Euthanasia- is it right?

The issue of Euthanasia Is now being brought to our television screens on a regular basis and I feel it is one of the most interesting and widely debated issues in government today. With contradicting views and a strong argument on each side it is well placed for discussion. The term “Euthanasia” comes from the Greek word for ‘easy death’. Formally called ‘mercy killing” it is the act of purposely making or helping someone die, instead of allowing nature to take its course. It can be done by a lethal injection or by simply switching of a life support machine. Euthanasia usually takes place to prevent a huge amount of suffering to terminally ill patients. It can be referred to as killing in the name of compassion. I have always found it difficult to look at loved ones suffer in pain and it is this experience that makes me feel that Euthanasia is acceptable in certain circumstances e.g. an incurable disease. It is unacceptable for a human to suffer when they can die peacefully; nevertheless everyone is going to die at one point. I feel that the government should consider revisiting the case of voluntary euthanasia which was dismissed in September 1991.  

Euthanasia can take place in five different ways all combined into one. People agree with certain forms but not others, although it can be argued that they are linked together. Euthanasia can either be ‘voluntary’, non-voluntary, involuntary, passive, or active. Voluntary euthanasia is helping somebody to die when the person has asked to end his or her life in order to avoid further suffering e.g. when a person is suffering from an incurable and painful illness. ‘Non-voluntary’ euthanasia is ending the life of a patient who is not capable of giving his or her permission. The person who carries out the euthanasia may do so believing that it is in the best interests of the patient. ‘Involuntary’ euthanasia is when someone else makes the decision, for example, a doctor or the state- killing the sick or the elderly without their permission or against their will. ‘Passive’ euthanasia is taking away or withholding the treatment with the intention of ending life. Examples include withholding or withdrawing life-support machines or not giving life prolonging drugs. Sometimes patients are given pain-relieving treatment in such high doses that they may die more quickly. This is known as double-effect as it does two things. Finally ‘active’ euthanasia is where a doctor deliberately intervenes to end a life of a patient.  

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Euthanasia is currently illegal throughout the world apart from the state of Oregon and some European countries where a law has been introduced which gives permission to doctors to give patients a lethal drug for the purpose of Euthanasia. However there are certain rules and requirements in order to give this drug to a patient. It is practised throughout Netherlands although it remains illegal.

One of the main reasons why euthanasia should be legalised is because most feel it is much better to have an easy peaceful death than a long lingering painful one. Many terminally ill ...

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