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Should Voluntary Euthanasia be allowed in Hong Kong?

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Introduction

Should Voluntary Euthanasia be allowed in Hong Kong? The word Euthanasia originated from the Greek language: eu meaning "good" and thanatos meaning "death". Another meaning given to the word is "the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies." This actually implies that the euthanasia be instigated by the person who wishes to die unfortunately, some definitions of euthanasia include involuntary as well as voluntary termination of life and many moral, ethical or religious terms have different meanings resulting in mass confusion. I believe that voluntary euthanasia, the suicide of a person who has explicitly requested to end his life, should be allowed in Hong Kong. I believe that life is extremely precious and should not go to waste especially if there is are promising decades to come but if a person is terminally ill and their quality of life has fallen so far that they do not wish to continue living or if they end up in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) and feel that being constantly cared after is an unacceptable loss of dignity, then they should be allowed to consider voluntary passive euthanasia as an option. When considering whether or not to pass a law allowing or condemning euthanasia, it is important to consider all the factors involved including the patient's will and well-being as well as his kin, the physicians as well as the consequences. ...read more.

Middle

It would also cause pain to see a loved family member lying on a hospital bed inanimate, feeble, and helpless - there definitely would be some doubt whether there is really any purpose in sustaining the hollow shell of a body further. It is a fact that in North America, 40% of passive euthanasia is performed after protracted, agonizing indecision on part of family members and physicians. Family would also be at ease of mind that the patient died peacefully in sleep rather than an agonizing, lingering and unduly painful semi-existence. It is known statistically from research that many patients die excessively painful deaths due to the ignorance, lack of experience or training in physicians and the lack in medical technology and better drugs to be administered as well as monetary costs. The family would also be financially better off because of the termination protecting assets from large medical expenses incurred by approaching death. Then apart from the patient's rights and a family's well being, the downsides and consequences must also be considered. Some downsides of legalising voluntary euthanasia includes deception of the physician or the patient into performing euthanasia in order for some benefit to befall e.g. a large sum insurance and the swindler as beneficiary. ...read more.

Conclusion

Such situations could be avoided that if the doctor suspects that the patient suffers from depression, he should be sent for psychiatric evaluation and the written request for euthanasia or physician assisted euthanasia to be doubled and written with a period of at least 15 days in between. I am opposed to active euthanasia because I believe that without a concrete proof of the wishes of the patient, that his or her life should be sustained indefinitely until nature calls, but advocate to voluntary euthanasia as it is well within the rights of the patient to decide what's best for him and to consider the emotional and financial impacts upon his family. I emphasise that euthanasia and active euthanasia must not be accepted as good medical treatment because this places the right to kill in physician's hands for if the notion is accepted it would not only be inappropriate, but discriminatory, to deny this 'good' treatment to a patient solely because that person is too young or mentally incapacitated to request it. Properly regulated voluntary euthanasia protects the patient from abuse and ensures that the decision to end his life is made openly, honestly and voluntarily by the patient. Legalising euthanasia in Hong Kong will allow the terminally ill and comatose, through different pathways, to obtain a dignified and peaceful end. ...read more.

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