The advance of technology in health care nowadays has provided us with a lot of information and professional assistance, as well as the highest quality of care and caring. Euthanasia is one of the most frequent disturbing ethical problems for the health care provider and the public since this is an issue about death and life. Diane Pretty, a British woman from Luton who became famous after being the focus of a debate about legalizing euthanasia in United Kingdom in the early 21st century. She had attempted to change British law in order to end her own life due to the pains and problems that she endured because of the terminal illness motor neurone disease, which she suffered from. This disease has destroyed her motor neurons nerve cells which leading her to become paralysed. The only way for Diane to move around was with a wheelchair. In just two years Diane Pretty has lost all her capacity for decipherable speech and in swallowing food even saliva. In order to feed her through mouth, doctor has inserted a nasogastric tube to feed her. Unfortunately her request for euthanasia was denied, with her husband's help and the support of several charitable organisations, she launched a legal battle which lasted for almost a year. Her efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, and Diane died without any assistance on 11th May 2002. For a couple of decades, euthanasia has been, and still is, an extremely controversial issue around the world, where the act of refusing to practice euthanasia at the request of the dying person is violating a person's right, creating an economic burden; while on the other hand, it may create problems if euthanasia is legalized.
The historical information, definition and explanation of the term euthanasia are worth to be known before the discussion. The word "euthanasia" comes straight out of the Greek "eutahnatos" - "eu" means "good or well"; whereas "thanatos" means "death". Therefore, euthanasia gives the meaning of "good death" or is popularly known as "mercy killing". Euthanasia involves the action of terminating intentionally the life of a human being to eliminate suffering for his or her benefit. When a person has a terminal disease and all types of treatments have been practiced, and yet the endless pain of the patient still exists: Euthanasia could be an option, depending on the case. Normally, doctor will induce the death with a lethal injection. For example, Lethabarb and Beuthanasia-D Special are the medications use in euthanasia for animals.
For a particular person to be alive or not is a personal decision, and no one should interrupt. Neither the doctors nor the government has the power to decide if a person should live or not. Since it is not their life and they are not in that person situation, they cannot make decision for him. Euthanasia might sound like suicide, but again, it is not their problem. We are given the liberty to decide our job, our family, our religion, and even our sex preference. Why should they not give us the right to decide if we want to live or not? That should be the first right before all the ones I have mentioned. It is not logic if we can make our decision in all these but we cannot first choose to live or die. For example, we have a high paid job, wealth family, a religion we like most and even our sex preference, but we are suffering from an incurable disease. Is that worth for us to choose all those decisions? Another reason to legalize euthanasia is that if doctors have the liberty to create a new life, why not of ending it? Nowadays doctors and scientists have the ability and are allowed to grow human beings artificially in laboratories. Who gave them those rights? The government did. Therefore, doctors should also be allowed to end life, especially when the person desires it. In addition, according to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 5) stated that "No one shall be subjected to torture cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment." To me, refusing to practice euthanasia is a kind of torture. The reason is we are not in their situation and some of the patients are not being able to express their feeling to us as well. As for someone who is really suffering extremely painful illness, euthanasia might be the only way for him to relieve pain. So how can we know whether they are suffering in pain or not?
Next, comes to the economic factor. Many times, people have faced financial problem to pay through their nose for expensive medication fee, especially when a person has diagnosed as a terminally ill patient. Due to the high cost of treatment, the charges are not affordable by many people especially those paupers. So is that worth for them to own arrears just to pay for their incurable diseases? People should have the right, with certain restrictions, to end their lives in the best way possible to stop suffering an endless pain. Society should have compassion and respect to the patient's decision whose life becomes unbearable. According to Wesley J. Smith, "drugs used in assisted suicide cost only about $40, but that it could take up $40,000 to treat a patient". What all matters are that the money spent cannot ensure that the patient will totally recover. Furthermore, practicing euthanasia will bring peace to the patients who have been in miserable pain and striving hard to restore health but have no more hope but sufferings. In addition, legalized of euthanasia will also relief to the associated people. Are you daring to look at your relatives or friends who are suffering?
The tendency for human abuse is the most popular argument in debating against legalized euthanasia. The inclination for human to take advantage of given rights is very high. In fact, history has shown that most freedoms obtained by human have been repeatedly taken advantage of. For example, after the institutionalization of the "no-fault-divorce" in Canada 30 years ago, divorce rate has increased up to 600% (Rotheisler, Alberta Report). Similarly, the consequences of the abuse of the law legalizing euthanasia are too risky. Opponents of euthanasia make what is known as the "slippery slope" theory. Once society starts down this slippery slide, it is virtually impossible to go back up. For example, we would start off by euthanizing the terminally ill. We would then go onto euthanizing new born infants with birth defects, then people with Alzheimer's disease, then those that are a burden on society. Finally, the slide will take us so low as to euthanize those that can't afford medical insurance simply because it's too emotionally and financially draining. From the society's perception, family members may misuse euthanasia just for their own benefits. In order to get their family's property, they might ask the doctor to kill their family's members by this method. Since nowadays corruption is everywhere, so there is a high possibility that this would happen. Therefore, in such case, who will be the victim? For sure the patient will be the only victim.
I have never been in such a situation where I have to decide whether euthanasia should be applied to someone or not. But I would have no doubt of agreeing with anyone who is requested. If it is the decision of a person to die, I will support him. I strongly believed that decision regarding a person's situation of death might not be the way they wanted it to be. Thus, sure I'll help someone in deciding when and how he wishes to die. Just imagine yourself in a similar situation. Would you like to be helped by doctors and your friends to die the way you want it to be or be kept in a room where you can hardly move without machines keeping you alive? Why not end this suffering if we have the privileges? There is no point of waiting for the person to die if the doctors can do nothing about it at all. If the person wishes to die, we should please him with their last wish. This is why euthanasia should be legal for anyone who desires it. As we all know that every one of us has our own rights, it is the same that we should not went against clients' wills, and perhaps since application of euthanasia can solve their financial burdens especially for poor people. Another thing we ought to bear in mind is be careful to those who are trying to misuse it for their own purposes and benefits. As Margaret P. Battin said, "physician-assisted death (euthanasia) should be one--not the only one, but one--of the last-resort options available to a patient facing a hard death". Thus, no matter what the government's decision is, "death" is the fact that we are not able to escape from it.