Pros and Cons of Euthanasia
Uploaded by lostyourlunch on Sep 19, 2004
According to Webster’s New World Compact Office Dictionary, euthanasia means ‘the act of causing death painlessly, so as to end suffering’. There are many opinions about this subject, along with important questions. The question this paper examines is, “Should the government legalize euthanasia?”
If euthanasia were to become legalized, it would simply be the relieving of suffering of those with incurable diseases by being given fatal does of an anesthetic or narcotic. Rather than one suffering for years, only to die painfully, the patient could keep their dignity and die in a more or less humane way. During a murder trial of a man he helped die, Dr. Jack Kevorkian said, “I call it a medical service. Tom Youk came to me and said, ‘Please help me.’ The aim was a final solution to incurable agony.” The legalization of euthanasia would give the right to doctors to practice active euthanasia on patients who give their consent. Therefore, they would be doing a service to their patients. Mainly, the legalization affects incurable, terminally ill patients. According to Cancer Weekly in Sept. of 2000, from a surveyed group of terminally ill cancer patients, 73% said that they believed euthanasia should be legal. In Canada, informs the British Medical Journal, 75% of people from a public poll, favor mercy killings of untreatably ailing patients. However, the ailing patient must have requested it in writing. The validation of euthanasia would not only benefit fatally and incurably ill patients, by relieving their pain. It would also affect patients in a “persistent vegetable state”, who’d only live the rest of their life in pain and suffering. The whole point of legalizing it would be to kill those in need painlessly, like the ancient Greeks did before it was thought of as wrong.
The government should not legalize euthanasia because even if the patient consents, it is still murder and a felony. According to the 1965 ‘Murder Act’, a person can be convicted of murder only if it is proved that the accused had premeditated the crime. When a doctor assists a patient in dying and has the consent of the patient, the crime becomes premeditated. Dr. Jack Kevorkian is now in prison on charges of 2nd degree murder, for helping Tom Youk to terminate his existence. While it may...