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Should Euthanasia be legalised in the UK? Essay

Euthanasia is a much-discussed topic in the UK these days, particularly when people believe that Euthanasia should be legalised. For some people, the most important question about Euthanasia is “Is it ever right to kill an innocent human being?” Bentham (1843) famously said that all talk of natural rights is “nonsense upon stilts”. Yet some people claim we have a ‘right to die’. Other people say we have a right to dignity, and that euthanasia can provide a dignified, peaceful death rather than a prolonged period of lost dignity and great suffering. However, Euthanasia is difficult to make a decision or judge that it is legal or not. This argument will give some viewpoint and some example to support the Euthanasia should be legalized in the UK.

The first aspect for does Euthanasia to be legalized is ‘It saves lives’. This viewpoint has been proven that it can actually save lives not to shorten life. Many peoples can’t believe that this argument is true or not. Netherlands country has had progressive laws on assisted dying for over a decade now. In 2005, only 0.4 percent of all euthanasia procedures were carried out without the patient’s explicit permission, this study founded by the New England Journal of Medicine. Many peoples might argue that 0.4 percent too many, but you will get this by following evidence. A 1991 report, written a decade before euthanasia was legalized, found that 0.8 percent of the deaths at the time were done without the explicit request of the patient (Kessler, 2012). In other words, giving a nationwide go-ahead for doctors to legally end their patient’s lives actually halved the number of unwanted deaths.

In Britain, a 2012 study discovered that as many as 57,000 patients (Donnelly, 2012) each year die without being told that efforts to keep them alive have been stopped. Instead, they’re just shoved onto a “death pathway” designed to alleviate suffering without ever being told. So basically, doctors in the UK are already practicing euthanasia, only without any of the legal framework to check abuses that would come from legalizing it (Holligan, 2012).

However, the law in this country still not supported for Euthanasia as Dr. Kerr who works in UK Medical Centre insisted he believed his actions at the time were in the best interest of the patients. He said ‘I think there should be a change in the law because my personal experience is that there are people suffering distressing symptoms at the end of life which cannot all be palliated, and while people should be offered all the available treatments, there may be times when their preferred course of action will be suicide or to be assisted to die.’ and he also said that ‘I feel the law is out of step with what is socially acceptable to a large number of people’ (Innes, 2013).

In conclusion, from above argument, it can be clearly seen that the Euthanasia isn’t make life shorter but it save lives. Furthermore, the UK’s law is still not support for Euthanasia and it also have some conflict with socially accept. However, we should support the Euthanasia to be legalized in the UK and to be respectful for the patient’s decision as well.

References
Bentham, J. (1843). Anarchical Fallacies; Being An Examination of the Declarations of Rights Issued During the French Revolution” in John Bowring.The Works Of Jeremy Bentham.

Donnelly, L. (2012) Half of those on Liverpool Care Pathway never told. [online] Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9716418/Half-of-those-on-Liverpool-Care-Pathway-never-told.html [Accessed 01/12/2012]

Kessler, G. (2012) Euthanasia in the Netherlands: Rick Santorum’s bogus statistics. [online] Available from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/euthanasia-in-the-netherlands-rick-santorums-bogus-statistics/2012/02/21/gIQAJaRbSR_blog.html [Accessed 02/22/2012]

Holligan, A. (2012) UK doctors ‘perform euthanasia’ – top Dutch medic.
[online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19284756 [Accessed 01/12/2012]

Innes, E. (2013) I helped patients to end their lives: Pro-euthanasia doctor reveals how he gave sleeping pills to elderly couple – and helped two more die. [online] Available from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2292736/Iain-Kerr-Pro-euthanasia-doctor-reveals-gave-sleeping-pills-elderly-couple.html [Accessed 13/03/2013]


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