Euthanasia: The Debate for Death

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Euthanasia: The Debate for Death

A recent poll founded by the Canadian Medical Association found that “only one in five doctors surveyed. . . said they would be willing to perform euthanasia if the practice were legalized. . . Twice as many – 42 percent – said they would refuse to do so” (Kirkey 1). Euthanasia is defined as giving a patient the right to die early with a physician’s assistance, and the legalization of this practice is being considered by lawmakers in many countries, including the United States. Accordingly, 42 percent of doctors in Canada are on the right side of this debate. Euthanasia should not be legalized because it violates society’s views that life is sacred, creates economic pressure for doctors, and for those countries that have legalized it, their laws are not specific enough to fully protect patients.

The protection of life has been a foundation for many laws and social mores and legalizing euthanasia cheapens that protection. A recent challenge to this idea came in a London lawsuit when two severely disabled men claimed their protected human rights were violated because they could not choose how and when to die. The British Court ruled that while the current laws did not support the rights the men claimed, “the ban on euthanasia is justified” (Cheng 1). In this lawsuit, the right to live won above the so-called right to die because a law that was enacted by the people of Britain was protected. Had the case won, the laws that British voters approved to protect life, would have been cast away. Similarly in the United States, many bills to promote euthanasia have died once voters were informed of the debate. Initiative 119, which would have legalized euthanasia in Washington in 1991, at first show...

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...neficiaries of the liberty interest here” (Smith 5). The Court’s ruling for euthanasia is broad and non-specific, allowing euthanasia for the “seriously impaired,” which though it claims to be beneficial to patients, could be applied to treatable conditions. Like the existing laws and the information advertised to the public on saving money, euthanasia advocates are not specific, and they do not tell the whole story of an issue that could costs lives and increase trauma to families.

Even doctors in Canada contend that euthanasia is currently a tragedy of our world. Death should never be a prescription to end a patient’s life and this premise cheapens the view of life in society. In order to prevent this continued travesty, citizens should be informed about the dangers euthanasia laws present to patients before a measure is ever brought to lawmakers for approval.
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