Homework Question on Assisted Suicides or Euthanasia
- Your discussion should be based more upon whether or not assisted suicides or euthanasia should remain as a crime in Canada.
- Please identify and comment on some of the pros and cons of keeping these two behaviours as illegal. Consider the impact or the social injury and social harm of these behaviours on our society in Canada.
- Other developed countries in the world have legalized these practices and should Canada follow in the same direction?
Homework Answer on Assisted Suicides or Euthanasia
Euthanasia, commonly identified as mercy killing, refers to the act of deliberately causing painless death of an ailing individual to relieve suffering, instead of allowing the individual to die a natural death. Euthanasia is grouped into three sub-categories; Voluntary, involuntary and non-voluntary. Voluntary involves having a direct approval of the patient. Involuntary is whereby the patient consent is not available, like in the case of a child.
Non-voluntary is when the act is carried out against the sick individual’s wish. Euthanasia should remain as a crime in Canada, because legalizing the act would result in numerous complications, because it is a very contentious subject that brings into focus a number of very influential, conflicting and competing values. In terms of a medical doctor’s action, euthanasia may be passive, whereby a doctor is not directly involved in causing the death of an ailing individual. It can also be active, in that a doctor is directly involved in causing the death. Assisted suicide is similar to active euthanasia; the sick person normally carries out the final act.
Under the criminal code of Canada, active euthanasia is illegal and one can be convicted for a minimum of 14 years for murder. Passive euthanasia is legal because the courts respect the right of a sick individual to decline and to stop unwanted medication. Decriminalizing active euthanasia in Canada may hurt the individual involved as well as the general society. This is because; it may result in a decline in medical care and lead to the victimization of the most vulnerable society.