Assisted Suicide: Good or Bad?

Assisted suicide continues being a greatly discussed topic across the globe. It is referred to as the process by which someone helps another person in taking the life of the latter to relieve his or her pain and suffering. For example, euthanasia can be explained in a circumstance where a doctor gives a patient with a terminal illness an overdose or gets him or her out of life support. Assisted suicide takes different forms including active and passive euthanasia. The former involves the use of force to kill a person with a terminal illness (Rachels, 2007). The latter occurs where doctors withhold medications that sustain the life of a patient. Euthanasia can also be voluntary where it is conducted with the consent of the ill individual, while involuntary euthanasia is where the patient is not involved. Various nations have different views on if euthanasia is right or wrong. Some people explain that it is against religious beliefs, doctor’s ethics and general view of life (Pesch, 2015). Others argue that people have the freedom to choose what they want thus euthanasia is right. Due to factors such as religious beliefs, medical ethics and value of life, euthanasia is bad and should be illegal in all nations across the world.

Arguments against Assisted Suicide

Religious Argument

Different religions condemn assisted suicide, because they teach about the value of life. According to various religions such as Christianity, life comes from God and should only be taken by God (Gielen, van den Branden, & Broeckaert, 2009). Religious teachings expound that the process of birth and death encompass life thus should be respected. Due to the great value of life given by God, no human being has the right to take the life of another person.

Euthanasia is still described as killing although it is conducted to relieve a person of suffering. According to different religions, killing is against the commandments. Therefore, it is clear that euthanasia breaks the teachings of diverse faiths. Christians consider the process of assisted suicide as breaking one of the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God that says “Do not kill” (Pesch, 2015). Different religions are also against euthanasia, because it intervenes with the process of dying. It is believed that during death, the spirit goes back to God leaving the body behind. By conducting euthanasia, it is assumed that humans interfere with God's plan on when He needs the soul back to Him.

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Different religions are also against euthanasia, because it demeans the value of the life. It is believed that the life of human beings is highly significant, because they were created in the likeness and image of God (Pesch, 2015). Being created in God’s image does not mean that God is a human being but rather depicts the value of human life. Most religions advocate for preserving lives even when the ill people are undergoing extreme suffering. It is assumed that the process of euthanasia shows that a person’s life is not worthwhile, giving no meaning to life.

Lastly, various religions teach that life of every individual is equally important despite his or her income, race, color, age and health condition. Therefore, conducting euthanasia is regarded wrong, because it proves that human life is only valuable when a person is not suffering (Gielen et al., 2009). Different religions are against assisted suicides and explain that regardless the health condition or income status of an individual, human life should always be protected. The issue of age is also discussed in religious arguments. People claim that the value of a child’s life is as important as the life of an old person. Various religious arguments condemn the use of euthanasia to relieve patients of pain, by insisting that human life is of a great value.

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Slippery Slope Argument

The slippery slope argument is strongly against euthanasia, because it considers the discussed process an evil that results in other evils. The slippery slope claim explains that once a therapeutic service provider and administration begin assisting suicides among its particular patients, a line that ought to have never been crossed is crossed and a perilous point of reference is set (Pereira, 2011). It is argued that some states only start by allowing voluntary euthanasia and with time it steadily changes the nations’ mentalities to incorporate non-deliberate and involuntary euthanasia. Allowing assisted suicides is also explained to have some adverse effects in the future. Some of the implications include the issue that all individuals who require constant care or people with extreme inabilities may feel constrained to ask for deliberate extermination, so they are not a burden to their family. Allowing euthanasia makes the patients suffering from terminal illnesses consider the practice to avoid causing much suffering to their families. The slippery slope argument also goes against euthanasia, because it results in slow or no studies or research conducted on terminal illnesses. Through legalizing assisted suicides, researchers of terminal diseases find a “better” and easier way to help relieve their patients of their suffering. Lastly, euthanasia is regarded as a bad practice, because it may result in the death of some people who have been wrongly diagnosed with terminal illnesses. Specialists may often be gravely mixed up about a patient's condition or may incorrectly diagnose a person with a deadly disease resulting in euthanasia. It is thus clear that there are many adverse effects of euthanasia, and it should be illegalized.

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Medical Ethics Argument

Euthanasia is considered a bad practice, because it goes against the medical ethics to promote life. The medical ethics expresses that allowing assisted suicide would abuse a standout amongst the most imperative therapeutic morals. The International Code of Medical Ethics claims that “A specialist should dependably remember the commitment of saving human life” (Nunes & Rego, 2016). Allowing doctors to break their promise to save a human life could also lethally harm the persistent specialists’ relationship with the patients. By legalizing euthanasia, doctors risk becoming hardy and less caring about their patients (Rachels, 2007). Suicides assisted by physicians results in the doctors having an absence of sympathy when managing elderly, impaired patients, and individuals with critical conditions. Lastly, euthanasia results in patients losing trust in their doctors. Ill people have the idea that their doctors may kill them just to ease their work.

Alternative Argument

The alternative argument is against euthanasia and claims that it should be illegal. It states that with good health care services, patients suffering from terminal illnesses do not have to go through intolerable pain (Math & Cheturvadi, 2012). With the development of technologies, new pain relief medications and therapies are developed to help people suffering from terminal disease go through their conditions. The alternative argument claims that euthanasia is the worst mechanism that can be used to relieve patients of their suffering, because it causes even more pain to their families.

Counter Arguments

Ethical Argument

The moral argument has the idea that euthanasia is right and should be legalized, because everybody has the freedom of choice. The advocates of this view explain that as long as a person’s choice does not affect the rights of other people, it should be respected (Strinic, 2015). The argument does not care about the religious teachings on the value of life but insists on human’s freedom of choice. Therefore, some people support euthanasia and request for its legalization, because it provides an opportunity for a person to choose when and in which way to die.

Makes Economic Sense

Some people argue that euthanasia helps avoid expenses that could be controlled. They assume that people who are terminally ill spend a lot of money on life support yet it only adds them some few months of life (Morris, 2013). Individuals supporting euthanasia in the economic sense fail to understand that it is difficult for a family to let go someone they love on the grounds of money. When such instances occur, some family members get traumatized and think that if they had not withdrawn the life support, their terminally ill relatives might have recovered.

Avoids Cases of People Dying in Pain against Their Will

Some people support euthanasia, because it helps people with terminal illnesses get over the pain through merciful killing. They have the idea that assisted suicides should be legalized to help the individuals who cannot take the illness agony anymore (Strinic, 2015). Despite being considered a way of reducing pain, there are better methods that can help patients in extreme agony without killing them. Various medications and therapies are efficient in reducing pain caused by terminal illnesses.

Conclusion

As explained by various arguments including the medical ethics and religious views, euthanasia is a bad practice that should be illegalized across the world. Life is valuable, and no one but God should have the power to end a person’s life. Medical ethics ensures that the doctors always stand to preserve and protect life. By allowing euthanasia, healthcare practitioners break their code of ethics resulting in a weak relationship between physicians and patients. Despite the many negative outcomes of euthanasia, some people are still in support of it. Some individuals argue that assisted suicides provide patients with the freedom of choice and save on extreme costs spent on their treatment. Such arguments are shallow and do not look into the adverse effects of promoting euthanasia. Therefore, assisted suicides should be illegalized to respect the value of human life.

 

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