To Kill or Not to Kill: Ethical Issues on Euthanasia

SyringeUnquestionably, death is unavoidable. Everyone will eventually depart whether it is sudden or expected. However what happens when humans take legal control over a situation where someone wants to end their life by their own will?

Euthanasia is a controversial topic that has many legal repercussions. Some people support the act, while others are against it. There are certain ethical implications that support and oppose the act of euthanasia.

The different ethical issues are seen in different types of euthanasia. People who grant another person’s wish to die, have to make sure that they get the honest and capable consent from the person who is about to die and his or her family members.

Types of Euthanasia

After consent has been officially stated, there are different ways to administer euthanasia. It can be administered actively or passively. Active euthanasia is done by intending todo an act that can cause death such as lethal injection or sleeping pill overdose.

Passive euthanasia deals with not saving a person’s life such as disconnecting the life support or not resuscitating a person. Other classifications are voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. Voluntary is when a person requests to end their life with thefull knowledge that it will lead to their death.

Involuntary euthanasia is when a person’s life is ended without their knowledge and consent. This means that they are unconscious, unable to communicate, or is too sick to be aware of what is happening.

Ethical arguments of euthanasiaEthical Dilemmas of Euthanasia

Every person is entitled to the right to life. However, euthanasia poses an ethical dilemma,it challenges this right in that it demands that a person also has the right to death when they decide to terminate their lives.

There is a fear that if ever euthanasia was made legal; people would be killed even if they did not decide on dying. The laws regulating the act would then be abusedand court proceedings would become mired in uncertainty.

Religious Aspects of Euthanasia

Most religious groups oppose euthanasia. People who hold strong religious views are likely to arguethat the only person that can decide on ending life is God. It is also stated in the Ten Commandments that it is forbidden to kill.

The response from religious groups, to the argument that euthanasia terminates suffering is often to focus that all life has some suffering yet still, not all life is terminated. However this is often answered by supporters of euthanasia, with an argument that states that, once the quality of life for a person has reached an unacceptable level and their suffering cannot be endured, then the person suffering has the right to terminate that life.

Arguments for Euthanasia

Indeed, there are numerous arguments about euthanasia that support or oppose it. One supporting argument states that everyone is interdependent and whatever we do affects others. A decision about ending one’s life should have all involved parties come to an agreement, ensuring that decisions as important as those surrounding euthanasia are not made unilaterally.