Intentionally making someone die, rather than allowing that person to die naturally is the definition of euthanasia according to the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force (Euthanasia: Answer to Frequently Asked Questions, 1). This definition, itself, does not sound very appealing. The practice of euthanasia in any shape or form should never be legalized in the United States and should be banned wherever it is presently legal. Whether it be the assisted suicides associated with “Doctor Death”, Jack Kevorkian, or just simply taking away a patient’s life support from them, no form of euthanasia should be administered. The administration techniques, the consequences if it were legal, and whether it is right or if it is wrong, are all very controversial issues involved with the topic of euthanasia.
Many people, mostly pro-euthanasia activists, refer to euthanasia as “dying with dignity”. This phrase sort of makes euthanasia seem like it is very nice and a pleasant way to die. Many people do not know of the different methods of killing that go on when euthanasia is practiced. For example, one method of dying is to be gassed with carbon monoxide gas and have one’s head covered with a plastic bag. Does that method really seems “dignified”? Another method of killing is the lethal injection. This method usually requires that family members be removed from the room because these lethal injections cause such violent muscle spasms and convulsions (Unacceptable or Questionable Methods of Euthanasia). Euthanasia is hardly “dignified” if you look at it from a different viewpoint. This term of “dignified” is nothing more than a pro-death way of glorifying the act of euthanasia.
There are many consequences that could result from legalizing the practice of euthanasia, and these are not good ones either. If it were legal to help people die or for doctors to kill people then society would slowly begin to break down. The value of a human life would slowly go down. People do not see the consequences of many terrible occurrences until it is too late. For example, no one new what Hitler was really doing or did until World War II was over (Humphry n.p.). If euthanasia were legal and practiced, it would get out of hand. First, society would begin to allow the killing of the terminally ill, then the pain and sufferers next, the elderly and then eventually anyone who seems to be unproductive or worthless to society. “You’re right, you are a useless cripple, you’re a burden on your family, you’re wasting the time of the doctors, and the world would be better off without you.” This quote is an example of how doctors would eventually be talking to their patients. This sounds exaggerated, but it really could happen. Amidst the advancement of medical science, euthanasia has started to be practiced in some developed countries. For instance, the Dutch practice euthanasia legally and regularly. Now fifteen percent of all deaths in that country are from the practice of euthanasia alone (Euthanasia: Answer to Frequently Asked Questions, 4). People should be scared people and put this argument over euthanasia in perspective.
Euthanasia is debated all the time on whether it is right or wrong. Some say it is a right that a human has and others say it is a sin and is morally wrong. Who knows the right answer? Euthanasia seems to be contradictory to the doctor’s code of ethics, which is to preserve life. It is believed that doctors should take the patients away from suffering and extend the life of patients. Also, scientists can easily prove a person living, but they cannot easily prove a person dying. Because miracles can happen at any time and any place, life should be prolonged as long as possible. Therefore, so long as a patient has a chance to live, a doctor should make every effort to cure him.
There are many negative views associated with euthanasia. It is definitely wrong according to The Bible. The Bible specifically condemns murder (Bible Exod. 20:13), and this would surely include active forms of euthanasia in which another person (doctor, nurse, or friend) hastens death in a patient. This fact gets support from pro-life and religious groups and because our government is backed by God (“In God We Trust”), then this is why euthanasia is wrong to the government. There are laws that clarify how it is wrong. Many feel that if euthanasia was legalized that health care would go on a decline. If people had a disease or were in pain, instead of waiting for a cure or trying to get a pain reducer, that person would resort to the alternative of dying. This would be the easiest and cheapest way out for the person. This method would stop allowing health care workers from pushing forward in their research for medical advancement, because there would be a new, easy alternative rather than a struggle to try to keep the life of patients going. This is just wrong. Euthanasia would be like a shortcut, but instead of ending in a good place of life, a person would end up in a place called death.
Many people say “Why not euthanasia?” It relieves people from all their pain and suffering and allows the terminally ill to finally be put to rest. It is a person’s right. “One has the right to live, but no right to die.” This statement seems to be unfair to the terminally ill. If they do not want to live anymore, then that is their choice to live or die. Their suffering is beyond the understanding of others. Only that person knows what kind of pain they are really feeling. If we do not allow the dying patients to decide whether or not to live or to die, we are depriving them of the freedom of choice and have prolonged their suffering. (Flew n.p.). However, pain cannot be an excuse for them to decide to die because life is valuable. Instead of dying, they should struggle for survival. The hospitals would not be as full and the nursing homes would be less crowded. This seems very grim but it is true. The health care costs would start to drop and there would be fewer taxes and money needed to run the health care system. People would have the right to die and no one could stop them or force them to decide. It would be a right, like a right to vote. The fact that the people that have been with Dr. Jack Kevorkian or have killed themselves shows that they made the decision themselves. This is what it would be like if it were legal.
All of those reasons for making euthanasia legal seem to be logical but in reality most of those reasons are a bunch of nonsense. For one, the hospitals would not be like a hotel in New Orleans after Mardi Gras (Vacant) and the old folks homes will always have the elderly in them no matter what. There would not even be that many people wanting to practice euthanasia anyway. The health care system would not be helped out and expenses would not go down. From the ethical point of view, a major problem is who should turn off the life-support machine? Should it be a doctor, the patient, or the family? Nevertheless, no matter which party does it, it is unethical and inhuman for them to conduct euthanasia. The act would be considered murder according to the laws and the Bible. In addition, if a persons son or daughter wanted to be euthanized, because their parents generate the patients bodies, they would be accused of disrespecting their parents if euthanasia is conducted. This is just another reason that euthanasia should be denied.
Euthanasia is not taken at random. There must be a handful of approvals and compromises before taking it, so it is not inhuman for someone who turns off the machine. Besides, incurable diseases cause suffering to the patients too much, so they prefer death to survival. Yet, no matter how serious euthanasia is taken, mistakes can happen as well. It is still unethical for someone to kill him or herself or send others to the road of death. Being the parents of the patients, they also do not want to see their sons or daughter die. Thus, it is disrespect for the patients to decide to end their lives. Euthanasia will always be an argument with perspectives from both sides. There will always be people with terminal illnesses and with pain and suffering. The fact that doctor’s are here to help people and help them continue to live is a good reason to ban euthanasia and to keep it illegal. There are more negative aspects than there are positive. JUST SAY NO TO EUTHANASIA!
(Euthanasia: Answer to Frequently Asked Questions , 1,4) International Anti Euthanasia Task Force Homepage.Euthanasia: Answer to Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.iaetf.org, 1998. n.p.
(Unacceptable or Questionable Methods of Euthanasia) Harvard Medical Area Guidelines. Unacceptable or Questionable Methods of Euthanasia. http://www-rics.bwh.harvard.edu/pages/animal_research/euthanasia2.html, 1998. n.p.
(Humphry) Humphry, Derek.Nazi Germany And Its So-Called Euthanasia. http://www.rights.org/~deathnet/DH_essay2.html, 1995. n.p.
(Exod. 20:13) Bible
(Flew n.p.) Flew, Antony. Libertarian Alliance. THE RIGHT TO DEATH “Reason Papers” http://www.libertarian.org/LA/death.html 1990, n.p.