Saturday, 12 May 2007

Is the use of euthanasia justified?

The use of euthanasia is a controversial issue due to conflicting moral feelings both for the individual and between different cultures, ethnicities and religions, therefore in some countries, it is justified whereas it is criminalized in others.

I personally feel that the use of euthanasia may or may not be justified, depending on one’s values and interpretation of such an action and the situation. It is very much like an ideology in the way that neither side would ever be satisfied. There will always be two conflicting views. One would be that euthanasia is an infringement of human rights, the other would be that euthanasia is liberating the patient from a much worse fate.

It can be argued that such a form of mercy killing is not justified. Anti-euthanasia people treat it as a form of murder and voluntary euthanasia as a form of suicide. It can also be argued that these patients in such conditions can no longer make a decision of whether to accept euthanasia; it is usually the next of kin who would make such a decision. In some religion, the sanctity of life is used as justification, as it is believed that no one has the right to take away one’s own life.

However, it can be justified by the fact that if a patient is suffering in pain and have very slim or no chances at all of surviving, euthanasia can be seen as means to reduce the suffering of the person. Pro-euthanasia people are justifying their cause with the reason of pushing for the greater good, and that instead of allowing patients to continue live a life which is not a life at all. A coma patient is a good example of this argument. How much of a life is a coma patient living, stranded unconscious on a bed?

There will never be an end to this argument. Both sides are constantly reinforcing their own beliefs, but not ruling out each other’s. Whether euthanasia is acceptable relies totally on one’s individual perception of the matter.

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