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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Argumentative Essay in Favor of Euthanasia

Argumentative Essay in Favor of Euthanasia

Euthanasia is the practice of deliberately killing a person to spare him or her from having to deal with more pain and suffering. This is always a controversial issue because of the moral and ethical components that are involved. This paper will discuss the arguments in favour of euthanasia.

Euthanasia cannot be considered as against the Hippocratic Oath that all doctors have sworn to follow. This oath mentions that doctors have to do their best to ensure that the lives of the patients that they handle are saved from possible death. They have to find a way to improve the health conditions of their patients regardless of how serious their injury or disease might be. There is no doubt that doctors need to fulfill this responsibility, but there are cases wherein the patients become brain dead because of the serious injury that they obtained and is only surviving because of the life support system (Keown 58). In patients who are brain dead, they will never wake up anymore from their sleep because their brain has completely stopped functioning. The heart and lungs are still functioning because of the help of the life support system. Thus, putting the life support system in place only delays the inevitable which is the death of the patient. The life support system does not have the capability to bring the patient back to life, it only prevents him from dying right away. It is also very expensive for the family of the patient to keep the life support system in place for so long. Thus, through euthanasia the family members are able to make a tough decision to end the life of their loved one who has become brain dead. This is just a practical solution to their problem and the doctors do not violate the Hippocratic Oath because they cannot do more than provide the life support system in brain dead cases.

Another argument in favour of euthanasia is that it cannot be considered as homicide because the doctors will end the life of the patient upon the request of the family and relatives. Homicide is killing another person for reasons motivated by anger, envy, hatred or frustration. It is clear that euthanasia does not kill patients for these wicked reasons, but for the only reason that the doctors have already done their best in the case of the brain dead patient but the condition of patient itself is something that cannot be reversed or improved anymore (Scherer 39). Thus, the only thing that can be done is to mercifully kill the patient unless the family members want the brain dead patient to remain in life support system.

Lastly, it is wrong to believe that euthanasia must be totally scrapped in society because of the presence of innovations in the field of medicine and health care. The reality is that up to the present time, there is nothing new that has been discovered regarding brain dead patients. Life support system remains the only remedy for this condition, and so euthanasia deserves to remain an available option for the doctors and family members just in case they will need it in the long run (Manning 72). It helps to end the agony of the patient and the family members of hoping for the patient to wake up but in reality will never happen.

It is clear that euthanasia needs to be perceived as a practical and realistic option based on the three arguments discussed above. Euthanasia deserves to have a place in human society. Doctors and family members need to be open minded about the condition of the patient and realize that instead of prolonging one another’s agony, they must just use euthanasia and move on with their lives without regrets.

Keown, John. Euthanasia Examined: Ethical, Clinical and Legal Perspectives. Boston, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Manning, Michael. Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Killing Or Caring? Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1998.
Scherer, Jennifer. Euthanasia and the Right to Die: A Comparative View. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999.

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