The Right to Die

By Abigail Davis

Picture this, you open your eyes to see someone attacking you, which causes you to have an uncontrollable outburst of anger. You then try to run but are unable to do this simple act. Then, you can no longer control your bladder, eating is impossible, you can’t communicate and you get sicker from your compromised immune system.

Would you want to live, not being to control your basic body functions, not even knowing what you are, being trapped in your own body like a prisoner with a downhill slope to a painful and torturous death?

Throughout time, there have been many controversial topics like euthanasia, the painless killing of a patient suffering a terminal illness which causes unbearable pain. This act could be argued as merciful, however, there should be boundaries in place in order for it to be carried out effectively. Despite this, it is usually argued as something similar to ‘assisted suicide,’ which is a felony in many areas around the world, leading to the argument that euthanasia is unethical. Controversy surrounds legalization as many believe it would result in the unnecessary ending of many lives.

One common reason for this process not being legalized would be the worry of a life unnecessarily being ended. In order to combat this situation, there would be guidelines in place that highlight how someone would be eligible for this process. For example, it would only be administered to people who are suffering from a terminal illness, where the path would be extremely painful, only to result in death. Furthermore, the service of euthanasia would also be available to people who are suffering disorders similar to dementia, where the disease worsens to a point where they can not even remember basic human functions, let alone what they are. Not only would they be suffering, they would also destroy the finances, and emotional distress that comes with taking care of a person who, at this time, is just a canvas of their old self

Another problem would be, the silent pressure to end one’s life to not be a burden. According to a Dutch news site, a leading expert in the ethics of euthanasia stated that one in five patients who decided on euthanasia, could have been influenced by family circumstances. However, this is prevented by only considering patients with terminal illnesses, who have stated their wishes very clearly, and with reasonable statements.

With all these laws and regulations in place it makes it practically impossible for people to die unnecessarily. This leads to, should a person have the choice? It should be the case, as it is tortuous and pointless to live a short amount of time with intense suffering, only to be met with a death filled with excruciating pain. Additionally, it relates to the freedom of taking care of your own body. Throughout one’s life, you are able to make all kinds of decisions like who we marry, to what your day to day life consists of, as a result I believe that when it comes to the end of a person’s life, one should have a choice to what happens to them. Furthermore, if a doctor’s job is to make the quality of someone’s life the best it can possibly be, and if a person would rather die with dignity rather than suffer, why should it not be allowed? In my mind, there is no doubt that anybody would want to live in a state where they are unaware of any basic human functions, or lying still unable to make the slightest movements suffering immensely in silence. Would any sane human want that for themselves?

 

Works Cited:

  1. “Euthanasia and the Silent Pressure to Die.” American Life League, 8 Sept. 2017, http://www.all.org/euthanasia-and-the-silent-pressure-to-die/.
  2. Nordqvist, Christian. “Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: What Are They and What Do They Mean?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 17 Dec. 2018, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/182951.php.
  3. “Pressure on Patients Is Cause for Concern: Euthanasia Expert.” DutchNews.nl, 6 July 2015, http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2015/07/pressure-on-patients-is-cause-for-concern-euthanasia-expert/.
  4. “The 7 Stages of Dementia.” Retirement Resources | Leisure Care, 22 Feb. 2019, http://www.leisurecare.com/resources/7-stages-dementia/.
  5. “The One of Us Federation Warns That Legislating about Euthanasia Is a Political Irresponsibility.” ONEOFUS, 11 May 2018, oneofus.eu/2018/05/the-one-of-us-federation-warns-that-legislating-about-euthanasia-is-a-political-irresponsibility/.