Uploaded by Sungjun Oh on Oct 01, 2001
There is a much-used word these days – “euphoria.” Although this is usually a word related to illegal drug use, it can also express the feeling of one Dian Prity, a patient with a terminal disease, had when she was bestowed with the right to have an euthanasia by her husband. This right should not be limited to her: in order to preserve one’s rights and dignity, all terminal patients should be given the right for euthanasia.
It may be refuted that euthanasia is contradictory to human rights; however, it is actually the ultimate human right. In a democratic society, the prevalent one today, everyone is endowed with the right – “pursuit of happiness.” However, to be afflicted with pain, whose only end is death not purgation as it usually is, is contradictory to this right: pain is not happiness. The possibility of death must be open, therefore, to preserve happiness.
Another reason why euthanasia must be allowed is because of dignity, or self-respect. Usually, patients with a terminal disease see everything they cherished fall apart. For example, a cancer patient who is in the last stage would feel pain so great that, when he dies, he would remember the world not full of love, but full of pain. The family would feel the same, seeing a loved one depart suffering to no prevail. Thus, to remember one’s life as dignifying, one must have the have the right for euthanasia.
In conclusion, for the inalienable right, “pursuit of happiness,” and dignity, euthanasia must be supported. There might be those who say this is an abuse of life, but this is but a quantitative view of life. Euthanasia, on the other hand, focus on the quality of life. Thus, mercy killing must be allowed, for its is “quality that counts.”