Euthanasia is a significant issue in today’s society and therefore, it impacts the political and legal system in Australia. Euthanasia is a controversial topic but ultimately, the choice to die is one that should be made by the person themselves. Making it illegal for a person to be euthanized contradicts basic human rights. There are large groups founded who are pro-euthanasia, however, most religions are against it and appear to have a very large impact on the laws regarding topic. In Australia, Euthanasia has had a large effect on our political and legal systems and on individuals and groups, however, it should not be illegal in our country.
Euthanasia comes from the Greek work ue meaning “good”, thanatos meaning “death”. According to Medical New Today, “Euthanasia (also known as assisted suicide), means to take a deliberate action with the express intention of ending life to relieve intractable (persistent, unstoppable) suffering”. Some believe it is simply ending life in a painless manor however, in my opinion intractable suffering is a key part of the definition and without it, Euthanasia can be mistaken as a way of committing suicide for people suffering depression or similar issues who do not have terminal and unstoppable suffering. There are two forms or Euthanasia: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary is conducted with consent when the patient is awake and fully aware of the situation. Involuntary is conducted without consent when the patient is incapable of doing it themselves. Euthanasia ends intractable suffering in a painless manor. People do not want to continue living if they have to live in pain or live in suffering e.g. quadriplegic, terminal cancer patient, comatose. In addition, there are psychological factors that cause people to think of euthanasia; depression, loss of control, destroyed dignity, feeling like a burden or a dislike of being independent.
In most countries, Euthanasia is against the law for a number of reasons, these being: religious beliefs, unable to judge the mental competency of the patient, the guilt of the patient, possible recovery and it cannot be properly regulated. Several religions see euthanasia as a form of murder or suicide which goes against the teachings of these religions. They believe it weakens society’s respect for the sanctity of life. Also, Euthanasia is only voluntary if the patient is mentally competent (metal competency is hard to define). If not, it can be seen more so as murder. There is also the reason that the patient is acting solely on their guilt, questing whether they are a burden and therefore, feeling pressured into consenting. And most importantly, Euthanasia is against the law because against all odds, a patient might recover. English common law declared suicide a criminal act from 1300s until mid-last century which included assisting others in suicide. However, Nation Health Service says that it is still illegal to help somebody kill themselves, regardless of circumstances with fourteen years imprisonment in the United Kingdom. In Australia in 1996 the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act in Northern Territory was established. Four patients died using Euthanasia during this Act before the Act was overturned by the Federal Parliament in 1998. 92 British people have gone overseas for assisted suicide. Not one of the relatives involved have been prosecuted for helping them even when the law states that it is illegal to aid someone with suicide. Some people were in fact charged with assisted suicide only to find that later the charges were dropped. Overall, Euthanasia remains illegal in Australia, but in my opinion, Euthanasia should be legalised. The laws in England are strong about suicide however, none of the laws are ever enforced, indicating that the government has acknowledged that Euthanasia is right and the Australian Government should do so also but in a more permanent way; making it legal.
Euthanasia is a controversial topic...
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