Euthanasia And The Law

Powerful Essays
Euthanasia and the Law

A severely handicapped or terminally ill person should have the right to choose to live or die. The right to live; the right to choose to live or die should not only be a right allocated for bodied individuals of sound mind but for all human beings. Euthanasia is a controversial issue which encompasses the morals, values and beliefs of our society.

Euthanasia, literally defined means "good death". There are two types of euthanasia, active and passive. Active euthanasia is the intentional killing of a person by medical personnel either by a lethal injection or by denying ordinary means of survival. The act of euthanasia called "passive euthanasia", is committed by denying or withholding ordinary medical care to a patient.

Currently, under Canadian law euthanasia is prohibited. In Holland euthanasia has been accepted, in principle for terminally- ill patients, on request. It comes to be seen as practice for those whose "quality of life" is judged by themselves as worthless. Even though euthanasia is not yet legal in
Holland, it is legally tolerated. Doctors are rarely prosecuted and even more rarely convicted. If euthanasia were to be decriminalized in Canada certain restrictions would have to be put into place, to ensure that a patient's rights are not infringed upon. A living will should be made when the patient is of lucid mind. Also, a council should be selected and outlined in the living will.
The council should be chosen by the patient, when the patient is of sound mind and is able to make decisions. The council might consist of the patient's family, doctor or any other he or she feels have the same view or perception of life. Presently in Canada a living will is not a legally binding document. A living will is a document prepared and sighed in advance of illness, in which a person may specify which treatment or care is to be withheld or withdrawn from him or her in certain situations. It is extremely general, trying to cover a wide range of accidents or illnesses and possible treatments. Living wills are created to protect the individual who is unable to participate in decisions regarding their medical care. In Canada, even with a living will in many cases any decisions on the ...

... middle of paper ... He has no living will, no person deemed power of attorney, no family and is unable to make the decision himself. According to the law his doctors are unable to detach his life support systems. When can it be deemed legal for Mr. Brown to be detached from the life support system? If he were to be disconnected, who would make his decision? As the law presently states no one has the legal right to disconnect him, to let nature take its course. Will he be hooked up to life support indefinitely?
What is the cost? Is this burden worthwhile for society? Something must be done to solve this problem.

A severely handicapped or terminally ill person should have the right to choose to live or die. The "right to life", is one that should be a fundamental right of all individuals. When the time comes that an individual feels that their pain and suffering has become so extreme that their quality of life has been reduced to such a level that life is no longer worth living. Canadian laws presently do not grant individuals these rights. The laws that restrict these rights must changed to all Canadians with the ultimate freedom of choice the right to die.
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