“If I had terminal cancer, I had a few weeks to live, I was in a tremendous amount of pain — if they just effectively wanted to turn off the switch and legalize that by legalizing euthanasia, I’d want that,” -John Key. Euthanasia is the intentional termination of a life (Frederic). It is used to end a patient from suffering a painful, and incurable disease. Legalizing euthanasia should be allowed to help people who want to make their death more peaceful rather than suffering in pain. Also, euthanasia comes from the Greek word euthanatos which translates to “good death” or “dying well” (“Euthanasia”).
In the 5th century B.C. to the 1st century B.C., the ancient Greeks and Romans tended to support the idea of euthanasia. The Hippocratic Oath prohibited doctors from giving deadly drugs to any patient. However, many physicians preferred voluntary death opposed to prolonged agony and often complied by giving patients the poisons they wanted. Additionally, allowing euthanasia to be illegal is a violation of the 14th Amendment. No state has the right to make laws that limit citizens rights. Citizens have a right to die if they choose to.
This proves euthanasia being illegal is limiting citizen’s right to die. Euthanasia should be legal because it already occurs and people have a right to choose if they want to die, despite the fact that it would most likely lead to substandard care for the terminally ill. People have the right to choose if they want to die. Death is something that should be private and if there is no harm to others, the state and other people have no right to intervene. Put it another way, if an action promotes the best interests of everyone concerned and violates no one’s rights then that action is morally acceptable. Some laws already acknowledge that people have a right to die.
The Suicide Act, passed in 1961, claims that those who failed in an attempt to kill themselves would no longer be prosecuted. It’s inappropriate to punish someone so distressed that they want to take their own life. How is euthanasia much different? British Medical Journal seems to agree. “Mentally competent, terminally ill patients have the right to a doctor’s assistance in hastening their death, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled . . . Judge Stephen Reinhardt said that such a patient has a ‘strong liberty in choosing a dignified and humane death rather than being reduced at the end of his existence to a childlike state of helplessness, diapered, sedated, incompetent.” Society doesn’t prohibit the fact that humans have to make life decisions about themselves. Death is just the end, but it is still part of life.
People have the right to make their life as good as possible. People should have the right to make death as good as possible. Another reason legalizing euthanasia would be a good decision is because doing so and properly regulating it would remove the need for it to be done secretly. Although it may not seem like it, euthanasia is rather common. The American Hospital Association says about 70% of deaths in hospitals happen after the decision to withhold treatment is made. This is called passive euthanasia and it is the most common form.
A few examples of passive euthanasia include deciding to stop providing antibiotics for infection, withdrawing drugs used to maintain blood pressure, or removing a patient from a ventilator. A California Governor, Jerry Brown read through opposition materials from doctors and religious leaders. He considered those people in desperate situations, and the many perspectives of the situation.
Eventually, he put himself in the place of a patient suffering, and decided he would be comforted with the option of euthanasia if it were available to him. People against the idea of euthanasia say allowing it will lead to substandard care for the terminally ill and reduce palliative care. However, that is not true. In fact, people requesting euthanasia more likely received palliative care than others patients expectedly dying.
For those who don’t know, palliative care is a special approach to people with a terminal illness. Studies show 70.9% of patients requesting euthanasia received palliative care, and only 45.2% of other patients with similar situations received palliative care. In addition, palliative care professionals are frequently involved in euthanasia procedures, including consultation and procedures. Overall, euthanasia does not reduce palliative care, or lead to substandard care.
Overall, Euthanasia should be legal because it already occurs and people have a right to choose if they want to die. Every person deserves the best possible death possible, For some people, euthanasia is what’s best for them. Also, it is better to regulate euthanasia by legalizing it, before secretive euthanasia gets too out of hand. Lastly, euthanasia does not affect the amount of care a patient gets. Euthanasia is something meant to help patients when there seems to be no other way. In conclusion, patients with euthanasia who were painfully suffering may have had the peaceful death they deserved.
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