Euthanasia is a relatively touchy subject and everyone has their own opinion on it. For me, I am pro-euthanasia and I believe that an individual’s right to autonomy and freedom of choice, euthanasia should be legalized in all the states. It is only fair to give someone that right because death is a private matter and should not be controlled by others.
If a person autonomously chooses to end his or her life or have someone else assist them in doing so, it should be allowed. One should be free to do so as long as no harm is done to others. Moreland goes farther and gives an argument dealing with autonomy stating “Since biological life is not the real, moral issue, then life is not intrinsically valuable or sacred simply because it is human life.” He goes on saying that the more important aspect would be biological life, which deals with autonomy (Moreland). There are many people who are stuck in hospital beds for months, even years, wired with tubes unable to move from where they lay. They slowly die in a long painful death unable to do anything, while family members watch in agony as their loved one withers away. What an undignified way to die, a slow painful death, too sad to watch. We can prevent this if euthanasia was in place. Euthanasia can quickly and humanely end a patients suffering allowing them to die with dignity (Euthanasia). Not only does this help patients die a more painless death, it also can help shorten the grief and suffering or the patients loved ones.
Illness can take away the ability to make choices leaving people with no quality of life. Euthanasia allows that person to take back the control in deciding whether to live or to die (White). A different way to see it is to compare it to our animals. Most people would have their pets put down if they were suffering. It would be unbearable to watch your pet slowly die, rather than having a quick death. Why can’t the same thing happen with humans? It is almost like animals get a special treatment compared to us. The argument of mercy is when a person is allowed to terminate his or her life in an act of kindness (Moreland). Is it morally wrong to kill someone who is terminally ill? I will give you another scenario to think about. “A patient has disseminated cancer, cannot move in his bed for pain, cannot eat because of nausea and has difficulty breathing because of the restrictive effect of a large quantity of intra-abdominal fluid” (Gillett 62). If the man is begging to be killed, would you not? The argument of mercy would prove that this is cruel and inhumane. A quiet painless way to die from a fatal injection is better than being in pain from an affliction, also known as the golden rule (Moreland).
Freedom of choice is as American as the bald eagle but yet do we all really have that type of freedom? My answer is a big no. Only three states have euthanasia in place and they are Oregon, Washington, and Montana. But even in these three states it was almost impossible to be granted for euthanasia. The requirements that had to be satisfied before a request could be granted were so steep that only 2 people a month used this to end their lives (Pro Euthanasia Arguments). Some of these conditions included: patient must be terminally ill with a life expectancy of less than six months, both doctors must confirm that the patient is capable of making this decision, both doctors must confirm that the patient does not have medical condition that impairs their judgment, and patient must self-administer the lethal medication (Pro Euthanasia Arguments). Is regulating euthanasia impossible? I must admit it would be very difficult but it is indeed possible. Again take a look at the three states that have euthanasia.
Physical assisted suicide is usually what would happen to patients in hospitals if they cannot do it on their own. A doctor or nurse would inject the patient with a lethal dose causing them to die or some type of medication (Bourdeau). The terminally ill will get the rights they want and more control of their destiny. Euthanasia promotes the best interests of everyone concerned and violates no one’s rights (Moreland).
The last thing I wanted to talk about was that euthanasia does free up scarce resources in the hospital (Pro Euthanasia Arguments). Keeping loved ones alive in hospitals uses up a lot of money as well as resources the hospital has to provide. We can direct the equipment to someone else who has a better chance of living rather than a terminally ill patient who will be stuck in the hospital.
Euthanasia should be morally accepted and legalized in all states because of the freedom of choice that Americans have. The pain and suffering patients go through coupled with their loved ones seeing them in a shameful manner can all be stopped if euthanasia is passed. Regulating euthanasia should not be too much of a challenge as well since we do have a few states that already have it. The scarce resources that are used to keep the terminally ill barely alive can be used to help aid others live a better lifestyle. In general euthanasia should be looked at as a right we all have considering we are fully autonomous. If one has the right to life does one not have the right to death?
Bourdreau, Donald, MD. “Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.” The Permanente Journal. N.p., Fall 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. . “Euthanasia.” Rsrevision. N.p., 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. . Gillett, Grant. “Euthanasia, Letting Die and the Pause.” JSTOR. N.p., June 1988. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. . Moreland, J. P. “Euthanasia Arguments.” CRI Euthanasia Arguments Comments. N.p., 17 Apr. 2009. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. . “Pro-Euthanasia Arguments.” BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. . Smith, Candance. “Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Topic of Growing Importance.” The Society Pages. N.p., 31 July 2012. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. . White, Hilary. “British Medical Journal Campaigns for Legalized Euthanasia.” LifeSiteNews. N.p., 18 June 2012. Web. 16 Nov. 2012. .