Posted: March 22nd, 2023
No human being should have the right to decide when another should die. Euthanasia achieves that by legally allowing a doctor to end the life of a person upon the consent of the patient or family. Some consider it ethical from the perspective of using painless means to end suffering. The argument is used to support moves to make it legal. However, there is no justification for such an act. The argument in support of maintaining the illegal status of euthanasia include the sanctity of life, it goes against medical principles, as well the undesirable and harmful outcomes.
Sanctity of life is the primary reason why Euthanasia should not be legalized. From a religious perspective, only the giver of life should decide to take it. Euthanasia, on the contrary, assigns the power where it does not belong. Life is sacred and should be protected (Esha, 2010). Christians, for example, appear to be equivocal about the importance of protecting life. In a study carried out by Babylon and Monk-Turner (2006), on average, 65% of Catholics, Protestants, and Jews oppose any form of ending life, including allowing a patient to die by denying treatment. However, a crop of theologians has emerged that argue for Euthanasia suggesting that it is a show of compassion, mercy, and love. However, their arguments are, nonetheless unfounded given that God created man and allowed life to take a natural course.
Medical professionals swear an oath to protect life and not to take it at will or just because someone wants to die. The Providence Portland Medical Center is one of the facilities in Oregon where palliative care is provided. When doctors, nurses, social workers, and the chaplain report to the facility every morning, their responsibility is to care for their patients (O’Loughlin, 2017). If they came every day to take a life, there would not be any patient left to receive their care. Providing care to ease pain and suffering is their role and not to decide who lives and who dies (Frye & Youngner, 2016). However, supporters of euthanasia claim that it is an act of ending suffering for patients who have no hope of becoming better. Such a perspective is erroneous because it denies the patient a chance to get treatment through a ground-breaking medical discovery (Subba, Khulla, Latatat, Chawlla, Nirmal & Chaudhary, 2016). It is also a violation of the principles of medical practitioners.
There are undesirable and harmful outcomes of euthanasia that patients and society, in general, should be protected from. O’Loughlin (2017) suggests that the debate of whether to legalize euthanasia has become more political than medical. One of the important question relates to how to determine who will live and who will die. A situation could arise where a patient has lost the will to live, not necessarily because of the disease, and desires to die (Chatuvedi & Math, 2012). If policymakers have legalized the practice, then it gives the patient a leeway to commit suicide. But supporters of euthanasia might argue that the doctor will make the call. The process has been politicized, giving room for corrupt doctors to collaborate with people who would want the patient to be killed.
Euthanasia is immoral and unethical from diverse grounds. Therefore, the practice should remain illegal. The government should not legalize a process that violates the sanctity of life, the principle of physicians to protect life and give room for abuse. In fact, retaining the illegal status of euthanasia is the only way to seal all the loopholes.
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