Advantages Disadvantages and Criticisms towards Euthanasia
Advantages, Disadvantages, and Criticisms towards Euthanasia
Euthanasia is an act whereby health personnel ends the life of a patient. There are many reasons why health personnel can choose to complete a patient’s life. In most countries, Euthanasia is illegal, but some countries have legalized the process of Euthanasia. Sometimes, a patient may request a doctor to carry out Euthanasia on them due to pain. On other occasions, a doctor might see how much the patient is suffering and decide to end their life. On the other side, the family can decide on behalf of their beloved one in case they are not in a position to say what they want. Mainly, Euthanasia occurs in terminally ill patients such as cancer patients. Euthanasia is a painless type of death whereby doctors inject the patient with a substance, and they die slowly. Mostly, Euthanasia is done in the presence of family and relatives so that a patient can spend the last days with the people that care about them. This paper analyses a social problem, Euthanasia explaining the advantages, disadvantages, and criticisms.
There are different types of Euthanasia whereby medical personnel have to know which one to undertake. Active Euthanasia is whereby the medical personnel uses the lethal drug to inject the patient to kill them. Passive Euthanasia, on the other hand, is when doctors let the patient die intentionally by withholding any support, such as ventilators. Voluntary Euthanasia is when the patient has a say in the decision and decides to agree to Euthanasia, probably due to what they have gone through in the treatment process. Involuntary Euthanasia occurs when the patient does not have a chance to agree or disagree with the process, such as when they are unconscious (Kuhse, 2001). Another form of Euthanasia is self-administered Euthanasia, whereby the patient administers the lethal dose to themselves. Other administered Euthanasia is when another person other than the patient administers the dose. Assisted form of Euthanasia is where the physician agrees to help the patient end their life. However, some countries have for a long time not liked the idea of Euthanasia since the time Adolf Hitler ordered the administering of Euthanasia to all people with disabilities.
Even though some patients request Euthanasia, the process affects family and loved ones. Some family members might tend to have guilt and blame themselves for the death of their loved ones for accepting Euthanasia to be carried out on them. Most family members tend to think that Euthanasia will reduce the pain and suffering of their beloved one, but after the process, they realize that they cannot turn back what they have done. Mixed emotions might affect individuals whose loved ones have died and fall into depression. Delivering the news to a family that their loved one is suffering and that Euthanasia is the best decision is also a challenging task for medical assistants. Families tend to take the message differently, and others might blame the doctors for not doing their best for their patients. The thought of a family member is also a challenging task for the family, and they may tend to develop a negative attitude toward doctors and hospitals. Hospitals should ensure that the patients’ families and the patients also undergo counseling before the process starts. Most doctors carry out Euthanasia at the request of the patients or families (Evenblij, 2019). Even though most countries have not legalized Euthanasia, the Netherlands has legalized the activity.
The importance of Euthanasia is that the patient gets relieved from pain and suffering. Some patients, especially those suffering from terminally ill diseases, may suffer for a long time (Evenblij, 2019). The family also suffers mentally, emotionally, and financially as they have to try everything to ensure that their loved one gets better. Another aim of Euthanasia is the fact that it saves on hospital bds. At times, hospital beds and whole such that hospitals cannot admit other patients. Carrying out Euthanasia on terminally ill patients can lead to saving and creating space for other patients to occupy hospital beds. Euthanasia also saves on family costs. Many families have used a lot of money to the extent that a patient stays for many years, spends a lot of money, and later dies, leaving the family poor. In cases that are evident that the patient will eventually die, doctors advise Euthanasia to prepare the patient for their death, make them spend memorable last days, and die in the comfort of their families. However, some researchers argue that God gives life and is the only one who should take it away. However, nobody is forced to accept Euthanasia, and it is out of a patient’s free will.
Different people, especially those who criticized the idea of Euthanasia, had different things to say about the disadvantages of Euthanasia. Firstly, Euthanasia makes people not respect the idea of the sanctity of life. According to the Bible and Quran, God or Allah is the giver of life, and nobody has the right to take away another person’s life. Using Euthanasia is like disrespecting the word of God. Secondly, accepting to use of Euthanasia is like arguing that some people’s lives, such as the sick and disabled are worthless, whereas we are equal before God (Novak, 2009). Euthanasia is also against people’s right in the constitution, which is the right to live. At times, Euthanasia is not always the best option as some people might get better with continued care.
In conclusion, Euthanasia gives a lot of powers to doctors, and some of them might end up misusing their powers and killing people anyhow. The sick and older adults end up getting a lot of pressure to die to stop being a burden to their families and create space in hospitals for young and strong people. However, countries that have legalized Euthanasia find it essential as it reduces pain for most suffering patients. Also, as the patient gets aware of Euthanasia, they get to have a good time with their loved ones, make a will, and be given reassurance. Also, families whose loved ones died using Euthanasia do not grieve a lot compared to those who die natural deaths.
Evenblij, K., and H. Roeline. Physicians’ experiences with Euthanasia: a cross-sectional survey amongst a random sample of Dutch physicians to explore their concerns, feelings, and pressure. BMC family practice, 2019. Accessed 17 Dec. 2019.
Kuhse. (2001). A companion to bioethics. A Companion to Bioethics, 425-431. https://doi.org/10.1111/b.9780631230199.2001.00041.x
Novak, David. The Sanctity of Human Life. Georgetown UP, 2009.