Death and Euthanasia

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Euthanasia is a topic surrounded with a great amount of controversy in today’s modern society. Euthanasia has been defined as ‘the intentional killing act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit’. (The key word here is “intentional”). If death is not intended, it is not an act of euthanasia). Euthanasia, also sometimes referred to as assisted suicide, is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Oregon and Washington. This argumentative essay will cover both negative and positive aspects of euthanasia from an ethical and moral viewpoint as well as from a social and financial aspect and show that euthanasia could be successfully legislated in Australia. The ethical aspects surrounding euthanasia is where most of the controversial debate arises. For instance, when someone is under the influence of medical drugs, a lot of people argue they aren’t thinking in a correct state of mind. In cases like these, those closest to the patient, i.e. the family, will make a decision based on what they think the patient would want, or if the patient had written a will beforehand stating what they wanted if there was no longer hope of survival. Another side of ethical issues would be religion, but for those people who disagree and are against euthanasia, are not required nor forced to undergo the act of euthanasia and therefore should not enforce their personal views on those who are for it. We consider it animal cruelty when we feel as though an animal is suffering and don’t put them down to end their misery, yet we don’t consider it human cruelty to let someone die slowly, suffering every minute of it. As Lee (1999) explains, as a terminally ill patients disease progresses, and they slowly lose the ability of movement and hold over their own body, the thought of still having control over their own life is beneficial, if that’s taken away from them they are subjected to a bitter and undignified death. “Just as everyone has the right to live...
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