Legalizing Euthanasia

Supporters of legalizing euthanasia argue that the right to self-determination encompasses the right to choose how and when to die. “Keeping a person alive who wishes to die is not only an infringement of that person’s right but also an irresponsible use of resources”, (Mc Lean & Britton,1996). Life is ended for a compassionate reason by an active or passive step taken by another person or the individual whom is suffering from a terminal illness or agonizing pain with no hope recovery. Denying someone euthanasia obligates them to suffer and as long as the doctor’s intention is to relieve pain this practice should be legalized.

According to a meeting carried out by the British Medical association’s annual conference in Liverpool, there should be the introduction of a legislation to allow people who are terminally ill but mentally competent the choice of an assisted death or euthanasia. In addition, the law should not make it a criminal offence for the people who accompany those who make rational decisions to end their suffering. Therefore, to deny them this right is to prolong the suffering for individuals and their families Kailash Chand (2009).

Mc Lean and Britton (1996) also argue that because euthanasia is already taking place, it should be made legal so that it can be regulated and also treatment costs for lethal injections are very low compared to high costs of AIDS and cancer. Helping a person end his life may be difficult at first but the more it is done the easier it becomes. In other words, the line between what is and is not acceptable might become blurred Daniel (1997).

Euthanasia should be legalized in the United States because a terminally ill person has the right to decide whether to live or die. Someone can choose to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, eat an unhealthy diet and choose to not exercise, which will enviably lead to a shorter life expectancy as well as a terminal disease. However, none of these choices are illegal, uncommon or generally perceived as unethical. It changes their right to live to an obligation to live when you force someone who is essentially going to die a very slow and agonizing death to live. Therefore, denying someone euthanasia is to deny a person’s right to autonomy and it condemns them to suffering.

When it is in the best interest of severely incompetent patients, it is sometimes ethical for doctors to stop life sustaining treatments.for them, the continuation of treatment must be deemed to be of no medical benefit or too burdensome. Provided the circumstances are clinically warranted, doctors should be able to withdraw life sustaining treatment when they intend to accelerate death as well as to relieve suffering. If passively ending the life of the patient is legally and professional acceptable then involuntary active euthanasia should have the same status. (L Doyal, 200)

In conclusion, the only humane choice is to allow individuals who are suffering to choose to end their suffering. The goals of medical profession should continue to remain the one of saving lives but this should not be at the expense of compassion and terminally ill individual’s right to choose his or her life and die with dignity. Hence euthanasia should be legalized.