Research Essay – Euthanasia
Euthanasia is a serious moral and ethical issue in today’s world. Rightly so. Approximately 1.2million people in the United States and about 564,600 Americans annually – more than 1,500 people per day are suffering from terminal illnesses (Growthhouse). However, most people think that euthanasia is murdering, even if they believe that suffering is a horrible thing. Being bed-ridden in pain because of a disease or sickness is completely horrifying. Interestingly, someone came up with an act that is known as “Euthanasia” which allows people to kill themselves due to pain or suffering. Often, it is confused with the term “assisted suicide” which means someone, normally a physician, voluntarily helps the patient to end his or her life. Euthanasia is the act of someone ending the life of a terminally ill person by injection or medical treatment. This is a topic that consists of countless opinions and much controversy as to whether euthanasia should be legalized or not. Even though I have never known a person that has an incurable disease or sickness, if a loved one or I were diagnosed, for instance, with a terminal illness like cancer, I would definitely choose euthanasia as an option to end the suffering and pain in my life. If there were no other way to cure the disease and take away the agony, patients would not want to live a painful life and die a tormented death. Instead, being helped by someone to take away the pain sooner, even if that meant dying, would be a better option. Though some may not choose euthanasia or physician assisted suicide. At least, by having the right to choose euthanasia, one has hope of making the pain end. Therefore, I agree with the practice of euthanasia and strongly believe that everyone has the right to decide whether they want to end their own life or not.
First of all, deciding to live or die should be a personal decision to be made by everyone. However, many people support legalizing Euthanasia. Author Sidney Hook is one of these people. In his article “In Defense of Voluntary Euthanasia,” he believes that “each one should be permitted to make his/ her choice especially when no one else is harmed by it” (Hook, 242-245). I strongly agree with his philosophy that people have the right to choose to live or die because I think people who live their lives enduring pain and suffering because of a sickness are already facing so much and, furthermore, they wouldn’t want to be a lifelong liability to their family. This question often arises: “Where do the sick people go when there is no medical help available and the disease in question is incurable? Are they expected to go on with their life until the pain kills them? That is absolutely brutal! If a patient has no hope to live a comfortable life any longer because he is suffering from unbearable pain, why should the law or the patient’s family have the right to make the decision whether he/she should live or die? It should be the patient’s right to decide if they want to end their life by euthanasia. This may help the suffering patients to die a less painful death (Rottenberg, “You Live Your Life, I’ll Take Mine!”) and maybe end their own life with some happiness.
Euthanasia should be seen as a ray of hope for a suffering person. Then again, it shouldn’t be perceived as an answer to every illness. Only a patient who is terminally ill or is suffering in extreme anguishing pain should have the right to choose if he prefers to end his life by the practice of euthanasia. It should not be determined by anyone else how long a person’s pain should continue. There should not be a law that denies someone the hope to put an end to his or her pain. How could there exist a law that states that euthanasia cannot be legal in any case? It is not right for other people, for instance, a doctor or an intellectual, to decide if it is immoral to practice euthanasia. They don’t understand the pain and suffering of the patient in such a