Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve suffering or pain. Euthanasia has its own advantages and disadvantages. To start with, according to the Oxford Dictionary, euthanasia is defined as the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable, painful disease or in an irreversible coma. In other words, euthanasia is when patients with incurable diseases commit suicide which is permitted by the law. With the help of euthanasia, people can die with dignity. For instance, people in the later stages of terminal illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, or various neurological illnesses including Parkinson’s often end up bedridden and depend on nurses and relatives for simple tasks such as eating, bathing and going to the toilet, which can be humiliating for them. For example, a woman had talked to The Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom back in 2008 that she was suffering from terminal multiple sclerosis that had left her unable to take care of herself. She expressed her opinion that such an existence was “torture”. “If I was Spooky, my cat, I’d appreciate to be put down long ago,” she said. Therefore, euthanasia help people to die with dignity and that is why I believe that it should be legalized. To add on, people’s freedom of choice is another reason of the legalization of euthanasia. If living in pain, living without value or meaning, death is the better way. The ill person, in Belgium, for example, has the right to sign a paper, when he is lucid, that he or she chooses the right to die when he is ill without any hope of cure. Belgium has a law that allows people to be killed since 2002, but this law applies under strict conditions. Those who followed the euthanasia then argued that when medicine was helpless against a certain medical condition, it extended life to prolong pain for the sick and prolong miserable difficulties for the family. Moreover, ways of extending life without hope of healing are an economic burden for the patient’s family and the society. Allowing patients to end their suffering is not only morally justified but also essential to upholding the right to personal and bodily autonomy. Even though it has a number of good points, however, on the other side, there are disadvantages as well. Religion contributes to the euthanasia’s concerns. Many religious people, especially Catholics, consider that life is the ultimate gift and that only the God Al Mighty has the power to take it. Take USA as an example, the United States conference of Catholic bishops opposes euthanasia on the grounds that life is a gift over which we have stewardship but not unlimited authority. The Catholic tradition clearly and strongly affirms that as a responsible custodian of life one must never directly intend to cause one’s own death, or the death of an innocent victim, by exclusion or action. Moreover, it is believed that legalizing euthanasia would put too much power in the hands of doctors, making them abuse their current status. For instance, it is said by the executive director of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide that laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are in place to prevent abuse and to protect people from unscrupulous doctors and others. They are not, and never have been, intended to make anyone suffer. This is actually because of the oath that they have taken while in the process of becoming a doctor. It is also considered euthanasia and assisted suicide are about the right to kill and not about the right to die. To conclude, some believe that allowing a person who is terminally ill and in pain to pass away at their own will is morally right, but those opposed to the practice on religious, moral, and ethical grounds argue that nature must be allowed to take its course. In my opinion, the legalization of euthanasia shall be executed as it is the only humane, rational and compassionate choice.
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