Euthanasia: The Argument
Euthanasia is defined as; “the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependant 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.)” Source: www.euthanasia.com/definition
The act of euthanasia is a very controversial issue which has many supporters, both for and against and has been a topic of the world’s media, time and time again. There are arguments both for and against in various cultures, religious circles, medical professionals and other ‘social’ groups. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, which is one of our basic human rights and so is the right to live or not to live.
I have broken the argument into for and against topics but there are some sub divisions in which opinions of others are presented. I have remained impartial in this argument and only try to show points of view for many of the arguments that are bought forward.
Practical Arguments For
A point that is a paramount belief of many people, who are pro-euthanasia, is that of the belief that euthanasia can be regulated, even though they have recognition of the fact that there will still be problems relating to this issue. This being said they also believe that there is no reason why euthanasia cannot be regulated, this could be by; medical professionals, the government and the law. However, there is nothing to say that this will stop those people who will try to manipulate and pressure a more vulnerable person into choosing this option, for some they may feel it is the only option they have. Another argument point which has been bought forward from the practical pro-euthanasia followers is that; “allowing people to die may free up scarce health resources”, however, no authority has seriously proposed this and there is no evidence to support this claim that I have seen.
Utilitarian Arguments For
Utilitarian’s believe that to produce the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people, good morals should be designed to do so. They put forward the argument that “Euthanasia happens anyway” – better to make it legal and regulate it. There have been many other controversial issues which have been portrayed to have a similar argument for them, for example; ‘people will use drugs whether they are legalised or not – it would be better to regulate it’. To many people who do not follow this way of thinking this could be misconstrued as a somewhat weak argument. If you accept the principle of utilitarian view and use it as your basis for viewing life then you may find this a very acceptable argument. If you see this argument as cynical and wrong then you may not accept the utilitarian principle and may also believe that certain things are wrong, regardless of the effect on the human happiness.
Other Arguments For
Some people believe that human rights are affected within the argument; they believe that “People have an explicit right to die”. If this is to be believed as true then by not allowing someone to carry out the act of euthanasia we are going against their right to die. However, this is not an entitlement in its own entirety, but those who believe in the decision to die say that it is implied by the other human rights. With this in mind some libertarians believe that “if there is no harm to others, the state and other people have no right to interfere” as death is a somewhat private affair. In response to this argument, religious opponents believe that a life can only be taken and given by God and that God is the only one who can decide whether a person lives or dies. There are people who follow the idea that each person has the right to control every aspect of their lives and bodies and it is with this argument that they feel each person should be allowed to choose how, when and even where they will die.
In a lot of countries around the world there is a shortage of medical supplies and health resources, this...
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