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Pro-euthanasia Arguments and May Doctors Help You to Die

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The right to life is not a right simply to exist. It is right to live with maximum quality and value. Death is the opposite of life, but the process of dying is part of life. It may not be an explicitly mentioned right but other rights like exercising free will and having the freedom of expression imply the right to die. Humans are free and should be able to control their deaths just as they are free to determine the course of their lives. Unnecessary restraints on human rights are unreasonable.Michael Irwin argues and gives pro euthanasia arguments just as humans have a right to choose who they marry and where they work, they also have the right to end their lives on their own terms even if they are terminally ill or elderly. He claims it to being pro-life. i.e. living as long as you possibly can and not being unnecessarily kept alive against one’s will .

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Immanuel Kant argued those ethical principles that could be accepted as a universal rule should be accepted. Euthanasia is therefore morally acceptable as it enables all individuals to have the right to choose to have a good death, at a time of their own choosing. This is a sound but not fully justified idea to call it morally acceptable. A patient-centered deontology, is the best ethical framework for evaluating the moral permissibility of euthanasia. they don’t have to bear excruciating pain and suffering against their will. If death isn’t a bad thing then why are there objections on choosing how and when to die. Human life is intrinsically valuable but a sudden death relinquishes one’s autonomy over life while euthanasia ensures a timely dignified death.

A libertarian argument in favor of if there is no harm to those around, nor to the state, then death being the right of a person should receive no objections from those around. Utilitarian arguments justify euthanasia. Utilitarianism is “the belief that moral rules should be designed to produce the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people”. So, euthanasia is just allowing people to determine their deaths. This will make them happier than the pain from their illness, the loss of dignity and the distress of anticipating a slow, painful death. There is no glory in dying with prolonged and excruciating pain. Euthanasia allows death with dignity as a viable option.

Of course, the possible misuse of it raises ethical concerns. But then again, it can be regulated. Developing a working system of legal physician-assisted suicide can serve as a model to muffle the fears of possible abuse. Euthanasia, if and where legalized, can be regulated through laws and safeguards to prevent abuse of this practice. Guidelines can be developed and adopted. Explicit consent of the patient/next of kin, mandatory reporting, additional consultation along with many other measures, can be and have been put into place. This helps prevent the “slippery slope” anti-euthanasia group fears. Also, to put things into perspective, statistically no cases of such “slippery slope” have been particularly observed anywhere. 

Marcia Angell, is a Senior Lecturer in Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In 2012s, “May Doctors Help You to Die?”, she states that claiming doctors to be essentially only “healers”, takes away the focus from the patient. When healing sounds no longer feasible, and the suffering gets unbearable, then the desire of the patient must be put forward first. The role of doctor shifts from being a healer to the one of relieving suffering of people. However, she is a strong advocate of consent in this regard and has argued that neither the patient not the doctor must be coerced into it. Timothy E. Quill, professor of medicine, writes that he considers it to be an obligation and not harm to abide by the death wish of terminally ill. He advocates that a part of his job is to help people die better. Doctors are committed to care and that may at times involve helping them die. 

Anti-euthanasia majority often claims the act of euthanasia to be doctors “playing God”. This has quite a similar counter argument which states that each time a doctor interferes with the natural progression of a patient’s disease each time he provides them with the treatment. He tampers their “natural” quality of life which is by no means considered unethical or “playing God”.  

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