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Arguments Against Euthanasia Analysis Philosophy Essay

Euthanasia or mercy killing is a moral act done out of duty to those in suffering or an act for self-benefit under cover of morality or is it opening door to many illegal issues in the society.

Euthanasia should never be legalized in any of its forms else it will be practiced in all cases even where consent of a patient is not taken into account, for personal benefits by relatives, health insurance companies or the state.

Body:

To understand what is euthanasia? Its true meaning and how it’s been implemented? We shall be looking into its definition and types.

Meaning of the word Euthanasia:

The word Euthanasia is taken from a Greek word meaning “good or happy death’’. Narrowly speaking it is equivalent to killing so in these terms if allowing a person to die is not killing than its not euthanasia. By considering this we can conclude that allowing someone to die can be moral but killing someone which comes under euthanasia is wrong. In broader terms there are philosophers who say that not only acts of killing but also to allow someone to die comes under euthanasia .Therefore if allowing someone to die is not immoral than euthanasia should not be taken as wrong always it depends on the condition under which death is caused. In other words follow consequentialist theory by looking at the end and not the means by which it is reached. But in narrow terms or broader terms its one and the same thing.

Types of Euthanasia:

Active form {positive form}: refers to acts of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from incurable conditions or diseases. For example giving a lethal dose of medicine to kill a terminally ill patient.

Passive form: refers to an act of allowing a patient to die example not giving antibiotics to a terminally ill patient who has acquired pneumonia.

Those who take euthanasia in broader spectrum are in favor of both active and passive euthanasia.

Voluntary Euthanasia: refers to cases in which an adult competent patient requests or gives consent to a particular course of treatment or non-treatment for instance patients who in sensible states of minds take their own lives directly or by refusing some form of treatment also include case where people allow their relatives to take decision on their behalf regarding their lives.

Non voluntary euthanasia: A non-voluntary decision about death refers to cases in which decision is not made by the person who is to die for instance when patient cannot make their own

decision as they are not in their sensible state of mind either comatose or in vegetative states due to an accident or any other disease, unconscious with irreparable brain damage and on mechanical life supports.

Those who take euthanasia in narrow terms there are 4 possible kinds of death decisions

Voluntary euthanasia

Non voluntary euthanasia

Voluntary allowing to die

Non voluntary allowing to die

First two are taken as immoral last two can be taken as justified.

For people who take euthanasia in abroad term there are again 4 forms

Voluntary active euthanasia

Non voluntary active euthanasia

Voluntary passive euthanasia

Non voluntary passive euthanasia

General Arguments:

Against euthanasia:

1-One should not interfere in the doings of God: As God has a purpose to everything.

Counter point:

A person in favor of it usually says how one can be sure of what god wants or what god has in His mind. God has given us intellect to make one’s life as better as possible. Man with his knowledge has made advancements in medicine to cure certain diseases thinking in this context one should not even treat an illness thinking it’s against GOD’s will. This is definitely not the case as by practicing euthanasia we will be going against the nature. Life is a gift of God and it should be taken as a blessing rather than to end it if it becomes burdensome.

2-No surety of the fact that one’s consent is voluntary: maybe someone has agreed to give up life just out of emotions but she/he doesn’t mean it in real.

Counterpoint:

People argue that in most of the cases where people are suffering from incurable disease voluntarily requests to take their lives.

But people going through illness are some times in a confused ,disoriented state, may have hearing problems or psychiatric illness can we be sure that by requesting to take away their lives they mean euthanasia or they are just being emotional or misinterpreting the consequences of their consent.

3-Mistaken diagnosis: It’s been seen that there is always the probability that doctor’s diagnosis can be wrong so to take one’s life just based on doctor’s diagnosis is not correct.

Counterpoint:

Mostly doctors are not wrong in their diagnosis it’s very less a chance that they are wrong about incurable illnesses.

But what if they are wrong as there is always a chance to misdiagnosis and if your case falls in it then one would be a fool to give away their life just because it’s a high probability that one may have the incurable disease.

4-Allowing euthanasia may be used in wrong ways: by allowing voluntary euthanasia we will open a door to non-voluntary euthanasia as well. People who are very old and it’s difficult to look after them, invalid, disable children all will be given up for euthanasia which will cause moral injustice in the society at large.

Counterpoint:

Voluntary death decisions could only be allowed and make strict rules to practice it so that involuntary death decisions are restricted.

In many cases we can’t distinguish between voluntary and in voluntary euthanasia so there is always a chance that we misjudge things.

5-Life is precious and one should preserve sanctity of life:

Counter point:

Everyone has personal rights to decide to live or give-up life.

By saying this we are allowing suicides in society. If suicide is not taken as a good act then how can we take euthanasia in good terms? People are not allowed to take their own lives in their hands. Life is bestowed upon us by God almighty and however painful it is we all have to live through it that’s part of bargain where there are good times there are bad times as well.

5-Improvement of Palliative care:

When people will not be allowed to do euthanasia naturally many pharmaceuticals will try to invent new drugs to find out cure of a certain illness which will bring improvement in health care and will open up new possibilities for the treatment of incurable diseases.

Counter point:

For old and invalid individuals nothing can bring a change accept that they are blessed with a new life which is not humanly possible in any way so voluntary euthanasia should be allowed to those old and ill who have no hope for any technology or medicine to cure them.

God only knows when a life will end who are we to end a life thinking it to have reached its end.

My Point of view about Euthanasia:

I am against euthanasia: because

1-Euthanisa would not only be for people who are terminally ill:

It will become permissible for those as well who are not seriously ill as anyone who will not be willing to endure pain will ask for euthanasia.

2-Doctors are those who cure a life not who takes it away:

Because to me doctors are there to save lives and cure people .They may ease suffering of an ill but by killing one’s life in order to escape him from the suffering is not morally correct. It will generate serious issues in the society.

3-Euthanasia can become a way of health care cost containment:

By allowing euthanasia people will start using it for their benefits. Old, senile people who are difficult to be taken care off will be put for euthanasia to help their families save money from paying their hospital bills.

Disable, abnormal, mentally retarded infants or children will be given off by parents for euthanasia to ease the suffering of the child as well as to save the family from the burden of the child’s treatment costs.

In order to save the charges a Government has to pay for the ill, disabled, old persons, the state or government will start putting them for euthanasia.

Insurance companies in order to get off a heavily insured terminally ill patient would be in favor of euthanasia so that they don’t have to pay for that person unlimited hospital bills.

4-Euthanasia will become non voluntary:

Organizations working for organ transplantation will play a vital role in putting people to euthanasia to get their organs for transplantation. People who will not voluntarily want to die regardless of their illnesses would also be given for euthanasia to obtain their healthy organs.

Counter arguments:

People in favor of euthanasia usually say that voluntary euthanasia will not lead to involuntary euthanasia but many times there are certain cases where we can’t judge things as clearly as they seem to be for instance if a patient is too old to understand and hear what a person is asking for how can he be taken as a sensible person when he is asked his consent for euthanasia .Moreover if a women going through depression is being encouraged to commit suicide and some doctor is assigned to make up her mind for it then how can we judge whether it was a voluntary euthanasia out of the ladies own will or something which she was encouraged to do y her practitioner.? There will be unlimited problems if euthanasia will be legalized in any of its form.

It is actually an issue in which if something prohibited is being legalized in one condition is taken to be legal in other cases as well over time and in the end it becomes difficult to decide that to what extent something was allowed .For instance it was done in case of abortion. Because earlier it was only allowed if a mother’s life was at stake but with time the law was broadened to such an extent that now abortion is being done just because people don’t choose to have a child.

Islam and Euthanasia:

In Islam it’s believed that human life is sacred because it’s a gift of ALLAH. One should continue to live till ALLAH wills it no matter how sufferable it becomes as it has its own worth in form of eternal reward. As Quran quotes:

Do not take life, which Allah made sacred, other than in the course of justice. Qur'an 17:33

Allah decides how long each of us will live

When their time comes they cannot delay it for a single hour nor can they bring it forward by a single hour. Qur'an 16:61

Suicide and euthanasia are explicitly forbidden in Islam

Said the Prophet: "Amongst the nations before you there was a man who got a wound and growing impatient (with its pain), he took a knife and cut his hand with it and the blood did not stop till he died. Allah said, 'My Slave hurried to bring death upon himself so I have forbidden him (to enter) Paradise.' "Sahih Bukhari 4.56.669

Non-Religious Arguments against 'Voluntary Euthanasia':

Even those who are atheist they believe euthanasia to be against moral values of our society as it will cause further legal issues.

Few points raised by them against euthanasia are stated below:

There would be no way by which government would be able to restrict people from involuntary euthanasia if voluntary euthanasia would be once permitted. Meaning legalizing voluntary euthanasia would be like permitting involuntary euthanasia because at times it’s difficult to differentiate between the two.

It will cause problems with elderly or dependent relatives and their families, by pressurizing people to die then to be a burden on their families both physically and financially.

Even without it being explicitly stated, legalizing euthanasia by NHS would mean that the state is offering it as an alternative to people who are seeking benefits for sickness or unemployment or to pensioners, to refugees and people with disabilities.

Euthanasia according to Kant’s Ethical theory:

To Kant it’s a person’s duty to keep on living even if life becomes very difficult because to live a happy life is not a big deal but to live a burdened life and not to commit suicide thinking that it’s a person’s duty to keep on living bestowed upon him by GOD ,has a high moral worth.

So Kant is against Euthanasia as he is a deontological thinker and takes actions as right or wrong, just or unjust without looking at the consequences of those actions .So to him killing someone is a wrong act even if it is to ease his suffering.

Euthanasia according to Mill’s ethical system:

Mill being a teleological philosopher will approve of euthanasia as to him consequences are more important than the actions themselves. If something is done to ease suffering no matter how it is been achieved and it’s bringing greater happiness to greater number of people it’s a just and good action. By allowing euthanasia the one who is been suffered gets a way out of his suffering plus the state doesn’t have to pay for his health costs. The family will not be burdened by the suffering individual so majority will attain happiness by allowing euthanasia so to Mill euthanasia will be a justified act which can bring happiness to greater number of people and can lessen suffering and pain as its pain over pleasure ratio gives more pleasure to everyone.

Conclusion:

In my opinion euthanasia should never be legalized .Even voluntarily allowing to die shouldn’t be permitted because it will raise many issues in the society. People will do it openly for their own benefits disregarding the moral values of the society. Human beings will be treated as mere means and all those who are a liability on their relatives or families will be put to euthanasia regardless of the fact if they want it or not .Human life will be at stake. The value and sanctity of life will lose its importance. Even if someone wishes for it they should keep their hopes in God and should keep on living as this suffering will be rewarded in the life after. Moreover one never knows when a new treatment may be available to cure a terminal illness. As so many earlier untreatable diseases have a treatment these days.


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