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Should Euthanasia be Decriminalised

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Lorraine. Soden Access to Nursing (Evening) Should Euthanasia be Decriminalised This essay will argue both for and against the argument to decriminalise euthanasia. The reason for my choice is that it is a very topical debate, which has appeared in the news at the present time, and I feel it is relevant to my course work on nursing." The word Euthanasia comes from the ancient Greek, meaning 'Good Death' or a death with dignity. We all want a good death or a death with dignity." [www.ves.org.uk accessed 28/10/01] Yet different people seem to mean very different things when they speak of a good death or a death with dignity. By Euthanasia one might mean the intentional killing by a doctor of a patient by an act or omission. "In 1935 a group of doctors, lawyers and churchmen, set up the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. Their aim was to make it legal for a competent adult, who is suffering unbearably from an incurable illness, to receive medical help to die at their own, considered and persistent request." ...read more.


That is to say, they insist that they do not wish to see non-voluntary euthanasia introduced, they do not wish to see patients being helped to die unless they have requested it. To illustrate, and lend weight to the case put forward by V.E.S. in October this year a 42year old woman called Mrs Diane Pretty from Luton, lost her case in the high court in London for her husband to assist her to die. Mrs Pretty was diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease in 1999 and since her diagnosis her condition has deteriorated rapidly. She is now unable to do anything functional for herself. Although this woman is in complete control of her mental faculties and has chosen to die at home with her family around her, at a time of her own preference, under the British Laws she cannot have her family assist her to commit suicide. Should her husband assist her he would be prosecuted. However, there are some people who believe that life is sacred and that no one has the right to purposely take a life. ...read more.


Some people who do not agree with euthanasia argue that if it were legalised, it would damage the moral and social foundation of society by removing the traditional principle that man should not kill, and reduce the respect for human life. However, the idea that we should not kill is not absolute. Even for those with religious beliefs, killing in war or in self-defence is justified by most, as is capital punishment too. In conclusion this essay has explained why Euthanasia should be decriminalised by mentioning the case for Mrs Diana Pretty, and against irrational and emotive beliefs for example the religious beliefs that it is a sin to kill, even though they allow killing to take place in war, self-defence and capital punishment. If an animal where to be in pain then, indeed the same religious people would feel they had a moral duty to put it to sleep. After all, compassion is a fundamental tenet of Christianity. In some foreign countries especially Holland [in the last two weeks] euthanasia is allowed to take place so surely it is time for our government to revise the law and allow voluntary euthanasia. ...read more.

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