Euthanasia


Euthanasia is a deliberate act of terminating a person’s life with the aim of ending their pain and suffering. In English law, the act is unlawful and may be regarded to as manslaughter or murder. Still, even when it is legalized in some states, it still raises some ethical questions. In any case, many people agree that since life is sacred, people should be allowed to choose when and how they should die.

There various ways of classifying euthanasia. Firstly, it can be classified as either active or passive. In active type, an individual is given drugs to end their life. Passive type is when drugs to treat a condition are withheld from a patient. The second way to classify it is in terms of voluntary or involuntary basis. Voluntary is the case where an individual makes the decisions to end their life, while involuntary is a case where they are killed without consent. It may also be a non-voluntary case, where an individual may not be in a position to make a decision, hence leaving the decision in someone’s hands. In most instances, it is conducted when the sick person had previously expressed their desire to die under similar circumstances.

To avoid situations where the decision of ending life is left in the hands of others, individuals can make advanced guidance on how treatment procedures should be conducted. However, most times, euthanasia is conducted when patients have not expressed their desires on when or how to die. Doctors are therefore left to decide whether to administer drugs meant to speed up death. Such acts are commonly known as palliative sedation.

In another perspective, people may feel that there is no reason as to why people should be allowed to continue suffering when the euthanasia solution is available. It may actually be argued that choosing painless death on behalf of the sick is a good act. However, these arguments are met by sharp criticism on whether the doctor may have done something to prevent the deterioration of the disease. Still, the question on why the doctor should act as God is presented by the religious groups.

Though many states have not legalized euthanasia, the debate about such laws attracts another argument. Firstly, legalizing such acts may lead to pressurizing ill people to end their lives, and further discourage research on the cure for terminal diseases. Doctors may also make wrong diagnosis, which means that euthanasia may not be necessary in some instances. Certainly, the argument either for or against euthanasia is based on ethical issues, and such considerations must be made before any relevant legislation is made.