Ethical Dilemmas with Euthanasia

by vwils1 on September 15, 2013 - 5:59pm


Euthanasia has become a worldwide topic, especially in countries such as Belgium and Switzerland. Although in most cases patients wish to be euthanized, it is still illegal and considered murder in the United States. This is becoming such a widely known topic because it is becoming more extreme. In the Netherlands Infanticide occurs in about eight percent of all births. When doctors decide that an infant is terminally ill, or has a severe disability, doctors decide to euthanize the baby. It is becoming acceptable for minors, under the age of 18, to consent to their assisted suicide if they are a patient who is terminally ill.  This would not be such a large problem, had more strict rules been enforced from the beginning of the debate.  Since the rules were not strictly enforced doctors felt that they could get away with assisted suicide with little to no repercussions. Also, it seems as though doctors are attempting to justify euthanasia by pairing it with organ donation; they give patients who are depressed or terminally ill a feeling that “their death is worth more than their life.”


Is there a reason why there are not more severe repercussions for doctors who break the law and participate in assisted suicide? Allowing physicians a minimal punishment because they wanted to help someone who was already dying, extremely elderly, or even just extremely depressed is not right. Even if a doctor’s opinion differs from the law, it does not give them the right to break it. There are too many legal and moral questions that are left unanswered to allow euthanasia to become a common practice. 



Your article is very interesting. I didn’t know about the regulations of Euthanasia in other countries. I thought you did a great job getting to the point of the article and explaining the main facts. Going into the medical field I have often though about this issue.
The question that comes up is, do we have the right to die? Although I do think you make very good points in your article I believe that, just like people, each situation is unique. There should be though some sort of criteria or selection process that determines whether a patient is “fit” to give consent. I agree with you when you state that Euthanasia should not be a common practice and that medical professionals should not be using organ donation to justify it. I don’t think that Euthanasia is always going to be the wrong decision though. It’s a tricky situation that is hard to pass judgment on unless you are directly involved in a situation.

This is some very good research. I found your article interesting, since it is the first time I hear about the use of the idea of organ donors to justify assisted suicide. I personally agree with this practice (assisted suicide) since it is inhumane to watch someone who is terminally suffer the way they do. I should be a choice that should be offer only for people who are terminally ill. I would also share this article which talks about two brothers in Switzerland who are going blind and have recourse to this type of service. ( ) I was attracted by this article because recently there has been talk about legalizing assisted suicide in Quebec, by implementing Bill 52 (Dying with Dignity Act). I was wondering how it is applied in other countries and what would the differences be. If anyone is interested the first link will be one about the most recent development on the subject, and the second link will be a link that goes directly to the Dying with Dignity Act.