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Free Example of Euthanasia Essay

During recent years there have been a lot of heated and controversial debates regarding legalizing of euthanasia. Society is trying to give a reasonable reply whether it is ethical to practice euthanasia among people with terminal sickness, in which cases it can be allowed and at the same time can brutally breach human rights.

Practically every civilized state honors “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” whereas its statements are precisely reflected in the national legislation. The state gives firm guarantees to any person, and these guarantees are due to defense with the help of law. “The Declaration of Human Rights” says that every human being has the inalienable right to life, liberty and security. Consequently, the matter of euthanasia legalization is rather a sensitive point. There is a delicate line between legal and illegal actions, the good and the evil considering the fact that there are relevant consequences and responsibilities. We have to determine its exact definition for obvious understanding before analyzing the merits and demerits of euthanasia. Euthanasia is an action that is aimed at ceasing somebody’s life on his or her comprehended request, and that action is fulfilled by a disinterested person. If to have a look at etymology of the word, the term “euthanasia” came into use in the 17th century defining an “easy death.” Then, starting from the 19th century, the definition was used in wider sense meaning the act of killing somebody that is in severe pain, which was also known as a mercy killing. John J. Paris in his work “Notes on Moral Theology. Active Euthanasia” defines euthanasia as “the deliberate action by a physician to terminate the life of a patient.” Cardinals of the Catholic Church in their “Declaration of Euthanasia” affirm that “by euthanasia is understood an action or an omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated.” Moreover, researches make distinctions between active passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia is considered as an intentional action to end somebody’s life and cease patient’s severe suffering with doctor’s help.  For example, the doctor gives a lethal injection to the patient or switches the life-sustaining devices off.  Passive euthanasia is distinguished for the absence of any active actions from the doctors’ side.  In other words, euthanasia is understood from one side as killing and from another as permission to die.  

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Nowadays, the society is divided into two camps: one camp acts on behalf of euthanasia legalization, and another movement desperately fights against it.

If to take a side of euthanasia’s supporters, we can make the accent on the fact that euthanasia is not exactly the killing. Frequently, an incurable person prefers to die rather than bear physical and moral suffering. Toleration of such miserable and undignified life is beyond their nature. Feeling of constant severe pain, realization of one’s own physical inability and dependence knowing that your condition is burdensome for all people that surround you, all these factors make the patient consider euthanasia as a desirable solution and not as a killing. Euthanasia for them is a rescue from torturous existence, and unfruitful treatment that in any case will lead to death. Active euthanasia can expand on the terminally sick patients and the ones who are constantly in a vegetative state. But some adherents of euthanasia suggest using this variant relatively to the elderly as well. Active euthanasia can be used upon a patient’s agreement, request, and conscious decision or, in case of his or her inability, upon the request of his relatives or care-givers.

Marcia Angell in “New England Journal of Medicine” represents her point of view regarding euthanasia legalization and characterizes "euthanasia is more humane than forcing a patient to continue a life of unmitigated suffering.”

Nevertheless, there are a lot of opponents against acceptance of euthanasia as a legal norm. Without any doubt, church criticizes the idea of legalization of euthanasia. Vatican “Declaration on Euthanasia” announces that no one can request for this action to be fulfilled in regards to him or herself. The reason for these moral imperative is clear “Only the Creator of life has the right to take away the life of the innocent" (Paris, “Notes on Moral Theology”). We are the creatures of God, and only He decides whether it is our time and how to leave this world. Church takes a strong position against permission for the legalization of euthanasia claiming that it is an attack on human being’s security in general. It is a horrible breach of all moral principles and considered as an inevitable evil act. Euthanasia’s opponents identify moral degradation of the society where the value of life gradually diminishes. They see a realistic threat in legalizing a physician-assisted suicide.   The opponents assume that once euthanasia is legalized in relation to the terminally sick people, it will automatically spread on the other sick people with certain disabilities, the elderly and others who are feeling “not good enough.” On this occasion, euthanasia is an excellent possibility to satisfy their needs. Eventually, when suffering people are in the most vulnerable and insecure state, their claims will be simply ignored. Consequently, euthanasia on patient’s request will transform into a killing without permission. Its legalization will untighten the hands of the corrupted people and give unrestricted options for the misuse.

Taking into consideration that euthanasia issue touches ethical and juridical spheres as well, we can express the following point of view. We can vote pro euthanasia if it is legalized under certain circumstances and will be strictly controlled. Its coming into force must not give a slightest hint of threat to the people who do not have an intention to use it. Moreover, there should not to be any kind of enforcement from the medical authorities. This law should be permanently controlled by the state and health independent organizations, whereas each case is to be scrutinized before the usage of euthanasia. Validity of euthanasia must not jeopardize human rights and should not be in any controversy with its content.

There can be three conditions for euthanasia legalization: it should be voluntary, only the doctor has a right to give assistance or fulfill euthanasia, a patient’s state is unsatisfactory and hopeless from the medical point of view. Legality of euthanasia is as a way to stop primarily terrible physical tortures when treatment is totally inefficient and recovery is impossible. It is obligatory to approve euthanasia exclusively in relation to the person’s consent. If a person chooses death, his or her choice is an expression of liberty. Everybody should respect his or her choice.

What will happen if we continue denying legalization of euthanasia? Will it help people who go through the hellfire on earth when even painkillers are ineffective?  There is neither good nor compassionate, and not sufficient as well. Our supporting point of euthanasia is based on assisting the martyrs to end life properly. On the contrary, their death can secure somebody’s life and acquire some sense. However, on this stage, one  can  emphasize that legalization of euthanasia should cause its misuse and corruption.  It should not be a means of violence and enforcement of a personality. For the reason, euthanasia can be legalized only in the countries where human rights are appropriately honored. It can be allowed in the countries that are characterized with excellent state control and supervision, with highly-developed economy and significant standards of living. Such features can help to avoid the misuse of euthanasia. A nation should be well-informed about the issue before euthanasia is brought into force. It can minimize the risks of any scheming in future.

Therefore, judging from the statements mentioned above, we can come to the conclusion that euthanasia can be legalized after a thorough analysis. Every country has to make their own choice after weighing all pros and cons of the discussed issue.

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