Euthanasia: Right or Wrong?
Euthanasia, or physician-assisted suicide, is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain or suffering. People may immediately be turned off by this idea when first presented with it, but in certain situations, euthanasia should be used to prevent further suffering for people diagnosed as terminally ill, which is a medical term to describe a disease that cannot be cured or adequately treated and that is reasonably expected to result in death of the patient within a short time. People argue that euthanasia is conflicting with a person’s right to life. A person’s right to life is a phrase that describes the belief that a human being has an essential right to live. This means that by saying that someone should be euthanized, we are violating this right to life and it is unjust. Some physicians are also against this process, saying it violates a major part of their Hippocratic Oath, which an oath historically taken by physicians, physician assistants and other healthcare professionals swearing to practice medicine ethically and honestly. The part of the Hippocratic Oath in questions talks about a physician agreeing to never treat a patient with a possibly lethal drug, even if asked for it, and to never give a treatment method close to it (Kass, 37-38), but the other major part is that the physician will keep his or her patient from harm and injustice. By taking this oath and then being presented with the situation of someone being in extreme pain for which there is no cure, some physicians are at a standstill. The decision to euthanize ultimately comes down to the physician, if asked for by either the terminally ill individual or the family.
The other side of the argument is that, under the correct circumstances, euthanasia is perfectly ethical and safe in order to prevent further pain and suffering in an individual diagnosed as terminally...