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.