The question of human life value has always been actual. For centuries people have been trying to find a good and complete answer to it. An idea that life is a gift from some supernatural powers is very common, and that is why people have no right to make serious decisions about it. People are still arguing about their right to dispose of their own lives. That is why there is a great number of different debates around the question of euthanasia as its sense touches the main aspects of humans life.
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Definition of euthanasia
In order to hunt down the question better, it is necessary to give a good definition of euthanasia. “Euthanasia is the termination of a very sick person’s life to relieve them of their suffering” (“What is Euthanasia?” para. 1). Euthanasia is legalized in the Netherlands, Belgium, in different states of the USA, Luxemburg and some other countries. Definition of the term seems to be quite clear and understandable. However, it suggests rich soil for discussion and disputes.
First of all, it should be said that it is very difficult to determine whether it is time for a person to go. The second question lies in the field of conscience. If a person suffers from severe pain, it is difficult for him/her to give clear instructions. He cannot realize the situation completely and his/her wish to accept euthanasia can be based on an overwhelming desire to get rid of the pain. That is why in such situations his/her relatives should make decisions instead of a patient which is a difficult thing for them to do.
This issue becomes more complicated when the conversation drifts to the question of child euthanasia and whether parents have the right to determine their childs destiny or not. Child euthanasia is often compared with infant homicide. This comparison is done as a child cannot express his will and point of view on this problem. Children hardly ever think about death that is why this action can be called a murder.
Moreover, as a child does not understand the situation properly, all responsibility is in his/her parents hands. Having a suffering child that needs euthanasia is a great grief for parents that is why it is a serious issue to discuss. Usually, cost of treatment and quality of childs life are taken into account.
However, moral aspects and the problem of choice prevail in this question. People have to decide whether it is more humanly to save a childs life or to release him/her from sufferings. Child euthanasia is legalized in very few countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. There are a great number of other pitfalls which follow this issue.
Psychological and physiological aspects
Speaking about euthanasia, it is impossible not to mention some characteristics of this issue which should be taken into account. First of all, it should be said that the question of euthanasia has some psychological and physiological unique features. Psychological aspects are connected with the state of consciousness of a person which as he/she thinks needs this procedure and state of consciousness of his close people.
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We have already mentioned that it is difficult for a patient to recognize his/her real desire because of pain and suffering. Moreover, his/her desire to take this procedure can be based on his/her assurance that it will help to save his/her relatives from emotional suffering. That is why this desire cannot be taken for sure. The same deals with the patients relatives. Their desire can be influenced by the idea to cease suffering of their close people.
Physiological aspect is also complicated and closely coupled with the previous one. Constant and strong pain can influence the brain of a person and prevent him/her from making the right decisions. That is why his/her desire cannot be taken for granted. With this in mind, the decision of this question becomes patient relatives duty. Considering all the things mentioned above, it is possible to say that it is a very complicated question.
Most religions in the world are against euthanasia. Moreover, some of them forbid it absolutely. For example, the Roman Catholic Church is very active in its struggle against euthanasia. The same deals with Islam. It forbids all forms of suicide that is why this religion condemns this procedure. It is difficult to find a religion in the world, which is for this procedure. Buddhists say that request for euthanasia can destroy karma both of a doctor and a patient.
Moreover, according to this religion, a person should accept sufferings, and that is why request for euthanasia can be a sign of a bad state of a persons mind. The problem is that most religions consider human life to be sacred because God gave it and that is why it is not for people to cut it. That is why it is possible to say that the majority of religions strictly forbid this procedure (“Top 10 Pros and Cons” para. 9).
Being a very complicated issue, the question of euthanasia has its advantages and disadvantages. That is why it is necessary to analyze them in order to make reliable conclusions. The first obvious benefit of this procedure is the possible help tp a person in order to avoid long sufferings (Benjamin para. 4).
This statement is not new as even in ancient times people practiced euthanasia, killing badly wounded soldiers in order to help them avoid long agony. Another advantage of euthanasia is that a person can decide by his/her own whether his/her life should end or not (“Euthanasia -Pros and Cons of Mercy Killing” para. 5).
Adherers of this procedure say that people should respect this right of man and give him/her a chance to use it. They also underline the fact that euthanasia is a way in which an ill person can try to alleviate the suffering of his/her close people. It can be taken as his/her last attempt to take care of them; that is why a person should not be deprived of this chance.
Moreover, there is a bottom lined thought that usage of euthanasia could help to save much place in hospitals which nowadays are very overcrowded. People, voting for euthanasia say that it should be taken just like a usual procedure and some moral aspects should not be added. Moreover, usually people who find advantages in euthanasia are not very religious and they deny existence and right of some higher force to determine our life.
However, there are several significant reasons which underline the negative character of euthanasia and show its disadvantages. There is one disadvantage which results from a person’s desire to help his/her relatives to avoid suffering. This decision can become a real torture for a conscience of patients relatives.
They can blame themselves for not making some steps to prevent it. Another argument against euthanasia is that our life is priceless and disability or injury cannot reduce its value (“Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?” para. 1). This statement means that a person should not despair. He can obtain a lot of joy, living with his/her problems, though surrounded by closest people and having fun communicating with them.
Moreover, something can happen, and special treatment for a persons disease could be found. One more argument which opposing side of euthanasia gives is connected with the law. People say that the justice system of any state prohibits murders. Euthanasia is often taken as legalized murder.
That is why people accuse adherers of euthanasia of having double standards. It is strongly prohibited for a person to kill a man thought it is possible to do it with his/her approval. Taking it into account, euthanasia should be strongly prohibited as it is a way to legalize murder in a state.
Having analyzed the data, it is possible to make some certain derivations. First of all, it should be stated that the question of euthanasia is a very disputative issue which has its own adherers and opponents. It has been discussed for centuries and there is still no good answer to it. The reason is that it touches one of the main treasures and mysteries of humanity which human life is. That is why it is possible to state that there will not be one point of view on this question.
- Benjamin, Harry. “A Human Necessity”. The Nation.