Arguments Against Euthanasia
1. Euthanasia would not only be for people who are "terminally ill.
" There are two problems here; the definition of "terminal" and the changes that have already taken place to extend euthanasia to those who aren't "terminally ill." There are many definitions for the word "terminal." Some say terminal illness was "any disease that curtails life even for a day." Others say "terminal old age." Some laws define "terminal" condition as one from which death will occur in a "relatively short time." Others state that "terminal" means that death is expected within six months or less. Even where a specific life expectancy (like six months) is referred to, it is virtually impossible to predict the life expectancy of a particular patient. Some people diagnosed as terminally ill don't die for years, if at all, from the diagnosed condition.
2. Euthanasia can become a means of health care cost containment
With health care facilities forced to cut costs, euthanasia certainly could become a means of cost containment. Thousands of people have no medical insurance and the poor and minorities generally are not given access to available pain control. With greater and greater emphasis being placed on managed care, many doctors are at financial risk when they provide treatment for their patients. Legalized euthanasia raises the potential for a profoundly dangerous situation in which doctors could find themselves far better off financially if a seriously ill or disabled person "chooses" (don't forget about involuntary euthanasia) to die rather than receive long-term care.
Savings to the government may also become a consideration. This could take place if governments cut back on paying for treatment and care and replace them with the "treatment" of death. Hospital stays are being shortened while, at the same time, funds have not been made available for home care for the sick and elderly. Registered nurses are being replaced with less expensive practical nurses. Patients are forced to endure long waits for many types of needed surgery.
This is another of those arguments that says that euthanasia should not be allowed because it will be abused. The fear is that if euthanasia is allowed, vulnerable people will be put under pressure to end their lives. It would be difficult, and possibly impossible, to stop people using persuasion or coercion to get people to request euthanasia when they don't really want it. It would fundamentally undermine the basis of trust between doctors and patients that is at the heart of effective medicine. Far from being the 'ultimate expression of patient autonomy' legalized euthanasia becomes the ultimate act of medical paternalism.
3.They say Euthanasia will only be voluntary, NOT!
No system could ever be foolproof, so in practice legalizing ‘voluntary euthanasia’ would result in legalizing involuntary euthanasia.
Emotional and psychological pressures could become overpowering for depressed or dependent people. If the choice of euthanasia is considered as good as a decision to receive care, many people will feel guilty for not choosing death. Financial considerations, added to the concern about "being a burden," could serve as powerful forces that would lead a person to "choose" euthanasia or assisted suicide.
For Example an elderly person in a nursing home, who can barely understand a breakfast menu, is asked to sign a form consenting to be killed. Is this voluntary or involuntary? Will they be protected by the law? How? Right now the overall prohibition on killing stands in the way. One signature can sign away a person's life.
Legalized euthanasia would most likely progress to the stage where people, at a certain point, would be expected to volunteer to be killed. Think about this: What if your veterinarian said that your ill dog would be better of "put out of her misery" by being "put to sleep" and you refused to consent. What would the vet and his assistants think?