Euthanasia is the deliberate act of putting an end to a patient’s life for the purpose of ending the patients suffering. But can it ever be right to kill patients, even with the intent to ease suffering? To kill patients, even with the intent to ease suffering, is considered homicide. Over the past years euthanasia has been defeated and become illegal in every country besides Netherland and Belgium. I am afraid that if euthanasia could have been legalised in those two countries, it’s a matter of time; the whole world would approval and soon follows the Dutch’s example of ‘good and easy death.
Once legalised, euthanasia will become a means of health care containment, will become involuntary and would not only apply for the terminally ill, and not to mention, euthanasia will change our doctor-patient relationships. One of the most important developments in recent years is the increasing stress placed on health care provides to contain cost. In many countries, thousands of people have no medical insurance, especially the poor, generally are not given any access to available treatment.
Health care provides are even offering doctors cash bonuses if they don’t provide care for patients as the stress being placed on health care is increasing. Many doctors are at financial risk when they provide treatment for the unfortunate ones. Quote from Wesley J. Smith, ‘… drugs used in the progress of euthanasia cost only $40, but that it could take $40 000 to treat a patient properly. ’ Legalised euthanasia will raise dangerous situations, where doctors could find themselves better off financially ending an unfortunate patients suffering rather than providing long term care.
As they say, euthanasia will only be voluntary, but in the real life there would be millions of situations each year where euthanasia would fall into involuntary; where emotional pressures could become overpowering if the choice of euthanasia is considered good, majority will feel guilty for not choosing death. What if in ten years time, your mother was depressed by her illness and was asked to approve a ‘quick, painless ending her life,’ would she have the strength to refuse what the nurses and everyone expected of her?
The movement from voluntary to involuntary euthanasia is an issue of the way laws can expand once something is declared legal, take abortion as an example, from ‘only for the life or health of the mother’ to becoming an ‘abortion on demand,’ the law has change dramatically, the same system with euthanasia as soon as the door is opened to making it legal. Terminally illness is any disease that curtails life even for a day. Once euthanasia is socially acceptable and legalised it would widen the practice to any medical condition, not just for terminal illness, we will consider euthanasia as a treatment option.
Dr Gunning states: ‘once you accept killing as a solution for a single problem, you will find tomorrow hundreds of problems for which killing can be seen as a solution. ’ Dutch doctors have been killing terminally ill, to killing chronically ill, killing physical disease to killing mentally distressed, who has no physical illness, to killing newborn babies just because they have birth defects. The experience of Netherlands and Belgium in legalising, points the fact that once legalised it cannot be effectively controlled. Legalise euthanasia will ultimately undermine doctor-patient relationship.
Euthanasia is basically giving doctors the right to kill their patients. ‘It’s not up to the doctors whether life is happy or unhappy, worthwhile or not and should be incorporate these perspective into his trade, the doctor could well become the most dangerous person in the state,’ quoted but WJ, Smith. It would make us wonder whether the doctor coming into my hospital room wearing the white coat of the healer or the black hood for the executioner. Euthanasia will give the doctor the power to decide whether to terminate or preserve our lives and our lives will rest with the medical profession.
In conclusion, we know the dangers that arise when euthanasia is legal, but that is why almost all societies have made euthanasia a crime, because once euthanasia is legalised; it will change our doctor-patient relationship and we cannot confuse the role of doctors as someone who supports life with someone who takes life. We have already witness how euthanasia will result in a spread to beyond terminally ill and as the law will expand from voluntary to involuntary, it will also become a health care containment. For a selfish society, euthanasia is an easy solution- and that is what makes it such a horror.