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Medical and Ethical Dilemma: Euthanasia Or Right to Die

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Euthanasia is the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. The practice is illegal in most countries. The issue of euthanasia still remains a hot topic in the medical ethics world but in the general public realm. Euthanasia should not be allowed in any part of the world.

The issue of taking one’s own life, in a matter pre-determined and assisted by medical staff runs counter to the teachings and tenets of the major faith groups. It is believed by many that life is a gift given by God the Creator to every human being. ‘Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily God hath been to you Most Merciful!’. Life cannot be unjustly taken away from another human being and life cannot be surrendered by anyone or one should not commit suicide which is viewed by many as a major sin. Euthanasia is thus viewed by major religions as against the word and will of God. “Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person”. Although God has given human beings free will, it is wrong to kill ourselves. Euthanasia or committing suicide is to deny God’s right and his rights over us for God to determine our length of life and how we die. “When their time comes, they cannot delay it for a single hour nor can they bring it forward by a single hour”. God is his infinite wisdom and plan, has provided for some value in suffering, the pain and suffering of an ill person may be good for the person and valuable to that person and to the persons caring for that sick person and the society as a whole. ‘…take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus, he does command you, that you may learn wisdom.’ 

Some suffering is perceived to be good in drawing a person closer to God and to the expiation of sins and for testing the person’s faith. “…those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!’. When all odds are against someone, a diagnosis, cure, or treatment could improve the health as a blessing from God in disguise so life should never be taken earlier than expected given that God is the best planner and would never put one in unbearable pain for which one cannot handle.

Another main issue in this is that a doctor’s main role and responsibility is to maintain and restore human health through the practice of medicine. Doctors have a responsibility and due diligence to do everything in their power to successfully treat patients. Therefore, assisting or facilitating the death of a patient runs contrary to this noble objective of the medical profession. It runs contrary to providing care and nursing a patient back to good health or doing one’s level and honest best to do so. Medical personnel may also suffer personal consequences and may have to be counseled or seek therapy after euthanizing a patient. “In response to general, open-ended inquiries, prescribing physicians offered comments such as: It was an excruciating thing to do, it made me rethink life’s priorities, this was really hard on me, especially being there when he took the pills and this had a tremendous emotional impact”. The right to die for a person should never imply the duty of a healthcare professional such as a doctor to kill.

In addition, the question may also be posed as what gives a human being the right to end one’s own life, even if they are going through difficulties and pain due to ill-heath and a cure is not in sight. “To seek death in order to escape from poverty, or the pangs of love, or from pain or sorrow, is not the act of a courageous man, but rather of a coward; for it is a weakness to fly from troubles, and the suicide does not endure death because it is noble to do so but to escape evil”. It has to do with the sanctity of life and the intrinsic value and personal dignity of life itself. The right to life must be guaranteed to every individual (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights). In many countries, killing another person is considered a homicide or murder, even if the intention is to relieve the pain of the sick and dying (for example, in the case of terminal illness).

With this being said, there are also a number of arguments in favor of Euthanasia. Some of these arguments are based on the rights of the person. A person has an explicit right to die when they feel or know they are facing an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. It is their choice to make that decision and nobody else’s. It is a private matter for that person and as long as it does not interfere with anyone else’s rights it should not be an issue. However, the right to die does impact the right of God, the Creator, the rights of those around the sick person (family, friends, health-care professionals), and the rights of society as a whole, as well as the right and sanctity of life itself. Religious people believe that the right to die belongs to God, not to the individual, as he has brought us into this world and only he will remove us from it. Some may also argue that allowing euthanasia will free up healthcare resources to those individuals that have a good chance of being successfully treated instead of spending resources on a “lost cause.” However, miracles and blessings do happen whether one believes it comes from God or just mere luck. Ending one’s life to free up resources goes against the equal treatment of humans since we should all be given medical attention and not be deprived because of another person’s condition. Some believe that euthanasia is compassionate and can be controlled and properly regulated but if euthanasia is allowed and takes hold in society, we will be on the slippery slope to a very bad situation. It could open the way to involuntary euthanasia whereby doctors have the power to decide which person’s life is no longer worth living. Vulnerable people who including the elderly, the depressed, and the poor could be pressured into requesting and early death, thus saving the hospital health care costs and money and freeing up hospital beds. It would give doctors and health care personnel too much power over patients and society.

All in all, not only is euthanasia giving people the right to have control over physicians assisting them in ending their life on a whim and putting doctors in an uncomfortable situation with regards to taking lives instead of treating them and all the psychological impacts of it, it is forbidden by the supreme being in all major religions. Euthanasia should not be allowed in any part of the world no matter what the situation may be.

Works Cited

  1. Itani, Talal. The Quran. ClearQuran, 2014. Print.
  2. “Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act: The First Year’s Experience.” Oregon gov. Department of Human Resources Oregon Health Division Center for Disease Prevention and Epidemiology, 18 Feb. 1999. Web. 30 Aug. 2019.
  3. Paul II, John. “Evangelium Vitae.” Evangelium Vitae, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25 Mar. 1995. Web. 1 Sept. 2019.
  4. “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” United Nations, United Nations, n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2019.

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Medical and Ethical Dilemma: Euthanasia or Right to Die. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/medical-and-ethical-dilemma-euthanasia-or-right-to-die/
“Medical and Ethical Dilemma: Euthanasia or Right to Die.” GradesFixer, 24 May 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/medical-and-ethical-dilemma-euthanasia-or-right-to-die/
Medical and Ethical Dilemma: Euthanasia or Right to Die. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/medical-and-ethical-dilemma-euthanasia-or-right-to-die/> [Accessed 29 Jun. 2022].
Medical and Ethical Dilemma: Euthanasia or Right to Die [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 24 [cited 2022 Jun 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/medical-and-ethical-dilemma-euthanasia-or-right-to-die/
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