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Essay: Euthanasia – overview and arguments in favour

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  • Subject area(s): Health essays
  • Reading time: 2 minutes
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  • Published: 30 April 2018*
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  • Words: 525 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 3 (approx)
  • Tags: Euthanasia essays

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Euthanasia is the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit also means a deliberate action with the express intention of ending a life to relieve persistent suffering.
It is interpreted as the practice of ending a life in a painless procedure or assisted suicide. This interpretation is usually refuted because it needs to include a condition of unstoppable suffering. (Egendorf pg 1)
In most countries, euthanasia is against the law. In the UK, it is illegal to assist someone to kill himself or herself, regardless of circumstances. It carries a maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison in the UK. In the USA the law varies in some states. It is classified into two main classifications: voluntary euthanasia which is conducted by consent, it has been legal in Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and the state of Oregon (USA) since 2009 and involuntary euthanasia is conducted without consent. The decisions are made by another person because the patient is incapable of doing so by him or herself. There is two procedural classifications euthanasia: passive euthanasia is when life supporting treatments are withheld while there is active euthanasia, lethal substances or cohesion is used to terminate patient’s life. It is carried out by the patient or somebody else.
Even though they are in similar in terms of intention and outcome, there are great legal differences between the two, which leads to questionable distinctions that rest upon the most general distinction between act and omissions: active interventions as separate from non-action or resist from acting. The criminal law of UK maintains a fairly rigid distinction between liability for acts which cause death on other one hand and liability omissions which cause death on the other. This has massive implications for the law regarding active and passive euthanasia.
Arguments in favor of euthanasia are; it provides a way to relieve persistent pain, it frees up medical funds to help other individuals, euthanasia is a way of expressing freedom of choice and it is a mean of relief to someone whose quality of life is very low.(“Euthanasia pros and cons”)
Sue Rodriguez, a mother in her early thirties, died slowly of Lou Gehrig’s disease. She lived for several years with the knowledge that her muscles would, one by one, waste away until the day came when fully conscious she would choke to death. She begged the courts reassure her that a doctor would be allowed to assist her in choosing the moment of death .They refused. She lived in terror, helped eventually by a doctor who, in February 1994, covertly broke the law to help her die in peace. A law on euthanasia with rigorous safeguards could have saved her the nightmare during those months before her death given her the confidence to carry on –with the assurance that when it got too bad she could rely on a compassionate doctor to follow her wishes at the end. The exit is pledged to support research and teaching in this difficult areas, which might be of great importance in making the world a better place. (“Euthanasia, Right to Die: Cases”).

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