Euthanasia: The Controversy of the Problem

Introduction

Looking for a controversial topic in medicine, the most difficult aspect is not the topic on which the opinions were divided, but the topic which in itself is difficult to judge. Such topic is the issue of euthanasia. Euthanasia can be defined as any action performed with the purpose of putting an end to the life of a human being, and executed by a medical staff. In that matter, high morbidity rates along with an increase in chronic illnesses, many of which are incurable, make this issue of a particular interest and a subject of constant discussions.

The Arguments

The controversy of euthanasia lies in the fact that both supporters and opponents of euthanasia consider arguments that are incomparable within a single context, and in that sense, does not have unequivocal answer. Opponents of euthanasia consider this procedure antihuman, where justifications of such statement lie in known facts of patients’ recovery in desperate conditions. In regard to such cases, opponents argue that it is necessary to struggle for patients’ life, where the experience of pain and suffering can be the reason why people want to die, and thus, “when those symptoms are controlled, most patients would want to live.” (Verpoort et al.)

Another argument against euthanasia is fear of the consequences of its legalization, where it might lead to “involuntary euthanasia and to patients who are not ready to die or whose suffering could be alleviated by palliative medicine.” (Hendin).

Another point of view taken by euthanasia supporters is the apparent hopeless cases. They argue that if the patient is in consciousness, he fully acknowledges that there is little time left, and the pain is intolerable, then performing euthanasia is “a question of individual freedom and the right to choose the moment of death”, where the controlling euthanasia can be performed through “strict laws and awareness campaigns.” (“Euthanasia: The Debate Is Far from over; the Issue of Euthanasia Raises Difficult Questions, Both Moral and Legal. Who Has the Right to Decide When a Life Should End? When Pain and Suffering Take Hold in the Final Stages of an Illness, Is There a Right To “Death with Dignity”? Can the Law Play a Part in What Is an Intensely Personal and Spiritually Charged Issue?”).

The aforementioned argument can be viewed in the context of a consent and arrangement between the patient and the doctor, where “most right-to-die advocates today stress that they seek only the freedom of competent, terminally ill individuals to choose medical assistance in dying.” (Dowbiggin) The right to die in dignity is the most used argument in supporting euthanasia, where researches and surveys found that “a hopeless situation, in which a patient is no longer capable of continuing life in a humanly meaningful way, was the most important argument given by interviewees for justifying euthanasia.” (Verpoort et al).

Discussion

The controversy of euthanasia is not likely to be solved, regardless of the majority of opinions of the supporters and opposition. This issue has many dimensions where legal justification can oppose moral and vice versa, not to mention religious influence. In that sense, the position of the medical worker can be difficult where based on the country and its legislative aspects, the decision can go beyond medical and ethical responsibilities. The obvious point is that, at the current position, legalizing euthanasia will not lessen the amount of controversy surrounding it(Chaloner and Sanders), and in that sense will extend the gap between the supporters and opposition.

Conclusion

Summarizing the aforementioned, it can be said that the only way to judge upon such issues is not to consider separate cases. It can be seen that regardless of the relation to euthanasia, whether it is positive or negative, taking each case separately will be justified. On the other hand, making crucial decisions, such as legalizing euthanasia, should be carefully approached considering possible risks of abuse.

Works Cited

  1. Chaloner, Chris, and Karen Sanders. “Euthanasia: The Legal Issues.” Nursing Standard 21.36 (2007): 42-6.
  2. Dowbiggin, Ian Robert. A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America. 2003.
  3. “Euthanasia: The Debate Is Far from over; the Issue of Euthanasia Raises Difficult Questions, Both Moral and Legal. Who Has the Right to Decide When a Life Should End? When Pain and Suffering Take Hold in the Final Stages of an Illness, Is There a Right To “Death with Dignity”? Can the Law Play a Part in What Is an Intensely Personal and Spiritually Charged Issue?”. National 12.5 (2003): 28.
  4. Hendin, Herbert. “The Practice of Euthanasia.” The Hastings Center Report 33 (2003).
  5. Verpoort, Charlotte, et al. “Nurses’ Attitudes to Euthanasia: A Review of the Literature.” Nursing Ethics 11.4 (2004): 349-65.

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NerdyTom. (2022, March 6). Euthanasia: The Controversy of the Problem. Retrieved from https://nerdytom.com/euthanasia-the-controversy-of-the-problem/

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1. NerdyTom. "Euthanasia: The Controversy of the Problem." March 6, 2022. https://nerdytom.com/euthanasia-the-controversy-of-the-problem/.


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NerdyTom. "Euthanasia: The Controversy of the Problem." March 6, 2022. https://nerdytom.com/euthanasia-the-controversy-of-the-problem/.

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NerdyTom. 2022. "Euthanasia: The Controversy of the Problem." March 6, 2022. https://nerdytom.com/euthanasia-the-controversy-of-the-problem/.

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NerdyTom. (2022) 'Euthanasia: The Controversy of the Problem'. 6 March.

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