The report will also outline the group of people involved in this issue and the differing arguments/opinions related to the debate on legalisation of Euthanasia. Euthanasia is a growing political and moral debate that continues to become a major headline in today’s media (Wikipedia, 1996). Euthanasia otherwise known as “assisted suicide” is the attempt to take away the life of someone who suffers from severe medical problems. This has resulted in many accusing the legalisation of Euthanasia as having a negative impact on the society.
Meanwhile, there are also others who believe that the legalisation of Euthanasia is beneficial for terminally ill patients and their families. While a large group in the society believe that the legalisation of Euthanasia brings a negative impact both socially and morally, there are also others who view the step of legalising Euthanasia as a beneficial step for terminally ill patients and their families.
The main participants involved in this debate are the terminally ill atients, their families, the medical practitioners, as well as members of the society who view the legalisation of Euthanasia as a negative impact towards society and other who are in support of legalising Euthanasia.
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Arguments against legalising Euthanasia 5. 1. 1 There is an alternative to Euthanasia in terms of its purpose A large number of doctors are against the idea of Euthanasia.
The main reason being that they feel there is a better alternative to Euthanasia in terms of its purpose. Dr.Ravenscroft (2006) supports this view by stating that he feels terminally ill patients should be given palliative care. This would help them to reduce their sufferings as well as gives them a sense of support. He believes that palliative care would lessen pain and make the patient feel comfortable whereas Euthanasia could cause them distress. Wright (2011) has argued that most families of terminally ill patients would rather have the patient undergo palliative care as this gives the patient some form of hope and sense of belonging.
Furthermore, research also shows that 85% of terminally ill patients who are given palliative care live at least 6 months longer than expected. (Palliative Care Australia, 2005) 5. 1. 2 Violation of the Hippocratic Oath Kass (2005) quoted that “The prohibition against killing patients… stands as the first promise of self-restraint sworn to in the Hippocratic Oath, as medicine’s primary taboo: ‘I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect’” He claimed that legalising Euthanasia would mean that doctors are going against the fundamental principle of the Hippocratic Oath.
He believes that the main value restraining a physician from performing Euthanasia is not the choice of the patient but the pureness and elementary law of the Hippocratic Oath that confines a doctor from doing anything that will harm his patient’s life. Crippen (2010) concluded that most doctors find it disrespectful to perform Euthanasia as it means they have to go against their basic oath of being a doctor. They would rather perform their duties as a proper medical practitioner by best avoiding the step of Euthanasia. 5. 2 Arguments for legalising Euthanasia . 2. 1 Opportunity to have a painless death The legalisation of Euthanasia would allow terminally ill patients an opportunity to experience a painless death. Brock (1992) wrote that “One last good consequence of legalizing euthanasia is that once death has been accepted, it is often more humane to end life quickly and peacefully, when that is what the patient wants” He believes that in most cases when a patient is terminally ill, he or she would rather experience a painless death full of dignity than have palliative care.
This is probably because the patient would rather die peacefully than experience a period of excruciating pain and depression. Dr. Maisie (2012) has argued that in most cases, terminally ill patients wish to end their life as a step to end their sufferings and reduce the family’s burden. In countries where Euthanasia is legalised such as Belgium, patients often state in their wills that they wish to be euthanatized in the case where they end up being terminally ill. 5. 2. 2 Government involvement in end-of-life decisions A reader wrote in Los Angeles Times (2005) that “We’ll all die.
But in an age of increased longevity and medical advances, death can be suspended, sometimes indefinitely, and no longer slips in according to its own immutable timetable” The reader said that decisions that involve an end-of-life situation for terminally ill patients should not be left to the government, judges or lawmakers. As a matter of fact, it is something that the family and loved ones need to collaboratively decide. The government should legalise for the family members of a terminally ill patient to ask for Euthanasia as sometimes, this would be the best option in such a situation.