Euthanasia Should Not Be Legalized

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

“I wish I could kill myself”. Many of us have spoken these words at least once in our life. 2) But, how many of us actually meant it? 1) Euthanasia is the act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness. Although euthanasia may seem reasonable, euthanasia is in fact a horrible solution to terminally ill patients. People that unfortunately have terminal illnesses should not be killed solely for the purpose of having an illness that cannot be treated or made less painless. Voluntary euthanasia is unnecessary because alternative treatments exist. Secondly euthanasia is usually not voluntary although it may seem so. Also, euthanasia is immoral and goes against our values and beliefs. Moreover, if euthanasia is legalized, doctors can misuse it. We must not let euthanasia be legalized. Euthanasia is a great evil that we must all fight against. Euthanasia goes against our morals and duties as human beings and should not be legalized.

Although a terminal illness cannot be cured, the pain can be lessened dramatically. It is widely believed that there are only two options open to patients with terminal illness: either they die slowly in unrelieved suffering or they receive euthanasia. In fact, there is a middle way, that of creative and compassionate caring. Thorough research in Palliative Medicine has in recent years shown that virtually all unpleasant symptoms experienced in the process of terminal illness can be either relieved or substantially alleviated by techniques already available. You don’t solve problems by getting rid of the people to whom the problems occur. The more difficult but humane solution to human suffering is to address the problems. Pain is controllable with the help of modern medicine. A person who seeks to kill him or herself to avoid pain does not need legalized assisted suicide but a doctor better trained in alleviating pain. Losing the opportunity of caring for vulnerable people denies us an essential part of our humanity. We can overcome the suffering not by killing and ignoring those who have it, but by facing it with them. Voluntary euthanasia, by artificially shortening life, denies these possibilities.

A patient with a terminal illness is vulnerable, and although they may ask for euthanasia, they probably don’t want it. The terminally ill lack the knowledge and skills to alleviate their own symptoms, and may well be suffering from fear about the future and anxiety about the effect this illness is having on others. It is very difficult for them to be entirely objective about their own situation. Those who regularly manage terminally ill patients recognize that they often suffer from depression or a sense of worthlessness which may affect their judgment. Their decision-making is affected by confusion, insanity or troublesome symptoms which could be relieved with appropriate treatment. Patients who have asked for this horrendous treatment are usually after effective symptom relief, the patients are most grateful that their request was not acceded to. Assisted suicide is most commonly contemplated by the terminally ill. Terminally ill patients do suffer greatly, but is it the physical pain they suffer from? Many physicians seem to believe it is depression that leads these patients to desire suicide. What is hard for these people to understand is that depression is treatable and even curable. A person would suffer a lot less physically if they suffered less mentally. Many medical doctors also feel this way. Terminally ill patients also adapt to a level of disability that they would not have previously anticipated they could live with. People with a terminal illness already feel like a burden on their family, and a society which is cost conscious and may be short of resources. They may feel great pressure to request euthanasia. So, all though it may seem voluntary, it is really not.

The killing of an innocent person is fundamentally wrong. Many doctors have sent terminally ill patients to their grave in certain countries. These doctors refuse to let life takes its natural course. They continue to do the work of God. 3)God created man and God should be the one to take man away. Life is taken for granted all too often; people always look for the shortcuts, the