Voluntary euthanasia, which can be defined as a terminally ill person choosing to end his own life when suffers from severe pain but is mentally competent, should reasonably be legalized. In this essay, two reasons supporting the voluntary euthanasia will be given and two counter arguments will be refuted. Two reasons of why voluntary euthanasia should be legalized can be recognized. Firstly, dying peacefully with dignity is the best choice for the suffering incurables.
The person conducted voluntary euthanasia is guaranteed to be terminally ill, which means that he is sure to die soon and can only choose the way to die, the way in extremely pain or the painless way. It is usually better for him to choose to die painlessly. Allowing a person to die peacefully without pain is to respect his life, and he can still keep his last dignity. Otherwise if it is illegal to have voluntary euthanasia, the patient can only be tortured by the insufferable pain, struggling to breathe, wishing to have an immediate relief but still have to wait for a sorrowful death.
Secondly, the decision of the patient should be respected. According to the definition, the patient who can be conducted the voluntary euthanasia is mentally competent, which means that he can make his own rational decisions (Chand, 2009). The patient is responsible for his own life, and the decision about death must have been considered seriously. Nobody wants to die if the pain is not extremely unbearable, so when he chooses to die, it means that this choice is certainly the only one he can bear.
In such cases, nobody except the patient himself can feel how sorrowful he is to live, and how eager he wants to die. How can people decide for someone when they know nothing about the situation he is in? Thus, nobody can decide whether he should live on or not except the patient himself. The decision of the patient is the only one that counts and matters. If the decision of giving up the treatment can be expected and allowed, why cannot voluntary euthanasia be? There are some counterarguments on this issue which oppose voluntary euthanasia.
Firstly, some people claim that doctors should not inflict death (Somerville, 2010). However, when considering voluntary euthanasia, it is not to “inflict” death, but to make death more bearable when the death is inevitable. It is true that doctors are for healing instead of killing, but when there is no more possibility to heal anymore, to relieve the patients’ pain maybe more meaningful for a doctor as well as for the patients. Secondly, some opponents quoted from the constitution of the USA, which says that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person (Bonin, 2012).
They argue that even if the patient is terminally ill, his right to life should still be protected and he can only die naturally. However, these people forget that the right to life does not mean that a person should be forced to live, even when he suffers from unbearable pain and has no hope to recover. The right to life means that a person has the right to choose the way of the life, including the death. For other forms of euthanasia, such as the involuntary euthanasia, the patient’s right to life may be damaged as the decision of euthanasia may not be made by the patient.
However, as for voluntary euthanasia, it is the patient himself who chooses to live or die, which depends only on his own decision. Thus, voluntary euthanasia does not do damages to the patient’s rights. Instead, the legalization of voluntary euthanasia will be beneficial for patients to exercise their “right to life” better. In conclusion, voluntary euthanasia is suitable to be legalized, because of the dignity of the patients and the respect towards the patients’ own decisions.
The legalization of voluntary euthanasia will neither damage people’s rights, nor hurt the doctors. It is fairly reasonable to make it legalized. References: Bonin, A. (2012). Human Euthanasia, The Debate: The Arguments for Both Sides. Retrieved on March 10th, 2013, from http://www. examiner. com/article/human-euthanasia-the-debate-the-arguments-for-both-sides Chand, K. (2009). Why we should make euthanasia legal. Retrieved on March 13th, 2013, from http://www. guardian. co. uk/society/joepublic/2009/jul/01/euthanasia-assisted-s