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'Euthanasia should be legalised. Agree or Disagree?'

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Introduction

'Euthanasia should be legalised. Agree or Disagree?' Euthanasia is inducing a painless death, by agreement and with compassion, to ease suffering. There are also four different kind of euthanasia; active, passive, voluntary and involuntary. Active euthanasia means carrying out some action to help someone to die, whereas passive euthanasia is to not carry out actions which would prolong life. Thus with regards to the above, voluntary euthanasia is helping a person who wishes to die to do so and involuntary euthanasia is helping a person to die when they are unable to request this for themselves. It is argued on a yearly basis as to whether euthanasia should be legalised in the United Kingdom. There are several arguments in favour for the legalisation of euthanasia. In voluntary euthanasia, it's argued that it shows mercy for those suffering with pain and a disease with no cure, a view which Thomas More (1478-1535) supports. In his book Utopia (1516), More argued that when a patient suffers 'a torturing and lingering pain, so that there is no hope, either of recovery or ease, they may choose rather to die, since they cannot live but in much misery'. It is an opportunity to end needless suffering, one that we already offer to animals, thus should be offered to humans. Other advocates of voluntary euthanasia argue that it should be an option for an adult who is able and willing to make such a decision (autonomy). ...read more.

Middle

Thus from this view point euthanasia shouldn't be legalised due to the risk of misinformation or a failure to comprehend the situation which would leave the patient vulnerable to a decision that he or she might not truly want to make. There are also arguments against the legalisation of euthanasia due to the risk of mistake that may occur, as we can't be certain that they would be avoided. For example, someone chooses death because they have been diagnosed with a fatal, incurable and painful illness. Then, after the person has died, it is discovered that the diagnosis was incorrect. Therefore, in the legalisation of euthanasia, the diagnosis would have to be beyond a doubt and it is questionable about whether there can always be medical certainty about what the condition will entail and how long it will take to develop. Thus, being an area of doubt that could lead to irreversible mistakes, euthanasia shouldn't be legalised to safeguard people against this. Glover (1977) noted that people who feel they are burdens on their families sometimes commit suicide. Thus it may be possible that elderly relatives who think they are burdens to their families ask for voluntary euthanasia out of a sense of duty to the family. It's also questionable as to whether, on the other hand, they could be pressured into asking for voluntary euthanasia by their relatives. As an example, the conviction of Harold Shipman who, as a doctor, murdered elderly patients over a period of years shows the power of doctors. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, some argue that allowing a disabled baby to live is to disable a family. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (November 2006) urged health professionals to consider euthanasia for seriously disabled babies to spare the emotional burden of families bringing them up. Critics of this are concerned that the example of actively killing a baby or withdrawing treatment to bring about death develops a culture in which all disabled people are considered to be of less value and thus dispute as to whether or not this should be legal. Answers of these questions are also sought through religion. Questions such as what do we do for the person who is in a coma with no hope for recovery? How do we care for the terminally ill who is in a lot of pain? These questions can be answered by Christianity and Islam. In Christianity, biblical teachings forbid killing (Sixth commandment). They also say that life should not be violated and there is also a powerful message of the importance of healing and care for the sick. However, there are exceptions for warfare and self-defence. There are also examples in the bible where the sacrifice of life is considered moral ('greater love has no man than this: That a man lay down his life for his friends' John 15:13). The bible does not prohibit all taking of life in all circumstances, although Christians have traditionally considered taking one's own life to be wrong. Thus is can be seen that Christians would accept euthanasia in certain circumstances. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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