Euthanasia-Immoral or a Human Right?

As humans we are committed to the fundamental belief that the direct killing of another person is wrong, yet we have deep sympathy for those people who are suffering. Recent debates over active euthanasia, "killing" a terminally ill patient, has created the question, is Euthanasia immoral or a simple human right.

There are two definitions of Euthanasia, active and passive. Active Euthanasia is currently only allowed in Holland and means doctors have the right to take direct measures to put a patient to sleep, whereas passive Euthanasia limits doctors abilities to only being able to stop pill consumption or stopping treatment. Australia only allows passive Euthanasia

Euthanasia touches on some of the deepest issues a person can face, the choice over life and death. This creates responsibilities no one wishes to take. The major issue is whether a patient should be allowed to take his or her own life. From the patients point of view, many arguments point in favor of euthanasia. For one, no one wishes to be a burden. If a person is paralyzed from the neck down after a work incident would he want his friends and family to be always by his side doing the simplest tasks, how would it fell to be 100% dependent on others for the rest of you life? Also, the life quality of someone paralyzed or terminally ill should be taken into consideration, never being able to walk again, talk again, never being able to use the bathroom yourself, this situation would be terrible for anyone. A third and very important point, is pain. Going through you last few weeks of life in unbearable pain is less than an existence. For these people, when neither active euthanasia nor suicide is an option, self-starvation is the only choice.

There are other points of view to the issue. The first is from the medical practice. They have taken their vows, always to assist patients in prolonging their lives, Euthanasia completely contradicts this. Their major opinion is "Where there is life, there is hope", even a person who has a machine doing ever task for them, is still alive, and who know? Maybe a cure will be found. Then there is the ethical issue. In Holland, where active Euthanasia is allowed, in the 4500 mercy killings performed in 1996, over 900 have been performed without the patient\'s direct permission.

Euthanasia does mean "Good death", and for some it is the only acceptable way out of pain and suffering. Whether it is an ethical choice is another question. My opinion is that the terminally ill should have the choice, but to all rules there are exceptions and to something as incredibly serious as this, there shouldn\'t be.

Sources: News articles Various authors
Euthanasia Information compilation Author unknown

Stephen Colman 10Tan