The concept of dying is not easy among ourselves, many of us have not put much thought about it: how are we going to die? When are we going to die? From what causes? The thought of these kinds of questions may be uneasy on some people. Now the thought of legalizing euthanasia or Physician Assisted Suicide, hereafter PAS, may be bothersome to various individuals. Several can argue about the benefits that Euthanasia or PSA, but here are a few one might want to ponder on. One of the first advantages of having Euthanasia or PAS performed is the realization of autonomy. Autonomy is one of the key elements in this country, just knowing that you or anybody can have that option in your life can be satisfying, as long as there is reasonable evidence that can qualify you for it. Another benefit for euthanasia or PAS is that it can reduce or eliminate pain and suffering when going through a threatening disease. For instance, I have seen and heard many stories of how cancer patients have been diagnosed with no cure. These patients keep going to treatments of chemo therapy and/or radiation just to live a little longer or just because there is no other option for them. Knowing you have this alternative available to cancer or other ill diagnosed patients can facilitate transitioning from the painful death to a more accommodated death where the patient does not have to suffer to die in peace. The third and last benefit that euthanasia or PAS can bring is psychological reassurance. Psychological reassurance can be provide a sense of comfort to those who would like a more comforting alternative if they knew that their own death was going to be painful. Going back to the realization of autonomy, this can relief burden by knowing you have this option and that you don’t have to painful transition to your after-life.
On the other hand, Euthanasia or PAS can bring rising concerns that would not make it beneficial to the person who it would be administered on. One of the potential harms that can arise from Euthanasia or PAS is undermining the integrity of the medical profession. Euthanasia or PAS can harm the medical profession according to Emanuel (1999), since “about 25 percent of physicians regret having performed euthanasia or PAS in some cases because it did not lead to a good death for the patient or family,” (p. 636) other times it was reported that it had “emotional burden from having performed euthanasia or PAS” (p. 636). These facts can prove that euthanasia or PAS can be avoided for the better peace of mind of the professionals. An additional drawback of legalizing euthanasia or PAS is the potential harm of psychological anxiety. In other words, it can cause psychological discomfort and tension for the patient who would later over analyze the doctor’s recommendation about the benefits of the euthanasia or PAS route. This could lead the patients to think that they are being told just as an easy way out or a shortcut. Due to this, trust between the two would be hard to come by. Another reason why it is not good to legalize euthanasia or PAS is because it can cause coercion on the patient. According to Emanuel (1999), “Coercion of the patient is most likely to come from his or her family either because of financial or caregiving burdens” (p. 637). This would fit mostly on low income families whose patients don’t have the financial means to take care of their illness and would slowly be pushed towards this option. Additionally, many families have little to no time to take care of their loved ones or same as previously mentioned, don’t have the financial means to provide proper caregiving. As awful as it sounds, previous data proves that “having high caregiving needs was a significant predictor for terminally ill patients having seriously thought about euthanasia or PAS” (Emanuel, 1999, p. 638).
Seeing the previous pros and cons for legalizing Euthanasia or PAS makes me think if I would approve it for other, like my