During the last 100 years, medicine has advanced incredibly; humanity has learned to treat diseases that have killed thousands of people throughout centuries. However, there still are many sicknesses that not only cannot be cured at present, but also cause incredible suffering to people who have them. Patients with such diseases might want to ask for euthanasia, as life can be torturous for them. However, societies and laws of different countries prohibit euthanasia as something immoral and illegal—which is not necessarily true. Terminally sick people who are in extreme pain or suffering should be granted the right to euthanasia.
Often, a patient’s life is much worse than death. There are numerous diseases that modern medicine cannot cure, and which cause severe pain and suffering to patients. For example, the “locked in” syndrome: people who have it cannot move a single muscle. One of such sufferers, Tony Nicklinson, in 2010 and 2012 was denied his right to die by the British High Court. Unable to commit suicide himself and also unable to ask anyone to help him end his life (sufferers of the “locked in” syndrome cannot move even their tongue or eyeballs), Tony starved himself to death (Listverse.com). The number of patients suffering from this and other diseases, who have no other way to stop their suffering, is uncountable, but they are doomed to live. Is it not unfair that they are not allowed to end this suffering?
The opponents of euthanasia claim that helping a person to die is wrong, because one can never know when the cure for a terminal disease will be invented, or when recovery will occur; thus, claim the opponents, euthanasia shortens life spans of patients. However, according to statistics, in 86% of the cases, euthanasia shortened a patient’s life no more than one week—usually, just a couple of hours. Patients ask for euthanasia when their chances for recovery are nearly impossible; besides, the last days of a patient’s life are usually full of agony and excruciating pain, and euthanasia is the only way to stop it (Listland.com).
In addition, it should be mentioned that sustaining life in a terminally-ill body is cruel. As it has been mentioned, terminal diseases are usually accompanied by unbearable pain and suffering. At the same time, there is no premise to believe that the cure for such diseases as the “locked in” syndrome or brain cancer will be invented in the nearest future. At the same time, sometimes it is possible to keep patients alive for months and years, which means they will suffer throughout this period of time. Is it not similar to torture? Assurances and promises that there will be a cure someday do not deny the fact that doctors (and relatives of an ill person) consciously keep a patient in pain and humiliation for an undetermined period of time. Doing this violates a number of individual’s rights, and should not be tolerated (IFR).
As we can see, in some cases, euthanasia is justified. There are diseases that cause severe suffering; sometimes, a patient might try to commit suicide only to end this suffering; life for such patients is worse than death. Euthanasia is not literally killing; it is more like bringing a patient’s inevitable death closer—according to the statistics, patients usually ask for euthanasia a maximum of one week before they would die. In addition, keeping a person alive against their will and making him or her withstand pain and suffering is not different from torture, and thus should not be allowed: if a patient wants to die, and their condition is truly hopeless, relatives, doctors, and law should not prevent them from doing so.
- “Top 10 Reasons Euthanasia Should Be Legal Everywhere.” Listland.com. N.p., 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 08 June 2015.
- “10 Arguments for Legalizing Euthanasia.” Listverse. N.p., 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 08 June 2015.
- “Why Euthanasia is Moral.” IFR. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 June 2015.