Euthanasia debate has been going on for years now and there does not seem to be a middle path between euthanasia advocates and opponents, who are both equally passion about their stand in the matter.
Before discussing the arguments of both sides, it is important to understand what euthanasia really is. The term euthanasia in broader sense means ending a person’s life in a way that is painless and free from suffering, in cases when the life itself is considered suffering or not worth living.
Today, most debates on euthanasia are focused on voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide of a terminally ill patient, with the consent of the patient, and as such it is legal in countries such as Switzerland and some of the US states.
Other forms of euthanasia, such as non-voluntary or involuntary euthanasia, are generally perceived as wrong by most people and the debates on that matter are small-scale compared to those regarding assisted suicide.
Arguments for euthanasia
The main argument of euthanasia advocates is that when a person is terminally ill and going through great deal of pain, humiliation and emotional suffering, the only sensible thing to do is to help them end their life. This will allow the patient to pass on in a dignified and peaceful manner.
Sometimes dying from a severe disease, for example cancer, can be not only a painful ordeal but also a very long one. The patient spends his or her last days, months or even years in extreme pain, unable to perform everyday activities, bed-bound and dependent on others. If the patient has preserved normal psychological and emotional functions, he or she may consider ending the suffering, especially if it has been made clear by the doctors that there is no possibility of recovery whatsoever.
However, sometimes the patient is in no condition to make such decision, in which case the family may initiate the process for euthanasia of their loved one, according to strict government regulations.
Arguments against euthanasia
The casual nature in which it will be approached in the future is the main argument against euthanasia. This basically means that if euthanasia can be performed without following strict regulations and laws, people may start using it to get out of much simpler issues. Another problem is associated with patients in vegetative state or who are unable to make the decision by themselves. In that case it may be quite difficult to establish the true motivation behind the family’s attempt to end the patients life, especially considering that taking care of a terminally ill patient is a great emotional and financial burden.
Opponents of euthanasia believe that the political and sociological impact of such practice cannot be foreseen and that many problematic issues, such as the abuse of the practice, will arise from it.
Finally, most major religions are very strict when it comes to ending a person’s life, which only God can take.