Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, is a topic involving many serious issues that continue to be argued over among people throughout the world. There are two types of Euthanasia. One is active euthanasia, a doctor taking any direct action designed to kill the suffering patient. The other is passive euthanasia, to withhold treatment and allow a patient to die. In most cases, passive euthanasia is permitted but whether or not active euthanasia should be allowed creates a major controversy.(Rachel,452)
The question, should a person be allowed to end their life through active euthanasia when they are terminally ill and the pain of dying is unbearable, seems easy enough to answer. Many sound arguments and well presented cases refuting euthanasia, however, have proved it to be ethically, morally, and legally wrong.
The pro-euthanasia case is based on two main claims. Some argue that "patients whose illnesses cause them unbearable suffering should be permitted to end their distress by having a physician perform euthanasia"(Singer and Seigler p.381), while others on the same side argue that the decision to turn toward euthanasia is one\'s own; that "the well-recognized right of patients to control their medical treatment includes the right to request and receive euthanasia" (Singer and Seigler,381). These two claims are based on the rights of the individual but must be "balanced against the legal, political, and religious prohibitions against killing that have always existed in society generally and in medicine particularly" (Singer and Seigler,382).
Euthanasia should be illegal because it creates too many risks and is morally wrong. Four of the main risks euthanasia would bring about if it were legalized fall under what experts call "involuntary euthanasia." The first one is "crypthanasia." This is when people are treated with euthanasia against their will. The second form of involuntary euthanasia is "encouraged" euthanasia where a patient may be encouraged or pressured into turning to euthanasia in order to spare their family from financial and emotional difficulties. The third is "surrogate" euthanasia. This "might permit euthanizing incompetent patients on the basis of \'substituted judgement\' or nebulous tests of \'burdens and benefits\'." Finally there is the risk of "discriminatory" euthanasia. This is the belief that "in a society in which discrimination is common and many citizens do not have access even to basic health care, the legalization of euthanasia would create another powerful tool with which to discriminate against groups, whose \'consent\' is already susceptible to coercion and whose rights are already in jeopardy." The risks that would be created with euthanasia are inevitable. People who are pro-euthanasia may argue that "procedural safeguards" would reduce these risks, but that they would not eliminate them entirely.
Euthanasia would not only be risky, but also morally and ethically wrong. It would interfere with a persons fate and force doctors to go against their oath in which they pledge "to do no harm" to their patients.
"Although some people may be sad and physically compromised during their last months and years, these days also can be an opportunity to appreciate life\'s last chapter and to reach out again to loved ones" (Carter,389). Euthanasia doesn\'t allow for closure on one\'s life to occur. Euthanasia also leaves no room for the hope and possible blessing of a miracle to happen.


Works Cited
Carter, Rosalynn. "A Quality End of Life" Rpt. In Read, Reason, Write. Ed. Tim Julet and Alexis Walker. United States: McGraw Hill Companies, 1999. 389-390.

Rachels, James. "Active and Passive Euthanasia" Rpt. In New England Journal of Medicine, vol.292 (1975): 451-456.

Seigler, Mark, Singer, Peter A. "Euthanasia- A Critique" Rpt. in Read, Reason, Write. Ed. Tim Julet and Alexis Walker. United States: McGraw Hill Companies, 1999. 380-384.