The term euthanasia has been used by different people with different feelings about it. Much has been written about it in the bioethics and the medical literature. Euthanasia refers to intentionally ending a person’s life with an aim of relieving pain. Different people have mixed feelings towards this act. There are some people who think of euthanasia as mercy killing while others think of it as a crime. It can be successfully done by bleeding, suffocation, placing people on the cold, injecting drugs or withholding antibiotics from the patient. This paper seeks to argue on whether it is a crime or an act of mercy killing.
Euthanasia? Mercy Killing or a Crime?
Euthanasia is a term that has been in existence ever since. It means to intentionally end another person’s life in order to relieve them pain. This act can be voluntary, involuntary or non-voluntary. Voluntary euthanasia is where a patient in pain tells the physician to terminate his life so that he may get away with the pain which the disease may be causing. Non-voluntary euthanasia is where the members of the family decide to secretly end the patient’s life. It is done without the consent of the patient. However, involuntary euthanasia is done without the will of the patient and is considered to be murder (Cavanagh, 2014).
According to Wikipedia, voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries. Never the less, the act is highly fought against by those deep in religion. They claim that life is sacred and only the Creator can take it away in His own time. Francis Bacon referred to euthanasia as an easy, painless, happy death. It is a painless inducement of a quick death.
Euthanasia is Mercy Killing
There are several reasons for proposing euthanasia and boldly say it is mercy killing. Euthanasia is an act of mercy killing because it is committed for the good of the culprit- to relieve him off pain. Michael Wren argued that it is mercy killing because the motive is for the good of the patient. Also, The House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics defines it as a deliberate intervention undertaken to end life, to terminate intractable suffering. This means that it is done in good faith of ending suffering. Draper defined it as death that results from the intention of one person to kill another, using the most gentle and painless means possible motivated solely by the best interests of the person dying. This Cleary means that euthanasia is done for the benefit of the dying person and it is a worth action for anyone to take.
Every person has a right to self-determination and should be freely allowed to choose their fate. If the patient voluntarily chooses to die, euthanasia should be used. According to Williams, any patient who is hopeless and agrees to be killed should be euthanized. He says that the doctor has a rightful duty to end this pain. Some rules are better than none hence a person who willingly chooses to be relieved the pain should be euthanized. Such rules ensure that the doctor is not guilty of this act. There is no harm legalizing euthanasia (Orentlicher, 2012).
It is also argued that death is not a bad thing hence euthanasia should be done. This is because death ends suffering bringing peace and rest to the patient. After all, death is the fate of every human being (Schoevers, Asmus & Van, 2014).More resources are availed once the patient is killed. This means more patient can be accommodated in the hospital and be treated.
Another reason for euthanasia is that it is a good way of assisting the suffering person rather than watching with no helping aid. It is a kind way of ending their suffering. Euthanasia reduces problems by saving on time and money. Instead of spending so much time to care for a person who may not recover, it is better to end his life. Once to person is intentionally killed, the cash for medication will be saved (Bartels & Otlowski, 2010).Euthanasia saves the relatives the agonies of watching their dear one suffer. Once he dies they are at rest and their tears are wiped.
Euthanasia is a Crime
On the other hand, there are various arguments from the opponents of euthanasia. Euthanasia is highly opposed among Christians. They say it is against the natural instinct for survival. Every person has a right to be alive until the creator deems otherwise. Euthanasia is inhuman since not all deaths are painful. There are some people who die in peace with no pain. As stated by Thomas, it is the duty of every government to protect its citizens hence legalizing euthanasia is inhuman. It should be understood that there is no quality of life when the patient is dead (Quill, Cassel & Meier, 2013).
It is very inhuman to kill a person just to have an extra bed. Some patients who are not worse off can be cared for from their home places. It is therefore unreasonable to kill a person in the name of creating more resources. Some patients feel guilty about the diseases they are suffering from. This may force them to say yes to euthanasia. Never the less, feeling sorry about the state of things is not an excuse. They should realize this is a crime and raise their esteem hoping to recover soon.
With increase in knowledge through research and innovation, medicine for those diseases may be found. It then beats logic when a person’s life is terminated simply because of low chances of his recovering. Time should decide their fate. According to the ruling of Alaska’s Supreme Court, assisted suicide should be upheld as murder. The terminally ill should be protected and given a chance to face tomorrow (Cundiff, 2012). The opponents claim there is a way of facilitating the pain like use of pain relievers. This is to mean we do not have to kill patients just because they are suffering through pain.
Euthanasia can cause a country to be in chaos since some doctors may kill patients for other reasons without their consent maybe as a result of hatred or to settle a grudge. It can be abused in some cases due to excess power given to the doctors. According to Wesley (2013), legalizing euthanasia is equal to having a suicide approved state ( Karlsson, Milberg & Strang 2012).
Euthanasia is a vital subject that can not be ignored in our world today. It is a crime that every state should take stern punishment to those who facilitate it. Let us allow every person, regardless of their terminal illness, to have a right to live. It should ring in our minds that tomorrow we may be the ones who will fall in the trap of those illness. This means a doctor somewhere will terminate our lives prematurely. The government should put in place rules that do not give a loophole to euthanasia. Also in relation to the different religions where we are affiliated, we should say no to this killing (Dowbiggin, 2007).
The medical experts should hold hands and look for cure to this terminal illness. Innovativeness and creativity should be highly encouraged in the medical field. Love should be a core value in our society. This will ensure that even the extremely ill people are well taken care of instead of ending their lives. The highly esteemed doctors should be passionate and hopeful about patients. This will cause them say no to any request for euthanasia. Euthanasia when legalized can lead to misuse of doctors and they should strongly object to this. Let every one say no to this crime and together we rescue our society.
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