Originally written for Keiser University’s Critical Thinking Class
Euthanasia, mercy killing, assisted suicide is an interesting and yet controversial topic. This topic aroused many emotions when I realized I had to give my opinion based on researched facts on this issue. From the beginning of this assignment I was completely against euthanasia and had a difficult time looking at it from an impartial point of view. So, based solely on the following evidence my opinion is as follows.
According to The Life Resources Charitable Trust (n.d.) of New Zealand, euthanasia has been around for centuries first recorded by the Greeks as a practice of withholding treatments and/or medicine; the Greeks did not administer anything in order to aid in the good death, only withheld.
After much research into this subject evidence has been revealed how, what was initially intended for a good death in many cases, turned out to be a social medical disaster where the physicians had “…more and more power…” (Patients Rights Council, n.d.) over whether the patient died or not. For example: according to Patients Rights Council (n.d.), statically nearly half, 45.2% of the reported euthanatized persons were euthanized involuntary with 14% of them fully competent adults.
Patients Rights Council (n.d) continues on to say that doctors would induce patients into comas and then kill them so that that way, the deaths would not be considered euthanasia; therefore, the deaths would not have to be reported as euthanasia to the Holland Medial Board.
In contrast, in another part of the world, New Zealand, as stated by Ogden, J. PhD. (2012) from Phycology Today, a major case was settled where a husband helped in the planning and acquiring of necessary items for his wife to euthanize herself. This man was released, based on the facts that he did not actually participate in the event, the extent of his wife illness, and video made by his wife prior the event. According to Ogden, J. PhD, this woman suffered from an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis that was irreversible: she did not take her life until she was almost an invalid.
BBC News (n.d.) presented arguments for and against euthanasia. An argument presented was, a person has the right to take his own life as he or she wills: it is the person’s life to as he or she pleases. Growing up in the United States and living under its democracy, where individual human rights are valued extremely high, I honestly believe that a person has the right to do as he or she pleases as long as it does not harm anyone else, or impose extensive grievances on other parties. That being said, there comes a time when individual human rights comes so close to the line of negatively infringing upon someone else’s life, or human rights, that alternative measures need to be taken. This is seen with the case of the country of Holland, when what began as mercy killing turned out to be medical murder.
In a case like this, it is almost impossible to anticipate and foresee all evil acts that could be performed in an area like euthanasia. Since these horrific acts occurred in Holland, their laws have become stricter. However, based on human nature, new and emerging technology, many people’s desire to find loopholes in the law, and Holland’s past legalized medical murder, I believe that euthanasia, if legalized, could, bring about a horror that is unimaginable: legalized everyday murder to the United States devaluing human life.
BBC News. (n.d.). Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/euthanasia/infavour/infavour_1.shtml
Ogden, J. PhD. (2012, September 26). Euthanasia: A Good Death? Retrieved September 16, 2015, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/trouble-in-mind/201209/euthanasia-good-death
Patients Rights Council (Ed.). (2001, April 10). Holland’s Euthanasia Law. Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://www.patientsrightscouncil.org/site/hollands-euthanasia-law
Patients Rights Council. (n.d.). Background about Euthanasia in The Netherlands. Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://www.patientsrightscouncil.org/site/holland-background/
The Life Resources Charitable Trust. (n.d.). A General History of Euthanasia. Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://www.life.org.nz/euthanasia/abouteuthanasia/history-euthanasia1/Default.htm
The Life Resources Charitable Trust. (n.d.). Basic Arguments About Euthanasia. Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://www.life.org.nz/euthanasia/euthanasia3