Euthanasia or mercy killing is a moral act done out of duty to those in suffering or an act for self-benefit under cover of morality or is it opening door to many illegal issues in the society.

Euthanasia should never be legalized in any of its forms else it will be practiced in all cases even where consent of a patient is not taken into account, for personal benefits by relatives, health insurance companies or the state.

Meaning of the word Euthanasia:

The word Euthanasia is taken from a Greek word meaning “good or happy death”. Narrowly speaking it is equivalent to killing so in these terms if allowing a person to die is not killing than its not euthanasia. By considering this we can conclude that allowing someone to die can be moral but killing someone which comes under euthanasia is wrong. In broader terms there are philosophers who say that not only acts of killing but also to allow someone to die comes under euthanasia .Therefore if allowing someone to die is not immoral than euthanasia should not be taken as wrong always it depends on the condition under which death is caused. In other words follow consequentialist theory by looking at the end and not the means by which it is reached. But in narrow terms or broader terms its one and the same thing.

Types of Euthanasia:

Active form {positive form}: refers to acts of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from incurable conditions or diseases. For example giving a lethal dose of medicine to kill a terminally ill patient.

Passive form: refers to an act of allowing a patient to die example not giving antibiotics to a terminally ill patient who has acquired pneumonia.

Those who take euthanasia in broader spectrum are in favor of both active and passive euthanasia.

Voluntary Euthanasia: refers to cases in which an adult competent patient requests or gives consent to a particular course of treatment or non-treatment for instance patients who in sensible states of minds take their own lives directly or by refusing some form of treatment also include case where people allow their relatives to take decision on their behalf regarding their lives.

Non voluntary euthanasia: A non-voluntary decision about death refers to cases in which decision is not made by the person who is to die for instance when patient cannot make their own

decision as they are not in their sensible state of mind either comatose or in vegetative states due to an accident or any other disease, unconscious with irreparable brain damage and on mechanical life supports.

Those who take euthanasia in narrow terms there are 4 possible kinds of death decisions:

  • Voluntary euthanasia
  • Non voluntary euthanasia
  • Voluntary allowing to die
  • Non voluntary allowing to die

First two are taken as immoral last two can be taken as justified.

For people who take euthanasia in abroad term there are again 4 forms

  • Voluntary active euthanasia
  • Non voluntary active euthanasia
  • Voluntary passive euthanasia
  • Non voluntary passive euthanasia

General Arguments:

Against euthanasia:

1-One should not interfere in the doings of God: As God has a purpose to everything.

Counter point:

A person in favor of it usually says how one can be sure of what god wants or what god has in His mind. God has given us intellect to make one’s life as better as possible. Man with his knowledge has made advancements in medicine to cure certain diseases thinking in this context one should not even treat an illness thinking it’s against GOD’s will. This is definitely not the case as by practicing euthanasia we will be going against the nature. Life is a gift of God and it should be taken as a blessing rather than to end it if it becomes burdensome.

2-No surety of the fact that one’s consent is voluntary: maybe someone has agreed to give up life just out of emotions but she/he doesn’t mean it in real.

Counterpoint:

People argue that in most of the cases where people are suffering from incurable disease voluntarily requests to take their lives.

But people going through illness are some times in a confused ,disoriented state, may have hearing problems or psychiatric illness can we be sure that by requesting to take away their lives they mean euthanasia or they are just being emotional or misinterpreting the consequences of their consent.

3-Mistaken diagnosis: It’s been seen that there is always the probability that doctor’s diagnosis can be wrong so to take one’s life just based on doctor’s diagnosis is not correct.

Counterpoint:

Mostly doctors are not wrong in their diagnosis it’s very less a chance that they are wrong about incurable illnesses.

But what if they are wrong as there is always a chance to misdiagnosis and if your case falls in it then one would be a fool to give away their life just because it’s a high probability that one may have the incurable disease.

4-Allowing euthanasia may be used in wrong ways: by allowing voluntary euthanasia we will open a door to non-voluntary euthanasia as well. People who are very old and it’s difficult to look after them, invalid, disable children all will be given up for euthanasia which will cause moral injustice in the society at large.

Counterpoint:

Voluntary death decisions could only be allowed and make strict rules to practice it so that involuntary death decisions are restricted.

In many cases we can’t distinguish between voluntary and in voluntary euthanasia so there is always a chance that we misjudge things.

5-Life is precious and one should preserve sanctity of life:

Counter point:

Everyone has personal rights to decide to live or give-up life.

By saying this we are allowing suicides in society. If suicide is not taken as a good act then how can we take euthanasia in good terms? People are not allowed to take their own lives in their hands. Life is bestowed upon us by God almighty and however painful it is we all have to live through it that’s part of bargain where there are good times there are bad times as well.

5-Improvement of Palliative care:

When people will not be allowed to do euthanasia naturally many pharmaceuticals will try to invent new drugs to find out cure of a certain illness which will bring improvement in health care and will open up new possibilities for the treatment of incurable diseases.

Counter point:

For old and invalid individuals nothing can bring a change accept that they are blessed with a new life which is not humanly possible in any way so voluntary euthanasia should be allowed to those old and ill who have no hope for any technology or medicine to cure them.

God only knows when a life will end who are we to end a life thinking it to have reached its end.

My Point of view about Euthanasia:

I am against euthanasia because:

1-Euthanisa would not only be for people who are terminally ill:

It will become permissible for those as well who are not seriously ill as anyone who will not be willing to endure pain will ask for euthanasia.

2-Doctors are those who cure a life not who takes it away:

Because to me doctors are there to save lives and cure people .They may ease suffering of an ill but by killing one’s life in order to escape him from the suffering is not morally correct. It will generate serious issues in the society.

3-Euthanasia can become a way of health care cost containment:

By allowing euthanasia people will start using it for their benefits. Old, senile people who are difficult to be taken care off will be put for euthanasia to help their families save money from paying their hospital bills.

Disable, abnormal, mentally retarded infants or children will be given off by parents for euthanasia to ease the suffering of the child as well as to save the family from the burden of the child’s treatment costs.

In order to save the charges a Government has to pay for the ill, disabled, old persons, the state or government will start putting them for euthanasia.

Insurance companies in order to get off a heavily insured terminally ill patient would be in favor of euthanasia so that they don’t have to pay for that person unlimited hospital bills.

4-Euthanasia will become non voluntary:

Organizations working for organ transplantation will play a vital role in putting people to euthanasia to get their organs for transplantation. People who will not voluntarily want to die regardless of their illnesses would also be given for euthanasia to obtain their healthy organs.

Counter arguments:

People in favor of euthanasia usually say that voluntary euthanasia will not lead to involuntary euthanasia but many times there are certain cases where we can’t judge things as clearly as they seem to be for instance if a patient is too old to understand and hear what a person is asking for how can he be taken as a sensible person when he is asked his consent for euthanasia .Moreover if a women going through depression is being encouraged to commit suicide and some doctor is assigned to make up her mind for it then how can we judge whether it was a voluntary euthanasia out of the ladies own will or something which she was encouraged to do y her practitioner.? There will be unlimited problems if euthanasia will be legalized in any of its form.

It is actually an issue in which if something prohibited is being legalized in one condition is taken to be legal in other cases as well over time and in the end it becomes difficult to decide that to what extent something was allowed .For instance it was done in case of abortion. Because earlier it was only allowed if a mother’s life was at stake but with time the law was broadened to such an extent that now abortion is being done just because people don’t choose to have a child.