Essay Writing Help on Legalizing Active Euthanasia

Legalizing Active Euthanasia

            Euthanasia is simply defined as the practice of consciously ending a person’s life with the intention of relieving the individual from intolerable pains and sufferings caused by an incurable disease. This process is often referred to as mercy killing, which is a painless and easy death. It may be done at the dying patient’s request or the legal representative of this individual. Warranting such death is called voluntary or active euthanasia, which is different from passive euthanasia, which involves not doing something geared towards preventing a person’s death. The position of this paper, which serves as my thesis is that active euthanasia should not be legalized.

            First, legalization of active euthanasia would serve as a slippery road leading to victimization of others who would not desire their lives being taken from them. The legalization would make some innocent patients to become unwilling victims, denying them protection which they presently enjoy on homicide law. Such legalization with control would mount to government’s involvement in murdering of the very same people it is supposed to protect (Grisez & Boyle Jr. 1). Government’s involvement involves promotion of private interests of the patient, which will unjustly infringe on the liberty of all those opposed to mercy killing.

            The psychological burden of making a decision on ending one’s life is upon an already overburdened patient. An individual suffering from a terminal ailment is likely to feel too strained and stressed and may make a decision not influenced by right functioning of his/her mind but by the pressure of the present circumstances. Making such a critical decision would require a very sound mind, which may not be the case because it amounts to conflicting with human instincts of self-preservation (Grisez & Boyle Jr. 1). Such adds unbearable pressure to most terminally ill patients. In his book, Weisman observed that although many people claim they would commit suicide if found with terminal ailments, the rate of suicide among cancer patients is quite low. In this regard, Weisman argued that “The intention to take one’s own life rather than submit to fatal illness is rarely implemented. . . . The option to destroy one is not an expression of freedom, but one of despair…” (25).

            Euthanasia legalization undermines the impetus of developing truly companionate approach towards caring for the dying and suffering patients. The right expression of compassion is care, which is motivated by strong sense of sympathy and affiliation with the suffering individual (Gormally 1). Legalization is active euthanasia is showing care through killing a patient, which is wrong.

            One of the possible objections to euthanasia as a slippery slope is that such an argument is based on speculation of hypothetical scenarios without an adequate establishment of their credibility. It is based on assumption that upon legalizing euthanasia, people will automatically use it as a loophole to kill others. However, in response, what such arguments seems to ignore is that warranting of euthanasia must be based on facts and physicians’ affirmation beyond any reasonable doubt that the situation warrants it. Secondly, warranting euthanasia shall involve other stakeholders other than the doctor and the patient, thus enhancing safety of others.

            In conclusion, I still maintain my position that active euthanasia should not be legalized because it has a number of shortcomings. It creates a slippery slope to risking the lives of others, it is contrary to the healthcare requirement to show care to the dying and suffering and persons making such decisions are often overburdened by pressures of their health status and the agony of knowing they are likely to die.

Works Cited

Grisez, Germain and Boyle Jr. Joseph. Arguments against Euthanasia: Some Arguments Against Voluntary Active Euthanasia, n.d. Web. 23 March. 2015. <http://www.all.org/nav/index/heading/OQ/cat/NDA/id/NzM0OQ/>

Gormally, Luke. Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Seven Reasons Why They Should Not Be Legalized., 1997. Web. 23 March. 2015. <http://www.euthanasia.com/sevenreasons.html>

Weisman, Avery. On dying and denying: a psychiatric study of terminality, Part 4. New York, NY: Behavioral Publications, 1972.