Imagine a close associate get involved in a fatal accident, and her legs get paralyzed that she can never walk again. Upon admission, physicians declare that she has terminal injuries. Due to her financial constraints, she resolves to undergo euthanasia, which will save her from suffering and medical costs. It concerns terminating the life of a person who is exhilarating pain, to relieve them of their pain and suffering and offer them a dignified death (Kim et al., 2016). There are four types of euthanasia; voluntary euthanasia, involuntary euthanasia, passive and active euthanasia (Naga & Maryyan, 2013). Euthanasia has triggered numerous debates across the world, and has been argued across many disciplines in ethics and law. It should not be legalized as it violates the Hippocratic Oath, gives doctors too much power over patients’ lives, may violate a patient’s consent, causes a conflict of interests in families, and is against most religion’s faith.
Euthanasia should not be legalized because it abuses the Hippocratic Oath that binds all physicians in their line of duty. Hippocratic Oath is an ancient oath created by Greek Physician “Hippoctrates” (A Nigro, 2015). It describes the ethics and moral codes that all medical practitioners should prescribe. Medical Students, for example, in the USA, take the Oath when they graduate. According to this Oath, doctors should never assist patients in terminating their lives; instead, they should protect patients from any harm (A Nigro, 2015). They should provide alternative treatments and palliative care to them. Opting for euthanasia will exploit the Hippocratic Oath, which advocates protecting life and not administering deadly drugs to patients who can live longer if appropriate palliative care is provided. Therefore, euthanasia should be banned as it infringes the Hippocratic Oath.
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Euthanasia should not be legalized as it gives doctors too much power over a patient’s life in their line of duty. The role of doctors is to provide the best treatment options to patients and palliative assistance and provide the patient with the hope of living (A Nigro, 2015). A doctor should not be at the forefront to advise a patient to euthanize his or her life; instead, they should offer alternative treatments if possible. No patient will opt for euthanasia if proper medical assistance and treatments are provided (Strinic, 2015). In the legalization of euthanasia, doctors will see it as a regular occurrence, reducing the benefit of respecting life.
Additionally, physicians will adopt involuntary euthanasia where the patient’s consent is not considered, but instead, physicians decide to end the patients’ suffering. This is tricky where doctors will violate the rights of patients and their ethical codes. Incidences of involuntary euthanasia have been reported in the Netherlands, where research showed that a considerable percent of the patient are euthanized without their consent (Naga & Maryyan, 2013). Therefore, euthanasia should not be legalized because it spearheads the development of dishonest doctors who will terminate a patient life to avoid commitments, save time and money, thus abusing power.
Euthanasia should be barred because it may lead to conflicts in the family of the euthanized person. Euthanasia is likely to elicit conflict in the family, especially if they opt for involuntary euthanasia where they do not choose to die an unnatural death. Every person has a right to live, and life should not be deprived without personal consent. Opting for euthanasia will encourage murder. The family will live in guilt and end up questioning their moral standards. This will ignite a blame game that will result in conflicts. The family members will start questioning their actions, and regrets may come later. The patient could recover if proper care continued to be provided. Besides, why should family members terminate their loved ones’ life to save money? This is a materialistic and inhumane action, and the guilt will follow them, knowing that they killed. Euthanasia should not be legalized to avoid future conflicts. The family should be on the fore-front to give hope of living to the patient, and euthanasia should be the last resort.
Euthanasia is against the beliefs of some religions. Different religions express their views about euthanasia. For instance, Christianity is against any form of murder as life is sacred, and only God should terminate life (Liégeois & De Schrijver, 2018). This argument is binding to those who believe in the Christian God. He created human beings in his likeness and image. Hence, encouraging euthanasia is damaging life and destroying God’s work (Liégeois & De Schrijver, 2018). Life is sacred, and a gift from God and only Him should decide on one life span. Also, Muslims believe that life is sacred and death is decided upon by Allah, the giver of life (Ayuba, 2016). Muslims classify euthanasia as a form of murder which is highly prohibited by their tradition (Sunnah) (Ayuba, 2016). Thus, euthanasia highly prohibited in the Islamic religion as it disputes Quran teachings on mercy and sanctity of life. Additionally, Hindus regard euthanasia as a breach of the teaching of Ahimsa (Shukla, 2016). Hindus argue that euthanasia results in bad karma to the killer (Shukla, 2016). Consequently, euthanasia disorientates the cycle of life, thus should not be practised. However, a section of Hindus argues that helping someone have a dignified death fulfils one’s moral obligation of doing good. Therefore, euthanasia is against Christians, Muslims, and Hindus’s principles thus should not be legalized.
Legalizing euthanasia devalues the purpose of life. Life is precious, and it is everyone’s right to live and enjoy life. Additionally, life is an asset that should be prized and not compromised. To terminate life is only necessary when the patient is informed that he has an incurable illness. Death is inevitable even after providing all essential palliative care and treatment (Strinic, 2015). Quality of life has been diminished enormously for those living with disabilities. People living with disabilities feel that there is no need to live long due to care burdens they subject their family members. This has been experienced in the Netherlands, where the people living with and the old opt for euthanasia to avoid suffering (Naga & Maryyan, 2013). To prevent these cases, doctors should promote life instead of terminating it. Therefore, legalizing euthanasia will lead to more murder and destroy the sanity of life.
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Euthanasia should not be legalized; however, it may be necessary for some instances. Euthanasia may be required when the patient is in extreme pain and all treatment alternatives have failed. Suffering is among the factors that reduce the quality of life (Brouwer et al., 2018). People have a right to enjoy a life free from suffering and pain. A patient may be terminally ill and experiencing extreme pains that he or she is unable to sleep. In such cases, the patient may opt for euthanasia to acquire a dignified death and reduce suffering and pain. The patients opt for euthanasia to reduce their family’s burden of taking care of them. The family may use much money on hospital bills rendering them bankrupt, especially if they do not have insurance coverage. Therefore, euthanasia can save the massive cost of treatment. However, the patient should make this decision willingly. Still, at the same time, their mental health should be accessed to affirm that their decision to opt for euthanasia is not forced or trigged by underlying conditions. As such, it should be adopted if only all the alternative treatments have failed.
In conclusion, euthanasia is the provision of a dignified death to patients suffering from terminal illnesses. Although euthanasia is legal in some countries, it is illegal in most countries. Euthanasia should not be legalized because it conflicts with the Hippocratic Oath, which prescribes that physicians should work with dignity and cause no harm to patients. Doctors should never stop trying to save a life. Additionally, euthanasia portrays that life is not worth living. People should be treated with the utmost care, and no individual should be deprived of their right to live. Life is sacred and precious, and only God should terminate life. Unless it is the patient consent to end suffering due to ineffective treatment, euthanasia should not be legalized as it will lead to the destruction of life. No one should decide to terminate the life of a person in pain.
A Nigro, S. (2015). The Death of the Hippocratic Oath-The Seven Principles Of The Hippocratic Oath (and Paradigm). Journal Of Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry, 3(1).
Ayuba, M. (2016). EUTHANASIA: A MUSLIM’S PERSPECTIVE. Scriptura, 115(0). https://doi.org/10.7833/115-0-1175
Brouwer, M., Kaczor, C., Battin, M., Maeckelberghe, E., Lantos, J., & Verhagen, E. (2018). Should Pediatric Euthanasia be Legalized?. Pediatrics, 141(2), e20171343. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-1343https://doi.org/10.15406/jpcpy.2015.02.00103
Liégeois, A., & De Schrijver, S. (2018). Christian Ethical Boundaries of Suicide Prevention. Religions, 9(1), 30. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9010030
Naga, B., & Maryyan, M. (2013). Legal and Ethical Issues of Euthanasia: Argumentative Essay. Middle East Journal Of Nursing, 7(5), 31-39. https://doi.org/10.5742/mejn.2013.75330
Shukla, R. (2016). Passive euthanasia in India: a critique. Indian Journal Of Medical Ethics, (1). https://doi.org/10.20529/ijme.2016.008
Strinic, V. (2015). Arguments in Support and Against Euthanasia. British Journal Of Medicine And Medical Research, 9(7), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.9734/bjmmr/2015/19151