Euthanasia has been debated for decades. There are many who support it and many who don’t. Should someone who is terminally ill or suffering be allowed to die willingly? Should anyone assist the ailing to fulfill that wish? Is it really mercy killing, assisted suicide or just murder?
These questions have cropped up whenever euthanasia has been discussed. Even today, there is no consensus. Most countries don’t have any law pertaining to euthanasia. Countries that do have a law which legalizes euthanasia are still debating if such a law should persist or if it should be amended, rolled back or left as it is.
Every coin has two sides and euthanasia too has its pros and cons. Here are the euthanasia pros and cons that you should take into account.
1. A person who is suffering has the right to choose what should be done with his or her life. He or she may choose to get treated and he also has the freedom to not choose treatment. If treatment is unavailable and a person is unable to bear the suffering, then it is his or her right to end the painful life. Ending such a life in a medically monitored manner is the most rational thing to do. Instead of people who are suffering immensely ending their lives in brutal or horrifying ways, it is better for a doctor and the person’s family to assist in the process. In simple terms of fundamental rights, a person has the right to decide what he or she wishes to do with his or her life. To question euthanasia would be to question if a person has the right to decide what should be done with his or her life. Unless that fundamental right is taken away, euthanasia makes sense.
2. Euthanasia has a moral advantage; however, it can be questioned when thought from a different perspective. By allowing a sufferer to die, who also wishes to end his or her life, the loved ones and even the medical fraternity and society at large is relieving the person of the pain and suffering. It is the right thing to do.
3. Euthanasia has far-reaching financial implications. Patients who are terminally ill or those who suffer from incurable diseases can choose to get medical attention but that would be eventually futile since the person will not be saved. One would simply prolong the life of suffering and pain while spending a lot of money. There are thousands of cases where a family has gone bankrupt to ensure medical care for a terminally ill person or to keep up the treatment for an incurable disease. Prolonging such lives would only lead to heartache, financial challenges and eventual futility. Instead, euthanasia allows peaceful death in a medically monitored environment. The person suffering would not suffer. The family or loved ones to be bereaved will not spend a fortune which would yield them no returns.
4. Euthanasia is also financially beneficial for a country or a nation’s economy. Every country spends a large sum of money on free medical care and for the wellbeing of the elderly and ailing. Those among the ailing who wish to end their life can be allowed to do so and that can save the nation a lot of money. It may be immoral to look at life and death from the perspective of a nation’s economy but it makes sense when one looks at the subsequent generations and the burden on the exchequer that is left by the ailing who could otherwise choose to opt for euthanasia.
5. Euthanasia can be very helpful in many ways. When people become old and especially when they suffer from terminal illness or incurable diseases, they still have vital organs which can be donated. If the person dies naturally and doesn’t manage to get the organs donated, then they are of no use. Wrong methods of suicide or prolonging the illness can also damage the vital organs which would be of no use. Euthanasia allows the patients to die under medical supervision and the healthy vital organs can be donated to those in need. This can pave the way for a much better world.
1. Euthanasia can be misused. Many psychiatrists are of the opinion that a terminally ill person or someone who is old and suffering from an incurable disease is often not in the right frame of mind to take a call. Such a person deciding to die may not be a rational call. Family members deciding on behalf of the patient can also lead to abuse of the law legalizing euthanasia.
2. There is always a chance of medical miracle which is not being accounted for when euthanasia is opted for. A person may not suffer forever as is expected in certain situations. A person may get better and that possibility is completely rejected when euthanasia comes into the picture.
3. Doctors have misused euthanasia in the past. There’s no certainty that certain sections of the society, including doctors, will not abuse the law or the provisions.