia is justified. There are diseases that cause severe suffering; sometimes, a patient might try to commit suicide to end this suffering; life for such patients is worse than death. Euthanasia is not killing; it is more like bringing a patient’s inevitable death closer—according to the statistics, patients usually ask for euthanasia a maximum of one week before they would die. In addition, keeping a person alive against their will and making him or her withstand pain and suffering is not different from torture, and thus should not be allowed: if a patient wants to die, and his or her condition is truly hopeless, relatives, doctors, and law should not prevent them from doing so.
“Top 10 Reasons Euthanasia Should Be Legal Everywhere.” Listland.com. N.p., 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 08 June 2015.
“10 Arguments for Legalizing Euthanasia.” Listverse. N.p., 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 08 June 2015.
“Why Euthanasia is Moral.” IFR. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 June 2015.
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Writing a Persuasive Essay
Modern world is full of sufferings and pain. Present diseases, very often incurable, make peopleâs life intolerable, steal the sense of life and give a strong inducement to die. Even the contemporary rapid development of medicine does not give the possibility to save peopleâs life or to relieve their pain.
In the light of this situation, the problem of euthanasia is of current importance. For the last twenty years, euthanasia has been a subject of much controversy. Doctors, scientists, politicians and representatives of different confessions discuss the possibility of legitimating euthanasia. Various countries take opposite sides and either allow euthanasia or prohibit it. âEuthanasia, however, occurs secretly in all societies including those in which it is held to be immoral and illegal. The core of the challenge of euthanasia is ethical because human life is in stakeâ (Vaknin, 2). The opponents claim the breach of the Godâs right to command the human life, the devaluation of peopleâs life and state that the legalization of euthanasia is, in fact, the legalization of a murder.
However, I would like to support euthanasia and, with the help of this paper, to argue in favor of it. Euthanasia is âa deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life so as to relieve intractable sufferingâ (House of Lords, 12). It is necessary to note that there are several types of euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is already widespread in hospitals and is nothing but the impossibility to cure a person and attempts to alleviate the sufferings with the help of narcotics or the cessation of therapy because of its futility. While passive euthanasia is legally used in hospitals, the application of non-aggressive euthanasia is constantly debated. It stipulates the withdrawal of life support and it can be done either voluntary, that is with the patientâs consent, or non-voluntary, when the patient is unable to decide.
In the case when the euthanasia may be voluntary, I would like to highlight the human right to be in charge of their life. Sick bedridden people are already bereft of all rights; they feel a burden for their relatives. Humble and disabled, they want at least to leave this world peacefully and to die with dignity. Even criminals have a right for their last wish; frankly speaking, it is our duty to fulfill the last wish of sick patients. Besides, if the personâs will is rejected, he or she might try to commit the suicide. So, thus we incite them to a great sin and crime.
Moreover, very often euthanasia is the only way to relieve patientsâ pain. Is it human indeed to stay inexorable to peopleâs requests to set them free from unbearable sufferings? Personally, I believe no one can experience othersâ pain, therefore it is impossible to measure whether the person can bear it or not. Besides, a man is created for life, and all of us have the instinct of self-preservation, only people driven to despair by their disease, can ask for death and it is their right. It is necessary to realize how horrible it is to live, being conscious of the forthcoming death. Most people cannot overcome this pressure and lose the sense of life, burdening their own life and the life of their relatives as well. âEuthanasia and physician-assisted suicide will shorten the period of pre-mortem suffering and eliminate fear about how and when death will occur. The patient will have a measure of control over the process of dyingâ (Singer, 58).
In cases of inability of patients to express their will, euthanasia is also possible and is justified. Then the decision should be taken by the relatives, who are responsible for that. Often it is obvious that the patient is doomed to death and has no chances to survive. Still, relatives have to provide all necessary medicines and to pay for places in hospital. It exhausts relativesâ state of mind and has fatal consequences for the family budget. Many families spend their last money on the treatment that is vain.
Another possible reason for the justifying of euthanasia is the lack of space in hospitals for those who can be cured and saved. It is bitter to acknowledge it, but this problem exists in many countries. Those who want to live have no chance to get the proper treatment and care while those who want to die cannot give their place to them.
In fact, I suppose the greatest problem of this controversial point is the inability of the government to implement a thoroughly made law that can foresee all the possible problems of the legalization of euthanasia and avoid them.
To make a conclusion, I am sure that euthanasia has the right to exist in our society. It should be considered not as a murder but as an absolute necessity in urgent situations.
1. Chochinov H.M. Wilson K.G. The euthanasia debate: attitudes, practices and psychiatric considerations. Can J Psych.,1995
2. Vaknin Sam. Euthanasia and the Right to Die. 18 June, 2007
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Posted in Essay Examples Tags: Medicine, Social Issues