Would euthanasia ever be justified? Essay

Submitted By questdi
Words: 945
Pages: 4

Tessa Stepa
Would euthanasia ever be justified? Should we listen to what the patient would want? Should we put ourselves in the patient's place? Should we do to others what we would want done to us? The answers to these questions are not as easy as it may seem. This is because many moral issues are involved. Everyone dies eventually. When it happens, however, it is not the same for all of us. For some, it is fast and almost painless. For others, however, it comes with what seems like endless suffering. Also, the patient is not the only one who is hurting. The patient's family and friends suffer. With all this being said, euthanasia looks like a good solution. Euthanasia is morally permissible. Euthanasia comes in two forms: active and passive. "Active euthanasia is direct killing and is an act of commission. Passive euthanasia is an act of omission"(Munson, 579). In addition, these two forms can be further broken down: voluntary, involuntary, and nonvoluntary. The debate happens when we have to consider all the possible combinations. There is a lot of gray areas. It is illegal to kill someone. However, it is not illegal to let someone die. Of course, these laws are not always black and white. There are certain situations where these laws do not hold up. For example, it is not illegal to kill someone if you are protecting yourself. Also, it is wrong to let someone die without trying to help them. These circumstances can create quite a debate for some people. Many people cannot take measures to perform euthanasia for themselves. These same people are very close to death and in a lot of pain. John Lachs said that " Callahan fails to grasp the moral problems leading people to consider euthanasia. They are not interested in it as an escape from the suffering inherent in the human condition, but as an end to pain and a burdensome life" (Munson, 601). These people are suffering from diseases and illnesses who do not think that living like this is worth it. These people are not looking for the easy way out, but they want the pain to end. People have rights and they should be able to do whatever they want with them. John Lachs said that "the idea of a right that cannot be transferred makes no sense" (Munson, 601). If we have a right, who says that we cannot use it? Obviously we cannot just do whatever we please. We have to use our judgment. Social limits, however, should not be put on our rights. Again, every situation is different, and there are gray areas. The bottom line is that these people are very close to dying and are in a lot of pain. We are not talking about people who are just having a bad day, week, etc. and want to end his/her life. Doctors do have opinions about his/her patient's want to be able to die. John Lachs said that "physicians are able to review objectively a patient's request to die with respect to the patient's condition and situation"(Munson, 601). If a doctor has a patient who says that they want to die, for whatever reason, the doctor has enough knowledge to judge the seriousness of the patient's condition or illness. Surely patient's exaggerate pain, conditions, etc., and a doctor should be able to have an objective opinion. Doctors have to look at the health of each individual patient (mental, physical, and emotional), continuously monitor the patient's wants, and only then can a physician make a sound decision about how to proceed. The fear that patients will abuse euthanasia is wrong. Patients and doctors need to realize, and will surely do so, that killing /letting die is a