Argumentative Essay On Euthanasia

analytical Essay
1374 words
1374 words

Should Active Euthanasia Be Legalized? Should a patient have the right to ask for a physician’s help to end his or her life? This question has raised great controversy for many years. The legalization of physician assisted suicide or active euthanasia is a complex issue and both sides have strong arguments. Supporters of active euthanasia often argue that active euthanasia is a good death, painless, quick, and ultimately is the patient’s choice. While it is understandable, though heart-rending, why a patient that is in severe pain and suffering that is incurable would choose euthanasia, it still does not outweigh the potential negative effects that the legalization of euthanasia may have. Active euthanasia should not be legalized because …show more content…

People believe physicians should be able to aid in this process because they have valuable knowledge on how the body works, “… knowledge that can be used to kill or to cure” (Callahan 74). This argument contradicts the moral meaning of medicine. Indeed, the word "medical" comes from the Latin word “mederi,” which means "to heal." Medicine is understood to heal, cure, or comfort people, not kill. As a matter of fact, in the International Medical Code of Ethics and the American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics fully states that the act of euthanasia violates their role and shall not be performed. Just because of the mere fact that physicians have the knowledge and medical equipment to kill does not indicate a physician should be permitted to perform euthanasia. Dan Brock states, “… permitting physicians to perform euthanasia, it is said, would be incompatible with their fundamental moral and professional commitment as healers to care for patients and to protect life” (77). Dan Brock also raises the question, if euthanasia became a common practice that was performed by physicians, would we eventually fear or lose trust in our physicians? …show more content…

One bad consequence that some anticipate is that active euthanasia would weaken society's commitment to providing optimal care for dying patients. Today, our health care system is largely focused on medical costs and if patients are able to afford it or not. “Euthanasia is…a very cheap service. The cost of a dose of barbiturates and curare and the few hours in a hospital bed that it takes them to act is minute compared to the massive bills incurred by many patients in the last weeks and months of their lives” (Potts 81). If euthanasia appears to be a cheaper method than providing hospice care would this potentially have a negative effect on how patients who do not chose euthanasia are treated? This is an answer we do not know for certain but it should not be disregarded. Additionally, legalizing euthanasia would also diminish all hope. Most people have heard of a miracle story about a patient who had a limited amount of time left to live and made a shocking recovery. These doctors who made the prognosis of patients whom have made a shocking recovery against all odds “... [experience] the wonderful embarrassment of being proven wrong in his or her pessimistic prognosis. To make euthanasia a legitimate option as soon as the prognosis is pessimistic enough is to reduce the probability of such extraordinary recoveries from low to zero” (Potts 79).

In this essay, the author

  • Argues that the legalization of physician assisted suicide or active euthanasia is a complex issue and both sides have strong arguments.
  • Argues that some people believe that physicians should assist patients in committing suicide. this argument contradicts the moral meaning of medicine.
  • Argues that the strongest argument for active euthanasia supporters is that patients have the "right to die".
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