The controversy of euthanasia

by LP on February 19, 2014 - 10:11am

Euthanasia has always raised several debates. In the following paragraphs you will read two similar stories from completely opposite parts of the world. These stories come to demonstrate the reason for opposition of euthanasia. Following these real life situations is an exploration of the medical and government views on supporting and challenging euthanasia. As you will read, for political achievement and medical advancement, euthanasia has been a source of controversy in every part of the world. 


In the article “ Four-year-old girl asks Belgian King to block euthanasia of children” the author informs us about a real life story. Euthanasia became legal in Belgium in 2002. The laws stated that it was only for patients who were suffering from life threatening illness and are at least 18 years of age. Since then the law went even further, it now includes individuals that were going blind. Belgium legislators are now in the path to legalizing euthanasia for children. Jessica Saba was born with a heart defect and needed to go through several heart operations. But today, four year old Jessica can be seen in a video on youtube intended for the King Philippe, which received more than 12 000 views. Four-year-old girl is trying to convince the king not to sign the final legislation for children euthanasia. Jessica and her family are defending all those children that will never have a chance to see the world if King Philippe signs the legislations. Jessica’s parents are helping their daughter express this issue by talking about the consequences that this law will bring. They fear that parents will give up too soon. With the child-euthanasia law, parents of children born with disabilities and life threatening illness will most likely choose what they consider the easy way out. 



This month, Canada Newswire published an article sharing personal stories of Quebecers in concern of euthanasia. Quebec government might become the first province in Canada to legislate the right to euthanasia without a referendum, but Quebec citizens are calling to the world to help them show the government how this law will follow with abuse. Different Quebec citizens came together to create a video, hoping to influence their government. People share their personal stories and how abuse of the system will come if a law allowing euthanasia without a referendum would be accepted. Nadine, who is currently 16 years old, she shared her story in hopes of making a difference. When she was only 14 years old, Nadine was diagnosed with a severe form of leukaemia, her treatment consisted of a excruciating bone marrow transplant. During the video, Nadine admits that she would of denied the lifesaving treatment if the law was passed, letting the 14 year old girl make her own decision, without the consensus of her parents. She is now grateful that the law for euthanasia was still not accepted because she is now doing well and had the chance to live her dream. With the improvement in medical care, people have more chance of living but if this legislation was approved people would give up before even trying. By imposing this act, the Quebec government will kill more people than necessary. 



The word euthanasia originated from Greece, which means ‘good death’. Euthanasia can be done more than one way, introducing any kind of medicine to cause the death and to detain lifesaving treatment or support would be considered euthanasia. This new concept in the field of health care aroused several debates not only in Quebec but around the world. Several arguments against euthanasia are often argued. One of the point against euthanasia that is often brought up is; patient with any mental illness or trauma would not be in a right state of mind to make such a decision. On the other side, several points are shown by supporters. one of the main points often shown is the right-to-die, people say that patients should have the right to die with dignity. People suffering from any terminal disease should be allowed to refuse any treatment that could prologue their life but also their sufferance. In most parts of the world, euthanasia has been a controversial subject. But in other countries of the world, like India, euthanasia is not even a consideration since it is against the law. Any attempt or assist to suicide is illegal. The law states the right to life. 


People have many  differences regarding euthanasia, there is different possibility to view the reason of this procedure. Euthanasia has a big implication in the law & legislation sector, there has been several controversy concerning human rights and the implication of euthanasia. These law play an important role in politics. Some politics parties could use the implication of euthanasia and its debate to promote the support of voters but generally debates such as euthanasia are used to make our country think, evaluate and negotiate to find laws that would best protect the citizens. 



This is the link for the video that was made for the king of Belgian:


After taking a Protest & Public Opinion class, I have seen many articles and videos dealing with differing opinions on this topic as well, and the conclusion that I have come up with is that euthanasia is a valid option for someone who does not want to suffer with a disease or condition that has completely prevented them from doing normal tasks. Although I see how people would view this as a moral dilemma, and ultimately it is, but I think that the decision more or less comes down to the person who is suffering. If thought about this way, is it really a moral decision? I struggle understanding why people find this so hard to understand. In most countries of the world people are free to make other life altering decision, like getting married, having kids, going to college, where they go to college, job opportunities, all of which can be considered to either excel or prevent people from being able to live a normal life. If people are allowed to make these decisions in their life, why shouldn’t they be able to make the decision to not suffer anymore. I realize, from your article, that Indian law states that everyone deserves the right to live, however what does it mean to “live”, and since when does India determine what living is? In many United States cases on this issue, I have seen many people who have suffered long enough, and in some cases euthanasia is considered to be a dignified way to pass, with many considering how them living will negatively impact their families, and how they would want to be able to live on their own without the constant need of professionals and families. I can see how loved one’s wouldn’t want euthanasia to be legal in many instances, but then again, since when do others have a say in the life of another person? In conclusion, euthanasia should be legal everywhere as it gives people the constitutional right to die without suffering, just as they are allowed the right to make any other personal decisions throughout their lifespan.

I do believe in the use of Euthanasia, however I do not believe in using it on anyone who is under 18 years old. I believe that if you are suffering from a life threatening illness and there is no hope that you will recover I believe the choice is yours. If you do not want to watch yourself deteriorate then I believe euthanasia should be an option for you. I do not believe children should be able to use euthanasia at all, I think the idea of taking a life should only be up to the person faced with a life threatening illness and I do not think a parent should make that choice for a child. Nevertheless there should be many rules and regulations to go along with euthanasia, multiple doctors should have to verify your condition, you have to be checked by a psychologist as well to make sure you understand consent as well. I do not think of euthanasia as a way out if done the proper way. If you are positive that you are going to pass away and cannot be saved and would like to die peacefully I do believe it is up to you. I do not think we should just euthanize people to save money. In high school I watched a video about a man who flew to Europe with his wife so he could legally be euthanized, his wife was okay with it, his children were okay with it why should other people who are not involved in their everyday life able to take away their ability to make that choice. I believe if we are able to make a choice for abortions then we should be able to make a choice in favor of euthanasia.

I think that in some instances, euthanasia could be justified. The fact that we are in the business of prolonging terminally ill patients, most of whom are older, is a sign of how our culture likes to cling to people because we are too scared to let them go. We don't want to lose people. However, in these instances, is it fair to make these people suffer simply because we don't want to have to go through the emotional trauma of losing them? I don't believe it is. As for how far euthanasia should go, and the potential for abuse of euthanasia, there should obviously be guidelines for its use. Just as it is difficult to declare a patient brain dead (medical professionals must go through multiple steps to ensure nothing is missed) euthanasia should not be an option given lightly. Perhaps patients must be terminally ill, and declared to be of sound mind to make this decision for themselves. I don't think children should be able to be euthanized, because their perspective of the world is limited, and their view of death is not founded in a firm understand of it at a young age. Parents should not be given the option to either, because they too could give up too soon. In the end it would probably only be fair to offer this option to patients who are truly suffering, once they are adults.

This is an interesting issue because it has such dramatic positives and negatives associated with it. While there are probably many people who would benefit from euthanasia, in cases where no treatment is available, and no improvement or alleviation of pain is possible, there are still those who would exploit this law to avoid responsibility for their child's welfare, or even some children (or adults) who might decide to end their lives hastily. One thing this made me think of, however, is the similar debate surrounding coma patients. In this situation, we don't always know if the person is in pain, but their health may be just as bad as someone not in a coma. Yet many families still make the decision to remove their relatives from life support. I am not sure where the distinction of age could be made, or what guidelines could be used to make this issue clearer, but it is definitely a topic that will be more and more common as technology increases and as more people are in this situation. One final note that I have is this--if someone does want to die and they are able to, no one can really stop that person from committing suicide, which seems much more traumatic to surviving relatives than the planned end to a life.

Euthanasia has always been a topic that I have followed and had swaying viewpoints on. Particularly because I believe everyone can ultimately contribute to the debate since everyone possesses their own life in which they claim they can do with it what they please. Every single day I hear tragic stories of individuals, old and young, whose lives are basically ruined by terminal illness, accidents leaving them handicapped, or something of that nature, and occasionally the debate on whether assisted suicide should be allowed sparks up again. It is not an easy debate whatsoever, as you pointed out. How can someone be sure they are in the right mind to decide if they want to die? Or if they can’t interact effectively, how can the family be sure it’s truly the end and only suffering is left? You asked all of these questions, and I believe that in the end there is no set answer.
The only thing I really couldn’t get on board with was the example of the four year old girl who is now appealing to the King of Belgium to stop the legislation of child euthanasia. I only say this because it assumes that every single four year old with a terrible illness or defect such as hers will pull through and live a happy life, just as long as they fight it. In a perfect world, this would be true, but unfortunately that is not the case. Not every child, or person affected, will have the strength or luck to survive, and this lends itself to just another aspect to consider when debating this issue.

Euthanasia will always be a critical subject. I happen to believe in the use of Euthanasia. I believe that people to have right to die with dignity. Now I also believe that children should have this option as well. I believe that when it is in regards to children rights and regulations clearly need to be developed. I do not see any parent putting their child to death for unnecessary reasons. Where even with adults those that allow Euthanasia each country has different regulations. So with children I believe that the regulations need to be tighter, there should be physicians that can monitor all of the cases involving children closely. This so that children whom would only be living to have repeated surgical procedures that are extremely pain full time and time again just to eventually die. Although I must say that there might be a 1 in a million chance that the circumstances could have been good. I would have to say that once they put up guidelines for the children, they would have more circumstances of children having to endure pain and suffering because of minor circumstances. So as I can respect the wishes of the four year olds family, I would still want it to go the other way.

Seven years ago, you would ask me my opinion on euthanasia and I would have answered that it was murder and it should not by any means be legalized. Now though, my opinion has drastically changed. My grandfather has Alzheimer's disease and a hiatal hernia, which happens when a part of your stomach pushes into your chest cavity. Considering the fact that my grandfather is 86, doctors won’t operate on him even though he’s in immense pain. To make it worst because of his Alzheimer's he doesn’t remember how much pain he’s in. He’s dying and my family and I have watched him deteriorate for two years now. Every time we ask him how he is, all he says is he’s alive. Yes, he’s alive but he’s not living. He’s dying and that is quite evident. If doctors refuse to perform surgery on him because he’s too old then he should have the right to choose when he wants to pass away. I love my grandfather. He’s a caring and funny man. If I had it my way, he’d be alive long enough to meet his great grandchildren. I love my grandfather but I want my grandfather to die. I want him to die because at least when he passes, he won’t be in pain anymore.

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