Euthanasia is defined as, "The act or practice of putting to death painlessly a person suffering from an incurable disease." Euthanasia can be traced back as far back as the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. It was sometimes allowed in these civilizations to help others die. Voluntary euthanasia was approved in these ancient societies. Today, the practice of euthanasia causes great controversy. Both pro-life groups and right-to-die groups present arguments for their different sides. Pro-life groups make arguments and present fears against euthanasia. I contend that the case for the right to die is the stronger argument.
I will begin my by listing the arguments against euthanasia and my criticism of each argument.
1. Euthanasia is a violation of medical ethics. The American Medical Association has consistently condemned euthanasia as an unethical practice. Today, attitudes may be changing. Recent surveys indicate that a majority of doctors in some areas, (60% in Oregon, 56% in Michigan, and 54% in Great Britain.) favor euthanasia in extreme cases.
2. Euthanasia weakens the trust relationship between the doctor and the patient. We expect doctors to heal and save lives, not to kill. I feel that I should be able to trust my doctor to do what is best for me as an individual in any situation, including ending unbearable suffering, even if it is my choice to die in order to end my suffering. Doctors may lose the trust of their patients by not helping them to end their suffering.
3. Choosing the time and place of a person?s death is God?s decision. This argument suggests that we should never intervene in any life-threatening situation. If a person is having a heart attack, should we just...
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...admit that they have given heavy doses of morphine to relieve the extreme pain of terminally ill patients, knowing that such high doses will cause a quicker death. Because their primary aim is to relieve pain, these acts are considered moral. It would not be morally right to give the same high doses of morphine if their primary aim was to cause death. This is in my opinion wrong. In either case, the ultimate end is death. I believe that it is immoral of society to force caring, compassionate people to lie and go to such morbid lengths to help their patients and loved ones end their suffering. These illegal acts would be entirely unnecessary if euthanasia were regulated and legalized. Value Premise: Everyone deserves to live a life free from suffering.
Factual Premise: Euthanasia ends suffering.
Conclusion: In order to end suffering euthanasia should be allowed.
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