Euthanasia Essay

Topics: Death, Suicide, Euthanasia Pages: 5 (1303 words) Published: December 10, 2014


(Intro) Unfortunately, throughout the world, individuals have always had their rights either outlawed or removed from them no matter what type of subject matter is in question. Although a controversial issue in the world, euthanasia is a right that everyone is entitled to. The law in Canada prohibiting this issue must be lifted. It is one’s own choice whether to live their life or end their life, therefore no one is permitted to remove that decision from them. Due to legal, moral and ethical issues regarding euthanasia, even the concept itself is controversial. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, euthanasia is considered homicide, thus making any form of it a crime. Euthanasia can be defined as mercy killing, good/peaceful death or assisted suicide, but legally it is mostly treated as murder, particularly if there is no consent and the patient is comatose. There are two types of euthanasia, passive and active euthanasia. Ironically viewed as murder by the government, euthanasia is considered relief for some, and mostly the terminally ill, who wish to end their life without having to wait for it to occur naturally, or take matters into their own hands and commit suicide. These individuals usually turn to the Living Will documents, which set guidelines for life-sustaining medical procedures, often times requiring medical staff not to provide extraordinary life preserving treatments for the patients in case they are incapable of expressing themselves, and are suffering from a terminal illness like cancer, AIDS or any form of physical disability. The law prohibiting euthanasia has been battled for numerous years and yet has not been removed. The most severe case battled was the Sue Rodriguez case where Ms. Rodriguez, suffering from the terminal disease ALS fought for the right to legally end her life. The case was severely covered by the media, and Ms. Rodriguez gained sympathy from them, but unfortunately her case was rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada, still making the law prohibiting euthanasia a big issue in Canada. (Body) Euthanasia has many moral, legal and ethical concerns. If one desires to end their life they should be allowed to do as they please, and no one is entitled to have a say in the matter. No one but the individual knows what he or she is going through, and the physical, or psychological anguish their illness is causing. If someone is kept alive against their will it is considered torture, which is its turn, is often times considered a crime worse than murder. Euthanasia is the painless way someone suffering from a terminal illness can put end to their life, but legally it is considered a crime. Under section 14 of the Criminal Code of Canada it states that “No person is entitled to consent to have death inflicted on him, and such consent does not affect the criminal responsibility of any person whom death may be inflicted on the person by whom consent is given,”¹ followed by section 241 which states that “Everyone who counsels a person to commit suicide or aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.”² Although illegal, physicians do practice euthanasia by either removing their patient from life support or administering a lethal dose of drugs at a monitored pace to induce a rather slow but peaceful death. This practice is breaking of the medical profession’s Hippocratic Oath that states “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.” ³ Following the oath, doctors are also required under legal obligation to make sure patients are prevented from harming themselves, if risks of suicide do exist. On the other hand, Canadian citizens have a basic right of refusal to medical treatment as well as they have the right to decide what sort of medical treatment they accept or reject. As a result the battle of pro...
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