PAP English P.6
Should Human Euthanasia Be Made Illegal?
Across the US, many states are still unsure wether to outlaw or allow euthanasia. Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering. It’s also referred to as physician assisted suicide (PAS). Physician aid in dying, or assisted suicide, is already legal in the states of Washington DC, California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington state. The main motivation for PAS is not pain; the dominant motives are loss of dignity, autonomy, and being less able to enjoy life’s activities. I think human euthanasia should stay legal/ become legal in all US states.
A person has the right to choose if they want to live or die. Nobody should be forced to live if when they’re miserable and suffering. Neither the law or medical ethics requires that everything has to be done to keep a person alive. Against the patient’s wishes, that death be postponed by every means possible is contrary to law and practice. It would also be inhumane and cruel. There comes a time when repeated attempts to cure a patient are not wise, compassionate, or medically sound. That’s where hospice can be of such help. That is the time when all efforts should be placed on making the patient’s remaining time comfortable. All interventions should be directed to alleviating pain and other symptoms as well as emotional and spiritual support for both the patient and their loved ones. The idea of euthanasia is along the same lines.
If a person is completely able and aware of the choice they are making, it should be up to them wether they go through with it or not. Aid in dying is not an option for children, people with dementia or anyone else who lacks the mental capacity needed to make medical decisions. Aid-in-dying patients must be able to decide for themselves about their medical care, and they must reaffirm their desire for aid in dying over an extended waiting period. For example in many US states, aid-in-dying laws require patients to express their wishes multiple times during a 15-day period. Aid-in-dying laws in those states also require two different physicians to determine that the patient can make medical decisions, is acting voluntarily, and has made an informed choice of aid in dying. In addition, if either physician finds any evidence of a mental disorder, the doctor must refer the patient for evaluation by a mental health specialist. As a result, we have not seen aid in dying in the United States being practiced on patients against their will, without their knowledge, or because their families made the choice for them.
Often, the discussion revolves around the right to life; anti-euthanasia proponents argue that euthanasia infringes on a person’s fundamental right to live. What they fail to see is that our “life” as human beings implies death. Without death, we do not have “human life” by its very definition. Like two sides of a coin, human life cannot occur without death. Therefore for those that argue that every person has the fundamental right to live, they also unknowingly agree that every man has the fundamental right to die. Euthanasia causes no harm to others, it protects self-determination and dignity.
The central point I’m trying to bring up is this so-called “right.” What I’m talking about is not giving a right to the person who is killed, but to the person who does the killing. In other words, euthanasia is not just about all the right to die, It’s also very much about the right to kill. It’s not about giving rights to the person who dies but, instead, is about changing the law and public policy so that doctors, relatives and others can intentionally and directly end another person’s life. People have the power to commit suicide. Suicide and attempted suicide are not criminalized. Suicide is a tragic, individual act. euthanasia is not about a private act. It’s about letting one person facilitate the death of another. Euthanasia is a personal choice that a person has the right to make, and should therefore stay legal and or become legal everywhere.