Euthanasia is a controversial topic. Not only does this subject evoke strong emotions, it also questions and challenges our own sense of morality.
For the purpose of clarity, my broad definition
of Euthanasia would include: "any planned and systematic action, or assisted action, taken to
end peacefully the life of a human being with the subject's informed consent." (I am aware this might not cover the strict definition as set forth by
laws in some countries/regions, but it is useful in this form for the purpose of discussion.)
There are no easy answers, but that does not mean that a mature and meaningful discussion cannot take place. If you feel I have overlooked some views
in regard to this topic, feel free to reply and fill me in.
Major Arguments Against Euthanasia:
a) Pain, suffering and distress (PSaD) are all apart of God's divine plan and taking one's life interferes with that. In addition, your life does not
strictly belong to you but rather the higher power that gave you life.
b) PSaD are actually beneficial (in the long-term) in terms of building resilience and character, and learning how not to treat others. They also act
as lessons for us in our life experiences.
c) Deciding to take one's own life is still taking a
life, which is intrinsically wrong.
d) Those stating they wish to take their own lives are usually not mentally fit to make such an extreme decision.
e) PSaD - whether physical, mental or both - can be overcome through time. Who knows what life experiences (and lessons) somebody is set to miss out
on if they fail to give themselves enough time to overcome their PSaD and take their own life.
f) We are all ONE and any act that harms a part of the collective whole affects all that are connected.
g) Euthanasia might be encouraged by those surrounding the individual for the wrong reasons, e.g. a written will/insurance policy or extreme hatred of
Major Arguments For Euthanasia:
a) Euthanasia puts an end to pain, suffering and distress (PSaD) for the individual concerned.
b) Euthanasia extinguishes the PSaD felt and experienced by those surrounding the individual. No longer do relatives and friends have to witness the
loss of dignity and overall deterioration of the quality of life of the suffering individual.
c) In many cases of Euthanasia, death is an assured outcome for the individual and it makes logical sense to remove the unnecessary PSaD to be
experienced by the individual. If the condition is irreversible and will lead to death in 1 week, 12 months or 5 years, why make the individual suffer
for no reason?
d) Preventing an individual from taking their own life is selfish and disregards the needs and desires of the individual.
e) It is a fundamental human right to end one's own life if one no longer desires to live.
f) Taking one's life in a planned systematic and consensual context avoids the chance that they will take their own life in a public place which is
likely to be sudden and barbaric in execution.
g) The less resources spent on prolonging the lives of those whom are terminally unwell, the more resources available to help those who need help and
are not terminally unwell.
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Those are some of the major arguments both for and against Euthanasia.
Some questions to ponder after reading the above:
1) How do I define a life?
2) Is Euthanasia morally justifiable in certain cases?
3) Should Euthanasia be legalised?
4) If legalised, shouldn't there be safeguards in place to ensure it is justified?
5) What are the moral implications for the person who assists the individual with their suicide?
edit on 2/10/2013 by Dark Ghost because: formatting, title change