Euthanasia is the practice or act of killing, giving painless death to an individual by taking their permission because of their permanent illness or injury. The word has Greek roots which means “easy death”.
Euthanasia can be classified into voluntary euthanasia, Non-voluntary euthanasia and involuntary euthanasia.
Voluntary euthanasia is a kind of euthanasia in which death is conducted with consent of a patient. It is currently legal in following countries.
- The Netherlands
Non-voluntary euthanasia is when it is conducted on patient who is unable to give consent due to the illness he suffers from. In such situations the decision is made by family or person who is his guardian.
It is the kind of euthanasia which is performed on a patient when he is even able to give consent but he does not actually gives the consent because he doesn’t want to die. Under such circumstance if the patient is euthanized it is called murder.
What are the Ethics of euthanasia?
Ethics of euthanasia is a controversial topic as it is about ending a life of an individual because of endless suffering. The topic is very debatable as there are many different views and opinions towards the issue in our society. Why it is a controversial issue? Because of the confusion between right and wrong.
There are two different groups for euthanasia one of the group is religious group which strongly condemn the act while another group is in the favor of that practice. Let us generally glance why is the ethics of euthanasia wrong? OR why is the ethics of euthanasia right?
Why is the ethics of euthanasia wrong?
Life is given by god and he has every right to take it back. We as a human has no righto take away what god has given us. He gives us pain, sufferings and sorrow because that is his will to do. This is what religious opponents of euthanasia believes. While other opponents believe that the laws regulating euthanasia would be abused, and people who don’t want to die would be murdered. If it is legalized. People fear that the allowing the practice of euthanasia sends the message to others that, “it’s better to die than to be sick or disabled”.
Many are needlessly condemned to suffering by the chief anti-euthanasia argument: that murder might lurk under the cloak of kindness. A C Grayling, Guardian 2001
Why is the ethics of euthanasia right?
The supporters of euthanasia argue that a civilized person who lives with dignity in society should be allowed to end their life in dignity and painlessly. And if a person is not able to give consent then his closely relater’s should be allowed to do so for the sufferers good. Actually a patients calls for euthanasia is a ‘cry for help’, which implies that he is thinking his life is not worth living now but could be worth remembering if he dies with dignity. The incapacity of patient to engage in daily routine activities such as daily chores makes them feel worthless and miserable because of their permanent physical disability.
At the end of it the International Code of Medical Ethics of the World Medical Association states that,
“A physician shall always bear in mind the obligation to respect human life” and the Medical Ethics Manual of the World Medical Association states that “Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at the patient’s own request or at the request of close relatives, is unethical. This does not prevent the physician from respecting the desire of a patient to allow the natural process of death to follow its course in the terminal phase of sickness”