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Written by Berny Belliard 2013-1104

Euthanasia

. Euthanasia, also known as mercy killing, is the practice of intentionally ending the

life of a person to relieve pain and suffering. Euthanasia is practiced legally in Netherlands,

Canada, Colombia, Belgium, and Luxembourg. In those countries, mercy killing is legal if

the doctor has the consent of the patient and it is called voluntary euthanasia, however, if the

patient is legally incompetent and a family member has to give consent, then it is known as

involuntary euthanasia. In other countries, there is a controversy over the moral, ethical, and

legal issues of assisted suicide. Euthanasia should be legalized, considering the condition of

the patient to apply it.

Supporters of euthanasia express that people have the right to die and with dignity.

People cannot be force to endure a physical and emotional pain; they need to have the option

of relieve their suffering, and preserve their bodily integrity. United States Supreme Court

Justice William Brennan said, An ignoble end steeped in decay is abhorrent. A quiet, proud

death, bodily integrity still intact, is a matter of extreme confidence.[1]. If a person is in a

condition in which he is terminally ill and is suffering an unbearable pain, then he should

have the option of euthanasia.

A group of people and organizations, who are against euthanasia, claim that its

practice is in conflict with the ethical principles of medical practice. Euthanasia is ethically

wrong since it is the intentionally killing an innocent person. The Hippocratic Oath, the oath

taken by doctors, teaches that assisted suicide is in contrast with the nature and purpose of

the medical profession. The World Medical Association states, Physicians-assisted suicide,
like euthanasia, is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession; where the

assistance of the physician is intentionally and deliberately directed at enabling an individual

to end his or her own life, the physician acts unethically [2]. The practice of euthanasia

could alter the doctors mind and change his perspective of life, in other words, it could

corrupt the moral and ethical principles of the doctor.

Other people, who are also against euthanasia, think that it devalues human life.

Human beings are to be valued because their life is sacred; therefore, the deliberate taking of

human life should be prohibited except in self-defense or the legitimate defense of others.

Peter Comensoli, Catholic Bishop of Broken Bay and representative on life issues for the

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said, The clear conclusion of reason and

experience is that euthanasia or assisted suicide cannot be made safe, because no law can

prevent vulnerable people from abuse. The evidence from places that have attempted to

legalize and regulate euthanasia is that it is not possible to draft safeguards that would

effectively protect vulnerable people from subtle or overt pressure to request euthanasia [3].

The legalization of euthanasia would leave the message that it is better to be dead than sick

or disabled.

Euthanasia is a controversial practice that intentionally kills a person with his consent

and should be legalized. The reasons that people against mercy killing mention are that it

violates the human dignity and the ethical principles of doctors. On the other hand, the people

in favor stand that a person has the right to die and relieve his pain and suffering. I support

the legalization of euthanasia because I think people is free to do what they want with their

lives, especially if they have a terminal disease. In conclusion, the right to die must be a

matter of personal decision.


References

1. https://panampost.com/editor/2014/11/26/right-to-die-should-euthanasia-and-assisted-

suicide-be-legal/

Retrieved: November 27, 2016, 8:34 PM.

2. http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/e13b/

Retrieved: November 27, 2016, 10:02 PM.

3. http://www.smh.com.au/comment/growing-euthanasia-statistics-should-be-a-warning-

20160419-go9rr8.html

Retrieved: November 28, 2016, 10:35 PM.