To euthanize a person is to put him/her to a painless death. The process can also be done to animals and the general process can be called euthanasia or mercy killing. This procedural death is undertaken by a medical doctor under ones authority or relative or the administration authority. The aims of euthanasia is to relieve the pain of someone by giving him death pills that will kill him/her peacefully. The debate has been on the table for decades about whether to legalize euthanasia or illegalize it. Many countries so far has come into agreement to legalize it ignoring the negative consequences it carries. The debate again to euthanize those who are not responsible and not able to provide for their well-being or referred to “useless” is one of the topics that should not be given a dark eye. Should we kill the disabled, the elderly or the sick just because they are unproductive?
First, euthanasia is a barbaric act that diminishes the value of human life (Kamisar, 1957). It denies an individual’s fundamental right to life whether productive or not productive (Kamisar, 1957). Terminating someone’s life is considered a form of murder in most international countries. Despite the fact that the goal is to “ease the pain,” the loss of life has nothing to do with pain relief. The act of killing oneself or another with a euthanasia drug is identical to the act of killing oneself or another with a firearm or poison (Lipuma, 2013). This is often certain because of the fact that the end results are equal and the person is considered dead. Consequently, euthanasia is in opposition to the intrinsic value and dignity of a person.
Euthanasia could jeopardize the social life, particularly religious life and other important cultural beliefs (Fontalis et al., 2018). Some religions forbid taking someone’s life even if “no other option” exists because they believe that life is a sacred thing that no one should remove it from either himself or another man. The Roman Catholic Church and the Islamic faith are two examples of religions that strongly oppose euthanasia. By euthanizing the disabled or the sick or the elderly could be against this religions and cultural practices.
Euthanasia could lead to an enclosed battle for the who are referred to “useless”, torn between the challenge of pain and the desire to spend time with their own circle of society that is welcoming to them (Dowbiggin 2003). Sometimes they not only request to die but they do so to see if there is way to relive the pain they are undergoing through. Whether directly or indirectly, euthanasia puts a lot of pressure on the elderly, the sick, and the disabled.
Euthanasia can never be a solution for people who cannot take their responsibility. Let’s take a family that has only one child that they have been blessed with, but this child is under a comma. Even though the child may not be seen as useful, but killing him/her will cause more psychological damage to the mother of the child. The mother has a certain percentage of happiness that she gains from the presence of her child, even though she cannot help with anything, having the child would be better than having none. Euthanasia will not only add stress, but it can lead to loneliness and emptiness that may take decades to heal. It can cause a self-blame to the one who authorized the procedure which will cause him/her psychological problems just like the one who conducted it. Losing a family member or a close friend has been associated with high levels of depression, which may lead to other underlying conditions and finally cause death (Horwitz & Wakefield 2007)
With the increased cruelty in the society, allowing euthanasia to be done to those who are referred to be “useless” could be turned into an option to eliminate the elderly, the disabled or the sick in the society, which would be against human rights (Grodin, et al., 2018). This would cause many elderly and the disabled to be denied the chances of life as many would be killed. Associate in Nursing overburdened fitness care devices may reduce the standard of care for their patients, causing them to choose euthanasia and that’s why my opinion stands firm to be against euthanasia.
As we well know that it is performed by a medical doctor or a nurse who is a normal human being as you and I am (Van et al 2007) the prospect of postponing someone’s death can cause psychological problems for the doctor or nurse performing the operation. Taking someone’s lifestyle is neither peaceful nor simple. Doctors in Belgium, for example, have been found to undergo psychotherapy after performing euthanasia (Smets et al., 2010). Belgian nurses have also been discovered taking time off while euthanasia is being carried out (Denier et al., 2010). Why take a risk of developing someone a psychological problem if we still have another option to take.
Assume we have someone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, like colon cancer. This person may simply take euthanasia as the best way to proceed as he/she knows that even after a long period of being in bed, he/she will eventually die. In the case of euthanasia, the physician recognizes that the diagnosis was incorrect and that the person became afflicted by not terminal colon cancer but another condition like hemorrhoids, which could be easily treated and the person could come back to his feet. Euthanasia will no longer be the best option in this case, and the doctor may have broken the law by ending the life of someone who could have be back to his feet to work and contribute again. With this situation, we can see that euthanasia isn’t always the best choice for humans. Those patients who mostly request euthanasia may not only mean that they love dying, but they are requesting it if there is a way that they can relieve pain or be productive people as mentioned above (Schuklenk & Van 2015).
With advancements in palliative care, euthanasia may no longer be required. Palliative care allows someone who has become irresponsible due to a specific health condition, age or some sort of disability (Matthews 1998). Palliative care can address both physical and psychological issues, allowing the person with this condition to recover. Palliative care can also address social and spiritual issues, allowing a person to recover over time rather than euthanasia. Palliative sedation is available in a wide range of extreme cases (Matthews 1998).
The issue of life extension has been found to be extremely beneficial, especially in light of the increased quality of life that has become common in many countries (Matthews 1998). People with cancer, for example, have recently been discovered to be living longer, implying that euthanasia could simply end their lives. To the elderly, this is a duty of the society to take care of them. Instead of killing them because they are no longer productive they can be kept under special conditions that they will feel a bit happier and enjoy the value of lifer. Instead we cannot say they are no longer productive but in layman language they have just retired from being productive. They are the source of the society and people should be proud of them rather.
In conclusion, no matter how irresponsible a person may be, she/he still deserves to live. There is no right in terminating someone’s life if you can’t create one. Also, there is no right to sacrifice your life due to a seasonal pain or feeling of unproductiveness that you never know may be solved without terminating your life. From a religious perspective, ending life is a sin that may cause someone to have much more pain after death than when he/she is alive. Instead of taking euthanasia as the last option, palliative care could be the best option for someone who is undergoing pain or not able to cater for their wellbeing. The life of those who cannot provide for themselves should not be jeopardized because by doing so we devalue the meaning of life. Disabled and the elderly who are unable to feed themselves or find food have the right to live as well. Despite their suffering, they have a component to enjoy. They do experience it from time to time in their lives if they are identified and given the care and attention they deserve if they aren’t euthanized.