Euthanasi An Argument Against Euthanasia Essay

Euthanasi An Argument Against Euthanasia Essay

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One of the strongest arguments against euthanasia comes from Stephen Potts who states “I object to the institutionalization of euthanasia. Because the risks of such institutionalization are so grave as to outweigh the very real suffering of those who might benefit from it” (Potts, p. 587; emphasis mine). Potts’s main point of this statement is that the risks that come with legalizing euthanasia to the society as whole outweigh the suffering of an individual. Potts gives nine reasons for his argument that he calls the “Risks of Institutionalization”. I will debate two of the nine arguments Potts gives. The first argument I will debate is the “Reduced pressure to improve curative or symptomatic treatment”. In this argument Potts states “Some diseases that were terminal a few decades ago are now routinely cured by newly developed treatments. Earlier acceptance of euthanasia might well have undercut the urgency of the research efforts which lead to the discovery of those treatments. If we accept euthanasia now, we may well delay by decades the discovery of effective treatment for those diseases that are now terminal” (Potts, p. 587). What Potts is basically saying is that if we legalize euthanasia we will be impeding our medical advancement in medicine, especially in areas regarding treatment for the illnesses more common with euthanasia requests. I do not believe this to be true, there will always be opportunity to study terminal illnesses in their early stages, and there will always be people that will desperately hang on for the possibility of a cure. Potts’s statement that there would be no incentive to discover new cures for terminal cases if euthanasia was to be legalized is missing the point of euthanasia, euthanasia has been,...

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...s where euthanasia is legalized of an increase in cases involving euthanasia. I do agree with Pott’s only in the position that more physicians will most likely become more accepting to the idea of euthanasia if legalized because it would undoubtedly free up hospital resources, that are currently being spent in the stabilizing the terminally ill during the last years of their life, to be used elsewhere, like providing more treatments for those that suffer from curable diseases. According to the website ( and a 60 Minutes story called “The Cost of Dying”, Medicare during the last few months of a patient’s life had spent more than fifty billion in hospital and doctor expenses, with an estimated 20-30 percent of these medical expenses having no meaningful impact ( That is as much as fifteen billion dollars that could be saved and spent elsewhere.

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