It is known that over 1000 patients in the Netherlands were killed in 1990 without being informed about their autonomy (Christian Action Research & Education 1). It gives the impression that euthanasia is becoming more widely accepted as a public debate in reaction to terminal prognoses and the alleviation of suffering in patients and caregivers. However, because of the high importance put on life and the fact that humans are forbidden from ending it under Hippocratic law, the issue remains contentious (McEvoy 624). Aristotle, the great author, believed that a man in pain is only happy before he dies (Rollin 1081). The subject has drawn interest because, in many societies, certain inheritance rights that cannot be performed unless the subject is dead hence underscoring the need to uphold life. The subject has, therefore, not been satisfactorily agreed upon because of the discord between the balance of life and ending it when it is futile taking into account that strict ethical guidelines define the value of life.
The experience I have had interacting with people from varied backgrounds has made me realize that some people feel that it is a necessity. A compassion argument I have met several times had been that “we need it.” Supporters of the view alive that it is kinder to a patient when they are allowed to die rather than forcing them to struggle with life in pain and undergo suffering that is traumatic. To them, the assertion is that it entails dying with dignity. Others who have since supported this view have argued so from the basis of autonomy where they reason from the patient’s perspective (McEvoy 625). The phrase “we want it” has been a common statement from those who believe that the patient is at liberty to make the decision about what is best for them and have the right to choose when to die given their conditions.
From my research though, there is a unique group of individuals who do not have an absolute position but who insist that considering the opposing and consenting views, then we should be in a position to control it. Those holding onto this stand insist that other corporate institutions that could be tasked with this role to avoid the incidence where decisions are taken personally and interpreted subjectively. The most preferred option is the government, with proponents arguing that the legislation could be given the mandate of controlling euthanasia in case it creates the feeling of subjectivity. The belief that the government is made up of parties that will make a ruling based on the situation at stake. The notion has thus drawn public interest from the understanding that it constitutes a non-subjective stand that is meant to serve the interests of the patients based on the futility of the conditions they are suffering from.
However, a large majority of those who have been involved in the debate on euthanasia seem to be inclined to the idea that it is wrong to end life under any circumstances. The primary argument raised to support this view is that there are always alternative forms of treatment and the medical department can never exhaust all the options that are applicable. Palliative care and hospices are frequently cited as the options that could be used to prolong life rather than end it prematurely. The assertion that nearly all pain can be relieved has made some people uphold the view that there is no need of killing the patient in the process of killing the symptoms. It is the desire of this group of people that rather than the medical personnel portraying themselves as lazy in handling medical problems, they should instead exploit all the possible limits and exhaust all options to ensure that life is not lost.
The other strict stand that people uphold is on the legal perspective where it is affirmed that no one has the right to be killed. The primary concern that led to the position is that there is a real danger of slippery slopes that could result with the lack of definite grounds to place a limit becoming apparent (Somerville 1). As a result, counterarguments against euthanasia have defended that opening the doors to voluntary euthanasia will lead to non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia incidences that could be difficult to manage. Doctors will thus end up misusing the power when they are tasked with the mandate of deciding when a patient is worth living. The case is made in reference to the 1990 incidence in Netherlands when it was reported that at least 1000 patients were killed without having been informed about the decision (Christian Action Research & Education 1). It thus creates the impression that counterarguments are focusing on the possibility of medical professionals killing unlawfully without the patients’ consent.
There exists a different group of people, however, who have focused on the religious stand and quoted the Bible’s stand on the controversial topic as pertains the ending of life when it is futile. As it would be expected, religion holds strict guidelines that serve to protect human life and those who use it as a basis for defending the subject have focused on the understanding of human life, physical and emotional suffering and on the fact that compassion is not meant to kill (Christian Action Research & Education). The argument on human life maintains that we are made in the image of God and that human life is equally precious. It further contends that human suffering is unavoidable and it is thus not justified to end life prematurely regardless of the manifestation of the conditions. The third stand to justify the fact that religion protects life and disapproves euthanasia is that real empathy is not meant to kill the subject. It further affirms the idea that to prove that one is compassionate about a patient, they should opt for other medical options far from killing because that would be brutal.
In summary, it is acknowledged that the subject of euthanasia remains a controversial subject because of the huge debate that is apparent whenever the issue is raised. The proponents believe that it is benefitting to the patient to relieve them of their pain and that it is a necessity in certain times. However, the larger majority who counter the subject believe that not only is it unethical to the patient but it is also ungodly from the religious perspective. It thus remains an interesting subject whose course does not appear likely to lead to an absolute standpoint in the future.
Christian Action Research & Education. “Arguments For and Against Euthanasia.” Care Briefing (2010): n. pag. Web.
McEvoy, Patrick. “Euthanasia, Ethics, and the Gordian Knot :” British Journal of General Practice December (2015): 624–625. Web.
Rollin, Bernard E. “Commentary Commentaire Ethics and Euthanasia.” 50.October (2009): 1081–1086. Print.
Somerville, Margaret. “The Importance of Stories in the Euthanasia Debate.” Religion and ethics (2017): n. pag. Web.