Question: What are the arguments for and against legalising euthanasia?
Euthanasia, or more commonly known as assisted suicide, is a medical procedure in which a terminally ill patient life is ended. Though still largely unpopular and often criticised, there are some nations which have legalised this procedure. Switzerland is amongst the few handful of European nations which partake in this practice. The reasons for euthanasia vary; it is often due to the patient’s being in incredible pain and hence their wishes to have their life ended. In other cases, it is due to the patient having been diagnosed as brain dead or in a vegetative state and it was the choice of the patient’s family members to end their life. Ever since the emergence of euthanasia, it has proved to be a very controversial topic with many nations today having debated hotly over the legalising of this practice.
Choice. The strongest, and perhaps most solid, argument for legalising euthanasia comes down to the concept of choice. Under the UN Declaration of Human Rights, it is mentioned that each and every human being has a “right to life”. The term right to life here is commonly interpreted as having the chance to live. However, the definition of the term “right to life” could also extend to mean the right of the person to end their own life. If a person is given the opportunity to live and to life, are they not entitled to the same privilege of choosing their own death? The concept of life also comes into play. Does the definition of life touch only the absolute aspects of eating, drinking and functioning or can life be termed in more abstract terms of enjoyment, happiness? Can it really be said that the patient is still living when all their life consists of is hospital visits, treatment, medication and pain?
As aforementioned, euthanasia is common amongst the terminally ill and those who have been declared brain dead or in a vegetative state. These patients are often in excruciating pain and having access to euthanasia is a chance to end their suffering. Is it not more merciful to have them end their life peacefully rather than forcing them to suffer? For those who argue that euthanasia is cruel and is depriving someone of their life, is it not more cruel to stand by and let the person suffer?
Though I acknowledge the fact that euthanasia can be used to do good, euthanasia can also be abused. There are severe repercussions and dangers which come with the legalising of this practice; namely the increased prevalence of corruption within the medical field- an example of this would be doctors being be harassed, bribed or even blackmailed into performing the procedure despite them not having gotten consent form the patient themselves. In short, the role of euthanasia would devolve from suicide into a form of murder. In addition to this, the regulation of the procedure would prove both costly and difficult and would result in the government having to allocate more funding. In the case of third world countries, where funding of public health care is already a huge issue, this would be near impossible to do.
It should also be noted that euthanasia is against some religions. Buddhists view suicide as sinning and hence partaking in the practice would result in the patient dying as a sinner. Moreover, euthanasia is often frowned upon in certain cultures. In Chinese culture, it is regarded as incredibly unfilial and disrespectful towards one’s parents and family to commit suicide.
In conclusion, I believe that euthanasia should be legalised though this should only be done in countries who can afford to shoulder the financial burden that comes with it. As explained before, there is a huge financial implication which comes with the legalisation of euthanasia due to the fact that it requires strict regulation and control. Moreover, I believe that having a choice is the most important. Outlawing euthanasia is synonymous with outlawing choice and is essentially depriving humans of their basic rights. Though I acknowledge that euthanasia is a sensitive topic in some cultures, it is still imperative to realise that the decision is up to each individual. By legalising euthanasia it is not implied that each and every terminally ill patient would have to receive the treatment. Legalising euthanasia is simply providing each and every terminally ill patient with the choice and opportunity to receive the treatment and as mentioned before, choice is a luxury every man, woman and child should be able to enjoy.
1. Introduction: define only the terms that require precision for the sake of the ensuing argument. Keep it relatively short.
3. Less description and more argument: you should be getting into the heart of issues right from the start.
3. Be persuasive. You have to deliver on the structure of the argument through progressive build up of the analysis.
4. Conclusion is where you express the overarching point you derived through your previous paragraphs. This is not the place to be wordy or start considering new points.
I think you are on the right track: practise to write in a succinct manner