Euthanasia or mercy-killing is an act of ending the life, whether it is an injured or dying animal or human being with the use of a fatal dose of drug that will lead to a painless death. This is different from physician-assisted suicide, wherein a patient is prescribed a lethal dose of medication to end life but the act is not performed by the medical practitioner but the patient himself or herself. Euthanasia has received contentious views from advocates and critics over the years. Let’s take a look at six of the arguable benefits and setbacks of the act of mercy killing.
List of Advantages of Euthanasia
1. It ends the suffering of the dying.
One of the main disadvantages of euthanasia is the relief it gives on sick people with terminal diseases like cancer. There are people who are suffering from incurable medical conditions who suffer the pain caused by their ailments and who would rather die instead of live the rest of their lives in pain and suffering. Euthanasia puts an end to a patient’s suffering.
2. It gives dignity to a dying a person.
Supporters of euthanasia claim that it is the right of the person to live and to die the way he or she desires especially if they look at life as not worth living for. If a man or woman only has months to live and do not wish to appear sick and weak when the day comes, euthanasia can make this possible without inflicting more pain. In the end, a sick person dies with dignity and still be as handsome or beautiful as he or she used to be during his or her days without the ailment.
3. It is humane.
Advocates for euthanasia say that it is the most humane act to end the suffering of a human being or animal instead of the use of other means such as using guns. Moreover, the process or method is done in such a way that the person or animal will not feel any pain. Additionally, dying people who are considering euthanasia can also choose the day they want the act to be done.
List of Disadvantages of Euthanasia
1. It goes against ethics.
Critics of euthanasia claim that no one has the right to take one’s life and the life of another person and the act of mercy killing, despite the good intentions, violates this.
2. It is against the oath of physicians.
People in health care have the responsibility to save lives and keep others healthy. With euthanasia, doctors or physicians who practice this act are violating their oath to preserve lives and not do harm unto others. This act is a clear opposition to the principles of medicine which is to provide cure for illnesses and render care to patients.
3. It can urge other people to do the same.
Euthanasia, like suicide has a psychological effect on people and society. According to experts, people with family members who have committed suicide are prone to doing the same and this also goes with the act of mercy killing. If society will accept it as a normal practice, it can influence more people to consider euthanasia. This can be bad especially if the sickness was wrongly diagnosed but the patient was already euthanized.
Euthanasia will always remain a topic debated upon by proponents and opponents. People from both sides will always discuss about its advantages and disadvantages. Whichever has more weight, perhaps, depends on the situation and it is best to consider these factors all the time.
Tags:Opposing ViewpointsPositives and Negatives
Advantages and Disadvantages of Assisted Suicide and EuthanasiaThere are certainly advantages and disadvantages in anything that can be thought of. Although physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia have its clear pros, there are also its cons andwhy many people and physicians do not agree or at least feel comfortable with the issue. Some of the disadvantages include doctors feeling that they are violating their Hippocratic oath, which requires a new physician to take an oath that they will uphold all ethical standards. Others include the decrease value of the human life, religions that believe committing suicide will send a person straight to Hell, patients giving up more easily on their life because they feel they have an easy solution, insurance companies pressuring doctors to act for the method because it would cost less than treating the patient, and doctors possibly having too much power. There are other disadvantages that people believe this has, but there are more advantages (Dickey, 1993).The advantages of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are mainly that the patient’s pain and suffering will finally come to an end. That is the biggest argument for going through assisted suicide and euthanasia. Terminally ill patients will feel that death was their choice and it was not forced by anybody, as well as dying with dignity. Health care costs would be much lowerand it would not be a burden to the families, vital organs could be saved and donated to other patients that need them, and lastly, it would be better for patients to take this route rather than committing suicide themselves (Dickey, 1993). There are many more advantages, but the main ones are that people will not suffer anymore, and there is a lesser chance that they will try to commit suicide themselves in a more painful, unexpected way.8