There is a tendency of reasonable people disagreeing over certain issues. Human beings often take sides in arguments due to differences in aspects such as ideologies. Some discussion topics in life evoke more disputes than others. Contentious subjects trigger actively opposing positions as each side perceives its view as superior. The drive to advance the agenda of either side leads to falling out among reasonable people. An excellent example of a controversial issue is the element of euthanasia. The debate over the legality and morality of using the method persists as society disagrees whether human beings have the option of choosing the right to life or death.
Euthanasia occurs in various forms. Primarily, it entails the termination of a patient’s life in order to halt one’s suffering. In most scenarios, the act is applicable when the ill person requests it (“Ethics Guide,” n.d.). Euthanasia can occur through an active process by introducing some medicine to the patient’s body that will trigger death. It may also involve withholding of treatment and supportive tools in order to cause death (Math & Chaturvedi, 2012). For instance, a patient can get euthanized by taking them off life-support machines. The concept, termed as a premature ending of life, has generated intense debate and arguments (Math & Chaturvedi, 2012). Its supporters believe that it is a necessary element in modern day health care settings. However, critics term it as an immoral, dangerous act that should not be encouraged in society. Thus, it is a controversial subject that causes disagreements.
One of the persuasive arguments used by euthanasia supporters is that every individual has a right to die with dignity. They use this idea to appeal and advocate for the embracing of the exercise. The concept of death with dignity arises from the knowledge that terminally ill patients endure a lot of suffering for a long time. They face unpleasant situations while undergoing treatment or coping with the illness. Besides, their health condition may cause immense pain. For example, some diseases may weaken a person to the level of a prolonged vegetative state (Math & Chaturvedi, 2012). At some point, the patient may feel like he or she has become a burden to his or her family. Hence, euthanasia is an applicable option of ending the misery and pain. Therefore, supporters believe it is vital for people to have the right to make their end-of-life choices.
Opponents of euthanasia counter the argument of the right to a dignified death by alleging that it sets a precedent for a dangerous move. They believe that facilitating voluntary departure is likely to lead to involuntary euthanasia. There is a possibility that the public will begin eliminating individuals viewed as undesirable or unworthy. People who suffer from chronic and debilitating illnesses are at risk of removal from society (Math &Chaturvedi, 2012). Critics argue that embracing the aspect of death with dignity will lead to the disposal of sick people from civilized communities. The basis of this viewpoint is that advancements in palliative care exist to cater to the needs of the ill (Math &Chaturvedi, 2012). Patients can rely on the system for support required during challenging times. Thus, euthanasia is not a viable option.
Euthanasia supporters argue that some diseases cause a significant burden to the caregivers. Incurable diseases drain the energy and resources of people close to the patient. The idea that terminally ill patients may never recover implies that family and friends are contributing towards stopping an inevitable loss. Relatives require a lot of effort to care for people suffering from degenerative, disabling, or debilitating conditions (Math & Chaturvedi, 2012). Such illnesses weaken patients and compel them to rely on others for support. They are unable to carry out primary activities without the help of loved ones. Hence, over time, the burden on the care providers increases as the patient worsens. Care provision causes financial, emotional, time, physical, mental and social strain on them (Math &Chaturvedi, 2012). Therefore, euthanasia offers an excellent method of reducing stress on immediate family and friends of the ill.
A counterargument to the concern of the burden imposed on caregivers relies on the role of palliative care to look after the sick. Through various palliative care programs, patients can receive relief from pain and suffering as well as the necessary support to deal with their conditions (Math & Chaturvedi, 2012). Those who disagree with the use of euthanasia as a way of ending’s one suffering believe that the system can take care of the needs of the terminally-ill patients. Termed as active, compassionate, and creative care for the dying, palliative care provides crucial support (Math & Chaturvedi, 2012). Its services target both the sick and their caregivers. Palliative care can eliminate the need for premature ending of life by helping patients and their families. Thus, opponents hold the perspective that euthanasia is unnecessary as caregivers can receive help in catering for the sick.
Pro-euthanasia groups perceive death from a different viewpoint. They argue that if voluntary departure does not cause harm to others, it eliminates the necessity of interventions from new parties. Therefore, the state and other people lack the right and authority to intervene and interfere with personal choices (“Ethics Guide,” n.d.). It is a libertarian argument that an action is morally acceptable if it does not violate the rights of other people. It operates on the premise that activities that serve the best interests of all parties involved are tolerable (“Ethics Guide,” n.d.). For instance, the person’s death should not cause pressure on dependents or next of kin. Instead, it should relieve them of stress. Hence, the perspective denies other people the entitlement to interfere, challenge, or prevent the execution of decisions made by individuals to terminate their lives.
Those who oppose the use of libertarian argument in support of euthanasia question the possibility of a scenario where the act serves the best interests of everyone. Opponents disagree with supporters by claiming that people may make wrong decisions regarding what is most suitable for them. Besides, euthanasia may deny the person, and others access to some benefits (“Ethics Guide,” n.d.). The critics believe that death is not a private act as embracing mercy killing may have negative implications on society in general. Therefore, they disagree with persons who claim that euthanasia is vital and acceptable.
Overall, differences in arguments distinguish supporters from opponents of various ideologies in society. Controversial subjects bring out disparities in support for specific issues. A topic such as euthanasia continues to spark hot debates over its legality and usage. It has caused disagreements due to divergent views on the contentious concept. It entails terminating human life prematurely due to various reasons. An example of a situation where supporters feel euthanasia is applicable is when one suffers from a chronic illness that causes a permanent vegetative state. However, anti-euthanasia critics do not view it as a morally acceptable option. Thus, disputes over the controversial topic persist in society.
Ethics guide: Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (n.d.). BBC. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/euthanasia/
Math, S. B., &Chaturvedi, S. K. (2012). Euthanasia: Right to life vs. right to die. The Indian Journal of Medical Research, 136(6), 899–902. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612319/
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