The Legalization of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
The rights of Canadians have always been reasonably limited through section one of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There are constant discussions of the extent of one’s rights being limited as situations vary, including the allowance of actions such as euthanasia and assisted suicide. However, because some individuals oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, the issue has not been legalized. Society is always changing, and laws should reflect the present beliefs accurately.
Following strict guidelines in order to reach the decision, euthanasia and assisted suicide should be legalized because of the possibility of controlled regulation, the absence of societal harm, the right of personal choice. The legalization of acts such as euthanasia and assisted suicide should not be taken lightly; there should be several conditions associated in order to provide satisfaction to both the supporting and opposing parties. These conditions include the acknowledgement of both parties affected by the decision of euthanasia or assisted suicide, consideration of other possible actions, and government regulation.
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The patient’s consent should be the most important factor when deciding whether or not euthanasia and assisted suicide is acceptable. However, the option of asking the patient is not always available, as the patient may be in a vegetative state. Family members should have second priority in this case, and evidence should be present to justify reasoning. However, the process of euthanasia should only proceed with the consent of medical professionals. A jury of doctors with extensive knowledge of the illness should have a unanimous decision on the case at hand, providing evidence for justification of reasoning.
Other possible actions should also be considered, such as financial support and near future discoveries in health and welfare. Lastly, the approval of the Canadian government from the medical evidence provided will authenticate the legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide for the particular case. These conditions will allow for the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide, while addressing the issue in an ethical manner. Firstly, with the conditions in mind, euthanasia and assisted suicide should be legalized because of possible government control.
A common problem that arises with euthanasia and assisted suicide is the monitoring process. Anti-euthanasia arguments state that there is a fear of the abuse of power by medical professionals (Rodriguez v. British Columbia, par 13). This could be solved with governmental regulation, which opponents of euthanasia believe is not possible. However, this is indeed possible, but requires large amounts of governmental dedication. By following the procedure as outlined in the conditions, the issue of abuse of power by medical professionals is reduced to a minimum.
Government involvement can authenticate the evidence submitted, and provide justified reasons on the allowance or disallowance of a particular euthanasia or assisted suicide case. The reasons would have to be based on the severity of the medical condition, the consent of all parties affected, and possible alternative solutions that are available in the present or near future. These steps can be treated as procedural law, which can be further enforced in the legal system, ensuring that the process of euthanasia or assisted suicide is done in a humane way.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide measures can be regulated by the government, but would require continuous support (Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, Regulating euthanasia, par 1-3). Secondly, the act of euthanasia or assisted suicide would provide no harm other than to those directly affiliated with the case. The parties affected would include the patient, the family of the patient, and possibly medical professionals (Euthanasia, What would good regulations look like? , par 11).
In a liberal perspective, euthanasia should be legalized because only those that are direct involved will be harmed. However, these parties also agree on euthanasia or assisted suicide, and it is in the best interest of everyone to pursue on the action. This will lessen the burden of the parties involved, and promote relief because action has been taken. From this perspective, the relief associated with euthanasia or assisted suicide balances the emotional harm done, resulting in minimal damages to those affected.
Nonetheless, there is a growing concern of the effect of euthanasia and assisted suicide on society. Opposing arguments state that the allowance of such acts will create a precedence that is a slippery slope, which ultimately brings forth the idea of legal murder (Top 10 Pros and Cons Should euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide be legal? , par 3). As a result, individuals that may not necessarily be in severe medical conditions will turn to euthanasia and assisted suicide as treatment options.
Furthermore, the opposition of euthanasia and assisted suicide fear that general accounts of murder will soon be legalized (Top 10 Pros and Cons – Euthanasia, par 5). A solution to this, however, would be the involvement of the government, which would have a large role in mandating the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The government would have the responsibility of addressing the public about the extreme cases where euthanasia and similar actions would be legal.
Murder is still a criminalized act, but with concrete evidence and thorough justifications that explain the reasoning behind certain decisions, euthanasia and assisted suicide should be exempted. Only through these conditions would euthanasia be allowed, in a measure to control and ensure the public that drastic actions are not being taken. Acts of euthanasia do not harm society other than those affected, and even so, the damage is greatly reduced (Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, Libertarian argument, par 1-3).
Lastly, all individuals are entitled to the right of personal choice, which includes the right to live. Many accounts of euthanasia and assisted suicide include the infringement of rights as shown on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. By denying individuals the choice of euthanasia and assisted suicide procedures, a violation of the right to life occurs (Butler, pg 6). Ultimately, the decision to end one’s life should be the individual’s choice. In Canada, suicide is legal, and assisted suicide requires aid of medical professionals in order for it to happen.
Even with its legalization, arguments have been brought up that state the longing for death violates one’s personal right of life (Gormally, par 6). In religious views, the decider of life should be God, and in secular views, the action of euthanasia will affect the family members of the patient. However, not all individuals are religious. Secular individuals see themselves as independent from sacred content. The mourning of the family members affected also prove the importance of having strict conditions that must be met
before euthanasia can occur. It is necessary for families to understand the pain of being incapable of living a normal life. The interpretation of “right to life” is also crucial in order to understand the reason behind pro-euthanasia arguments. The right of life includes the right to be alive, and in this context, the right to die. Subjecting to euthanasia and assisted suicide is addressing one’s right to decide whether they wish to die, and under what circumstance.
Regardless of the definition of rights, there is also the issue on the value of a human being. By going to euthanasia as an alternative treatment option, the dehumanization of a person based on medical conditions occurs. However, this can be argued. By accepting the individual’s choice to proceed with euthanasia, there is actual acknowledgement and respect for the individual. It shows the understanding of the hardship that the patient is experiencing, and that they will die in a dignified way in their perspective.
With the patient’s consent as stated in the conditions for the legalization of euthanasia, the patient should be allowed the option of euthanasia or assisted suicide because of their overall right to control their life(Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, People have the right to die, par 1-12). Euthanasia and assisted suicide should be legalized because it is controllable by governmental means, it causes no harm to those that are unaffiliated with the euthanasia process, and it should be up to the individual to choose whether or not euthanasia is appropriate.
However, with this said, euthanasia should only be possible with consent of all the parties affected, consideration of alternative possibilities, and dedicated governmental involvement. Governmental regulation is crucial for the success of legalizing euthanasia, as it is a measure to satisfy both pro-euthanasia and anti-euthanasia individuals. Without governmental enforcement, the legalizing of euthanasia and assisted suicide may result in a slippery slope in the direction of legalizing murder.