Euthanasia is a topic I’ve been interested in for years. The idea that there are laws to prevent someone ending their own life if they wish to astounds me. Surely if someone is in the state where they are living in misery, whether that be because of disability or mental conditions, they should be able to end their life without worrying about the safety of their family after their death.
It is well known that many currently travel to Switzerland to commit euthanasia in a peaceful environment, where the process is legal. However many who do travel may need aid, to book a plane ticket or travel to the airport. Anyone who knowingly aids someone wishing to end their own life can face charges and possibly be arrested, making it risky for anyone who wishes to do so.
Of course there have to be laws in place to protect citizens against murder. However, many arguments against euthanasia do not involve worries over the safety of others, focusing more on the religious and ethical reasons for ending someone’s life if requested. The religious argument against euthanasia revolves around the concept that God should be the only one to end life. He chooses when and hoe we should die, and therefore to end ones own life would be “playing God”. Whilst some may agree with this argument, not all are religious, and therefore legally it may be unfair to expect people to understand this argument as a fair reason against ending their suffering . Some may question why, if there is a God,he has put them through such misery that they wish not to go on much longer. Religion is not legally forced upon us by law, and therefore using religious arguments against changing a law should not be accepted.
Some also have ethical reasons for disagreeing with euthanasia. It is argued that to ask a doctor or nurse to purposefully and someone’s life, when they continuously work to save them, is unfair and could be difficult for many to do. This is certainly a valid argument. If someone were to struggle with the idea of ending someone’s life then they should not be forced into . However, this is an obstacle that is easily avoided. Doctors and nurses who agree ethically with euthanasia, and understand exactly why someone wishes to die, could be separately trained to carry out the procedure, exactly how some doctors have a particular are of speciality. Similarly, some argue that the standard of medical care in Britain should mean that no one should have to live in such pain, discomfort or misery that they should wish to die. However, with so many people wishing to end their own life every year, if not succeeding, it is clear that perhaps medication or medical care is not always a viable option.
People requesting to have their own life ended, and for this request to be respected, is not uncommon in Britain. Many people make “do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation” orders for when/if their hearts stop or if they stop breathing. This can be likened to euthanasia, as people are therefore denied potentially lifesaving treatment. Equally, the quality of someone’s life should be considered before religion. Whilst some argue that euthanasia would overstep the line, it can definitely be argued that not allowing someone so desperate to end their life to do so is almost a form of torture.
I strongly believe that euthanasia should be legalised. It should not be considered offence for someone to end their own life if they see that their life is not worth living. People should not have to worry about the safety of their family if they require aid in carrying out their euthanasia, or if they want their family to be present at their death. Families of those who commit euthanasia should be able to safely bring the bodies of their loved ones home, without risking investigation and subsequently prosecution. Death should be the one last thing we are able to control in our lives.