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The Freedom to Choose Death

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Nov 19, 2008   #1
The Freedom to Choose Death

Euthanasia has become one of the most controversial topics nowadays. Euthanasia means "mercy killing." We hear people discuss it like abortion. People have been debating on euthanasia from all over the world. Every person has different views on euthanasia. Nevertheless, in my opinion, euthanasia could be a very beneficial option in terms of human rights, suffering, and cost.

The first and the most important reason to support euthanasia is that patients who suffer from a terminal illness should have the right to end their lives. Correspondingly, they also should have the right to decide when and where they want to die. As an example, American constitution allows us the right to privacy and the right to pursue happiness. It is injustice to keep patients alive in an unbearable pain with no chance of recovering. Besides that, some patients might have lived very wonderful and healthy lives that they could not bear to see the end. For instance, fifty-six year old palliative care nurse, Angie Belecciu, lived a wonderful life. Fifteen years ago, she diagnosed with cancer and her cancer was in remission for many years. Although it went into remission, it came back about a year and half ago and it spreads throughout every bone in her body. Besides that, she has metal rods in her legs and arms. Now she is opting for euthanasia because she wants to die peacefully rather than dying on a hospital bed. It is not only the end-of- life issues, but also the quality-of- life issues for patients.

The second reason to support euthanasia is that patients should not be kept alive to suffer endless pain. It is a merciless punishment for them to be counting days for their death. They do not have a chance to recover; consequently, they do not live normal lives as others. To keep them alive, they must have feeding tubes and respiratory support for the rest of their lives. Above all, they also need families and friends for around the clock care; for this reason, it makes the situation worse than it already was for them. On one hand, they suffer due to an intolerable pain, and on the other hand, their families suffer to see them dying day by day. As an illustration, I strongly believe that Dr. Kevorkian is an angel of mercy, not a killer for most of the people because he ended the people's suffering.

The third reason to support mercy killing is that the medical bills could put the patient and families in jeopardy. The financial cost of long-term medical and nursing care is highly expensive, and to top that the life-support machines are very expensive. Patients who have no chance of recovery should be euthanized because not only do they put financial burden on the family but also on the society as well. The money that we spend to keep them alive could be use on patients who have more chances to recover. Would it be advisable to put families in debt? In my opinion, it would not be advisable. Additionally, insurance companies cover only some part of the medical bills but not all of it and the rest of the amount has to be paid by the patient or patient's families. For example, one of my neighbors named Monica has been in coma for several years due to a severe accident. Now she survives on feeding tubes and respiratory support. Her husband Tony has spent a huge amount on her medical treatments, which has put him under credit cards and personal debt. Above all, Tony is not able to pay the college tuition fees for his son. In my opinion, Tony should have spent that money for his son's brighter future rather than spending on his wife's medical treatments.

Finally, euthanasia could be very beneficial by having human rights, relieve from pain, and extraordinary debt. In my opinion, people should have the freedom to choose their death with dignity and the families have the right to respect patients' decision in order to live peacefully. In other words, it is beneficial for all of them.

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