This essay will cover arguments for and against Euthanasia. Euthanasia is when someone decides to end their lives voluntarily. They may have a terminal illness and think that their life is no longer worth living. The act of Euthanasia is illegal in Australia and any person who assists in it can be charged with assisting or abetting. Arguments for Euthanasia include: we should respect people’s wishes, we should let people end their life amongst loved ones, and euthanasia is financially cheaper than prolonging life. Arguments against Euthanasia include: we should preserve life and if legalized Euthanasia will lead to other problems. Finally, an important question in the Euthanasia debate is, why is capital punishment legal (in some countries) but Euthanasia is not.
The first argument for Euthanasia is that we, as humans, should respect other people’s wishes. If someone feels their life is not worth living any more and has thought carefully about ending their life then we should respect this decision. People need to make decisions in their life according to their own conceptions, beliefs and feelings about where they want their lives to go. People take responsibility for their own lives and since dying is a part of life, the choices people make about dying (ending their life) should be part of these responsibilities. Most people are concerned at some time in their life about how their life will end. If someone plans the way they will die and they are comfortable with it then they should be allowed to do so.
The second argument for Euthanasia is that people should be able to end their lives surrounded by loved ones. As said in the first argument, many people worry about how their lives will end. If someone feels their life is not worth living anymore then they should be able to end their lives with their loved ones around. If a person had a terminal illness and could die at any time there may not be anyone around to say goodbye to, it would be a terribly lonely death. Surely if someone had planned their death with loved ones around to say final words and goodbye it would be a much better way to die. If the ‘loved ones’ did not have a problem with the person doing so then who else could it affect and make such a big issue about.
The final argument for Euthanasia is that it is cheaper. What this means is that the cost of keeping a person alive against their will would be more expensive than letting them die. The financial cost of long term medical and nursing care is very expensive. Legalising euthanasia would remove the need to spend money on this type of care and free up money that can be spent elsewhere. This is a rather heartless argument, but when you are arguing such a strong case these arguments can be needed.
The first argument against Euthanasia is that we should preserve life. This argument is mainly to do with religious beliefs. Many Christians believe that God should be the only one to take life away, since he gave life to us. It is felt that Euthanasia would remove the act of taking a life from God to humanity. In Christian religion any form of suicide is considered immoral. The fifth commandment states that ‘thou shall not kill’ this sums up the Christian argument quite well.
The second argument against Euthanasia is that if euthanasia is legalised many people will make the wrong decision. It is feared that unscrupulous family members or doctors will persuade the person in question to take their life against their will. Some people believe there is nothing logically inconsistent in supporting voluntary euthanasia but rejecting non-voluntary euthanasia is morally inappropriate. For example if someone is in a persistent vegetative state and their life is considered not worth living, but they have never expressed the wish die, then non-voluntary Euthanasia should not be enacted.
This final statement is more for euthanasia than against but it is merely a question. Why is capital punishment legal (in some countries) but Euthanasia is not? How can it be that a person who has done nothing wrong can not decide to take their own life but someone who has done something wrong can have their life decided upon by a different person or group of people.
In conclusion the Euthanasia debate is a very large one with many arguments, both for and against. This argument will probably not be solved for many years and even then a lot people will be displeased with the decision made. The arguments put across in this essay are very strong and go into a lot of depth when talked over in full. One last thing to think about is – Are we preserving life or postponing death?