Explore the issue of euthanasia with reference to arguments in favor of and against this practice as these relate to the different thinking of various theorists.
There are a number of compelling arguments for and against euthanasia. Those may share a number of these arguments with divergent beliefs. For instance, an atheist may recognize the dangers of allowing euthanasia (the slippery slope argument). Still, they may argue that the right of an individual to direct their own life outweighs other good arguments.
The argument is typical that some individuals are so ill that they no longer feel they can live with the pain or no longer wish to live. In my opinion, if you are gravely ill and on your deathbed, you should be able to choose to end your suffering (Pesut et al. 153). However, some believe it is unethical to have someone “kill” you because you no longer wish to live.
Many religious believers likely have great sympathy for arguments that a person should not be forced to live in agony. Still, for them, the notion that life is sacred may outweigh other ideas, no matter how compelling they may be.
Contrary to advocates of assisted suicide today and proponents of euthanasia, who put a premium on individual autonomy, Plato viewed a person’s desire to live or die as a significant factor in determining their fate and irrelevant to deciding whether suicide might be acceptable. An objective assessment of the moral worthiness of a person, not the individual’s decision regarding the value of continued life, was decisive. In contrast to Plato, the Stoics of later Hellenistic and Roman times espoused a non-religious philosophy. Roman eras emphasized more on the welfare of the individual. They believed that even though life, in general, was even though life should be lived to its fullest, there may be instances where suicide is acceptable
The following are some arguments in favor of euthanasia:
- Humans should have the right to choose when and how they pass away (self-determination).
- Euthanasia allows a person to die with dignity and in control of their situation.
The state should not interfere with an individual’s right to die because death is a private matter.
When there is no cure for a person’s illness, it is costly to keep them alive (Verhofstadt et al. 160). The release of valuable resources through euthanasia would allow for treating individuals who could live.
- Family and friends would be spared the anguish of witnessing a loved one endure a drawn-out death.
- Society allows animals to be euthanized as a compassionate act when they are suffering; the same option should be available for humans.
Opposition to euthanasia arguments
Some arguments against euthanasia that are not religious include:
- Euthanasia would diminish society’s regard for the value and significance of human life.
- Appropriate palliative care is available, which reduces or eliminates the need for individuals to be in pain
- terminally ill patients would receive inferior care
- It would put too much power in the hands of doctors and erode the trust between patient and doctor.
- Some individuals may feel pressured by family, friends, or physicians to request euthanasia, even if it is not what they truly desire.
- it would undermine the resolve of physicians and nurses to save lives
- it would discourage the pursuit of new cures and treatments for terminally ill patients
- a few individuals recover inexplicably
- Some people may change their minds about euthanasia and be unable to communicate this to anyone
- Voluntary euthanasia could be the first step on a slippery slope leading to involuntary euthanasia, in which undesirable or problematic individuals are killed.