Why Should Euthanasia Be Legalized Essay

This essay has a total of 1384 words and 6 pages.

Why Should Euthanasia Be Legalized



It is apparent that euthanasia should be permitted everywhere for the following reasons:
individual liberty; one’s undesired pain, suffering, and misery; and the individual’s
frustration from having a valueless life. First of all, one should be able to understand
the term euthanasia. “In ancient Greece, eu thanatos meant ‘easy death.’ Today’s
euthanasia generally refers to mercy killing, the voluntary ending of the life of someone
who is terminally or hopelessly ill” (Euthanasia 1). Knowing that, it is seemingly
appropriate to say that one has the right to die an easy death if, and only if, he is
terminally ill. Otherwise, different situations should not play any part in this issue.
To understand more about the pro-euthanasia side of this issue, it is best conceived
through the viewpoints, strong beliefs, and perspectives of proponents of euthanasia.


An individual has liberty, which includes the right of owning his life. He is the
possessor of his life. Just as he can do whatever he wishes with his possessions, such as
selling his new house, he can also wish to discontinue his life if the reasons were
rational. In a typical situation, a person has some terrible, deadly disease. He is
trapped in a hospital bed, with all sorts of medical equipment connected to him, unable to
move or do much of anything except exist. He is in terrible pain; he begs to have these
machines disconnected so he can go home and live out whatever life he has left and die in
peace. He does not want to endure the pain, but instead, to assuage it. However, the
doctors refuse because to turn off the machines would surely result in his death, and they
have a presumed bias against doing this. If a person decides that he wants to die, and
someone does not think that this is a good decision, what right does the opposing person
have to tell him that he cannot do this? “It is clear that a patient’s decision to ask
for a cessation in treatment, reflecting his own preference for death rather than for a
continuation of discomfort or suffering, must be respected, barring exceptional
circumstances” (Behnke 17). Therefore, that individual’s decision should be carried out
because he has that right to his own personal decision, which is only one of many reasons
why euthanasia should be legalized.


In addition, one should have the right to end his life by euthanasia because of the
unsolicited pain, suffering, and misery he feels due to the disease he has or the
condition he is in. People in this position would most likely want to alleviate their
pain, suffering, and depression—just to name a few—partially because of the
inconveniences, emotional and physical burdens, and drawbacks imposed on family members,
relatives, and friends. Furthermore, family members “may be sensitive to the costs
accumulating during terminal care” (Hagen 91). Consequently, patients may feel guilty in
this entire ordeal. Even more, people who, maybe because of a serious illness, are
extremely depressed partly because they want to live their lives to the fullest by perhaps
participating in energetic and active events but know that that is not possible now that
they are severely ill and sick. Since they recognize that enjoying life in those ways is
no longer possible, they may want an easy way out—euthanasia. Others simply do not want
to sustain suffering. Everybody has different amounts of pain and suffering that he/she
can tolerate (Behnke 17). In considering suffering of terminal patients, one cannot
exclude from thought the grief due to distress, fear, and agony. Nor must anyone
underestimate the bearable level of pain in the periods between doses of medication or
simply from being turned over in bed. There is still too little known about what is
actually experienced by patients as they approach death so it is evident that the
individual, and only the individual, has the right to choose when he wants to die. These
factors, along with unwanted suffering, pain, and misery are only some of the components
considered in allowing the act of euthanasia.


The final element worthy of discussion in legalizing euthanasia is an individual’s
frustration in living, in his opinion, a valueless life after becoming critically ill.
People who suffer from illnesses that make them unable to communicate do not want to live
any longer. This includes people who are in a coma, are paralyzed, or simply so sick and
weak that they cannot make meaningful sounds or other communication. If the person is no
longer able to relate in any way to his relatives and friends, he might not want to live a
day further (Bender 28). In addition to that, some people believe that their “quality of
life” is so low that they would rather die. If this is the case, then what position do
others have to go against this? No one other than the patient has any right to deny the
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