Euthanasia in Public Opinion and Policy-Making | Free Essay Example

Euthanasia in Public Opinion and Policy-Making

Words: 610
Topic: Health & Medicine

Regardless of the context or setting, the topic of euthanasia has always been a controversial one. On the one hand, its proponents argued that euthanasia could be a solution for people diagnosed with terminal diseases that want to avoid the pain and suffering associated with it. On the other hand, the opponents held the view that euthanasia is a crime against human nature and should never be allowed regardless of the consequences; importantly, the religious argument about the sanctity of life has usually dominated the discussion about euthanasia being unacceptable.

Arguments in Support

To raise awareness about euthanasia, it is essential to go into better detail on whether or not it should be accepted in the society and become legal. First, the pro-view will be discussed. Those people who support the deliberate actions to advance someone’s death usually argue that euthanasia is a choice that patients can make to relieve their suffering (“Do you agree or disagree with euthanasia or mercy killing?,” 2017). For them, it is clear that any actions targeted at assisting in someone’s death are done for the purpose of relieving the burden or a terminal condition not only to save healthcare resources but also prevent patients and their relatives from watching the progression of the disease that will inevitably lead to death.

When it comes to exploring euthanasia in the context of human rights, the pro argument suggests that choosing to die is a matter of privacy, and if no harm is caused to others, making a choice in favor of death is a right, especially in extreme situations. On the practical side, making euthanasia illegal does not prevent it; moreover, if it is accepted, euthanasia can be regulated and lead to the saving of healthcare resources to target them at those individuals whose conditions can be improved (BBC, 2014). The philosophical perspective on euthanasia suggests that compared to pain and suffering, death is not a bad thing and that in some instances, assisted suicide is implemented in the best interests of everyone involved and does not violate any rights.

Arguments Against

Those opposed to euthanasia as a mechanism for mercy consider it a homicide since it implies killing another individual despite the intentions behind it. Also, euthanasia is considered incompatible for palliative care, the key goal of which is never to accelerate or postpone death (“Arguments against euthanasia,” n.d.). While the proponents of euthanasia have always suggested that it was done in the best interests of everyone involved, the opponents overlooked this argument, giving a list of reasons as to why it could not be true.

An example of this is the suggestion that a patient may have received a wrong diagnosis and would not die quickly or that the quality of care was so poor that it worsened patient outcomes. Moreover, the opponents considered euthanasia a cry for help, which had to be answered with support, treatment, and emotional relief rather than assisted suicide. Overall, those who oppose euthanasia as a way to relieve the pain and suffering among patients believe that its legalization (or acceptance in even the most extreme cases) will not save resources or relieve the burden of disease but encourage the vulnerable to choose death over life, increase suicide rates, lower the beliefs in the healthcare system, and contribute to the decline of care.

Concluding Remarks

Raising awareness of euthanasia is important not only because of the ongoing debate but also because of the topic’s complexity and relations to individual cases. There is the lack of consensus between the public and policymakers regarding allowing euthanasia to be an option, which means that further considerations are needed to resolve the debate.


Arguments against euthanasia. (n.d.). Web.

BBC. (2014). Pro-euthanasia arguments. Web.

Do you agree or disagree with euthanasia or mercy killing? (2017). Web.