Top 10 Reasons Euthanasia Should be Illegal
In recent decades, there has been much of talk regarding euthanasia, the practice of ending a life in a painless way. One of the greatest controversies surrounding the issue is whether or not it should be legalized. Euthanasia advocates require that euthanasia should be legalized as it helps hopeless patients end their suffering. They believe that people have the right to do whatever they want with their body, even if it means ending their lives to stop pain. But opponents of the practice argue that it should be outlawed. For them, while it seems that euthanasia has good intentions, people still don’t have the right to kill themselves. It is not only against the law, but also sinful in the eyes of our Creator. Apart from this, practicing euthanasia has a lot of undesirable and harmful outcomes. Here, I will give you the reasons why euthanasia should be prohibited worldwide.
- Euthanasia Is Murder.
Euthanasia, which comes from the Greek word eu thanatos meaning good or dignified death, is the conscious act of ending a life by withholding necessary treatment (passive euthanasia) or performing a procedure that directly and quickly causes death (active euthanasia). Although viewed by some as beneficial, both active and passive euthanasia are considered immoral, sinful, and in the same category as abortion – a murder.
Murder is the act of intentionally taking the life of one person. Opponents of euthanasia, especially Catholics, believe that the practice is wrong because it is murder. Since God is the One who created us, He is also the only One who has the right to take our lives away. In fact, the sixth of the Ten Commandments states “Thou shall not kill.” Therefore, any form of killing – regardless of motives – is not permissible.
The so-called mercy killing or assisted killing is condemned by the Church. Just recently, a Vatican official criticized the death of Brittany Maynard, a cancer sufferer who took her life in November 2014 by assisted suicide. Maynard suffered from a brain tumor and decided to die when her pain became unbearable. Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said in an interview that “This woman took her own life thinking she would die with dignity, but this is the error… Suicide is not a good thing, it is a bad thing because it is saying no to life and to everything it means with respect to our mission In the world and towards those around us.”
- Euthanasia Gives Too Much Power To Doctors To Kill.
Doctors are empowered by euthanasia. It gives them the opportunity to play God and most doctors, since many now more regard their profession as an occupation and not a passion, will seize this opportunity. This is especially true for those unscrupulous individuals.
Many of us are unaware that a lot of doctors today are taking self-interested shortcuts in order to earn more or make things happen their way. For instance, in case of delivering babies; some doctors coerce their patients in unnecessary caesarian sections on weekdays in order to guarantee an interrupted weekend for themselves. In other medical case, some doctors pressure their patients to undergo a surgery right away in order to finally get rid of the patients. Some do even push their patients to go towards vaccination or take a certain medication, even if it’s unnecessary, just to make more money. Why, then, would they never be tempted to kill someone in the quickest way if it will benefit themselves in the end – like avoiding the troublesome case or eliminating the hassle of dealing with importunate family members?
A perfect example of this would be Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a controversial pathologist, who took advantage of his patients’ agony and murdered them. According to reports, his goals were to popularize assisted suicide, to harvest organs for transplantation, and the most appalling of all, to experiment the sick and injured patients. Kevorkian claimed that he had helped 130 ailing people end their lives. Imagine? But what’s worse about it was that he created a machine for suicide, which was called a “suicide machine,” that allowed sick people dispense a lethal dose of medication to themselves by pressing a button. Later, the lunatic was convicted for second-degree murder, but unfortunately, he was not the only one who practiced this. In Netherlands, where euthanasia is allowed, thousands of people are killed each year “without request or consent.”
Doctors, like any other humans, are lazy, selfish, and weak to temptations. In pressing situations, doctors are likely to commit mistakes and make wrong decisions. Therefore, euthanasia should not be legalized. As Dr. Peter Saunders, a general surgeon and CEO of Christian Medical Fellowship, has written: “Voluntary euthanasia makes the doctor the most dangerous (person) in the state.”
- Euthanasia Destroys Patient Trust In The Medical Profession.
Doctors are the people we turn to when we are sick, weak, and in pain. They are the people who we trust and look to for guidance and advice about our health. We regard them as someone who can cure and save our lives. After all, that’s their primary objective – to save, and do no harm. But what if you have an illness, and you found out that the doctor you trust your life to actually practice euthanasia? Would you still visit him and follow his recommendations? If you will ask me… no.
When I go to the hospital or clinic, I want to make sure that my doctor will do everything that he or she can to keep me alive. I do not want to go to someone who thinks that maybe I would prefer to give up life. Doctors went through extensive training in order to ensure that they can provide safe and high quality healthcare to their patients. They even took an oath to treat their patients in the best of their ability. Their job is to take the pain out of their patients, and not to put their patients out of existence.
Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide will not only give patients a hard time to trust those who are in the medical field, but it will also make them more worried, especially when they go to a hospital with a doctor who is thinking about whether or not to make them alive.
Indeed, euthanasia or assisted suicide destroys trust between the patient and the physician.
- Euthanasia Undermines Medical Research.
I understand why some people desire to kill themselves. The pain is, sometimes, just too much to the point that it is no longer bearable – that you would rather die than to feel it over and over again. But one thing that many people, especially those who support euthanasia, should realize is that there is a cure to illnesses – no matter how worst they are. Even if some of them are not yet discovered, in time, they will become available. Just think about this: Years ago, we didn’t have medicines, such as pain relievers and antibiotics; we also didn’t have instruments and machines to treat patients. But because of advanced research and great desire of our people to prolong life, we were able to discover them. And now, millions of sick people are getting benefits from them – many are even being saved because of them.
In order to discover more effective medicines and treatments, especially to serious conditions, such as cancer and liver disease, our scientists and inventors should be able to focus more in their studies. The government should also continue funding their research in order to get more effective findings. If the focus changes from treating the illness to killing the patients, the progress that our researchers is making to alleviate pain as well as their motivation to provide treatment for sick patients will be compromised. Rather than doing their best to search for better solutions, they will be discouraged because they know that a quick and painless solution is already available – which is killing. Doctors and other healthcare providers will also be less committed to provide palliative care and save lives because they have a “legal right to kill.”
- Legalization Of Euthanasia Sends A Message That Life Is Not Worth Living.
Advocates of euthanasia often say that euthanasia is a way to “die with dignity.” But this is wrong. Euthanasia is killing and destroying a life. Accepting what life has brought to us, as well as fighting to the end, no matter how hard or painful the battle is, and waiting for death to come naturally is how you truly die with dignity. Legalizing euthanasia and convincing people that they should kill themselves to end their suffering is like saying that their lives are no longer worthy to be saved – that “it is better for them to be dead than to live.”
Remember, every life here on Earth, including the life of those people with disabilities, injuries, and life-threatening conditions, is valuable. There’s a purpose why all of us are alive today. So ending the life of a suffering person is truly unethical. If you think that ending the life of a suffering person helps them, you’re wrong. It only communicates hopelessness and unworthiness. True compassion means finding ways in order to alleviate pain and ease the suffering, as well as showing love and care to the person. It also means not giving up, no matter how difficult the situation is. And finally, it also means keeping the people you care for alive and protecting them from those who could harm them.
Life is beautiful. If we can only convince those “hopeless patients” that there are so many reasons to live for, they will no longer consider euthanasia.
- Legalization Of Euthanasia Changes Public Conscience.
The law is a powerful tool that can be used to change our beliefs, behavior, and conscience. When a practice becomes legal and widely accepted, it becomes right in the eyes of the society. Even if it is against our personal preference and principle, we eventually practice it and believe that it is perfectly okay. People trust the law because they believe that it is the best for the people – they believe that the law is always right.
One case that demonstrates how law can affect the culture and public conscience was the assisted killing of the twin brothers, Marc and Eddy Verbessem. The two were born deaf and sought euthanasia after discovering that they would also soon go blind from another congenital disorder – a form of glaucoma. According to the Daily Telegraph, their local hospital had refused to carry out the procedure because the twin was neither suffering extreme physical pain nor terminally ill.
Euthanasia is legal under Belgian law if a patient is able to make their wishes clear and suffering unbearable pain, based on a doctor’s judgment. Critics point out that the twin brothers were not suffering unbearable pain, but Professor Wim Distelmans, a right-to-die activist, took the decision to euthanize them. He even defended his decision and said, “There was certainly unbearable psychological suffering for them. Though there is of course it always possible to stretch the interpretation of that. One doctor will evaluate differently than the other.” Dr. David Dufour, the doctor who presided over the euthanasia even said, “…It was a relief to see the end of their suffering.”
Then just days after the Verbessem brothers were killed by their doctor, Belgium’s ruling Socialists tabled a new legal amendment that will allow children and people suffering from dementia to seek permission to die.
This just shows that once the society started to see that killing is okay, it is possible for people to do it without feeling any guilt.
- Legalization Of Euthanasia Leads To More And More Killing.
Opponents of euthanasia argue that legalizing euthanasia would lead society down a dangerous “slippery slope.” Once euthanasia is legally permitted, people will start to agree that suicide is the legitimate solution to life’s problems. Instead of being just an option for those who are suffering from chronic illnesses, it would eventually become part of the social norm with killing being permitted for everyone, even for children, elderly, depressed, and even for those who do not and cannot make such a request to die.
The Dutch experience with euthanasia is one proof of the reality of the slippery slope. Since euthanasia became legal in Netherlands, the number of euthanasia deaths has been substantially increased. In 2006, there were only 1,923 reported euthanasia deaths in Netherlands. In 2007, the number increased to 2,120. And in 2011, almost 4,000 physician assisted deaths were reported. Studies estimate that this figure will likely to increase significantly over the next few years.
Well, those figures truly sound bad, but those are only a part of the story. What’s worse is that some of these people die from involuntarily euthanasia, which means doctor killed them “without their consent.” Reports also say that more than 50 percent of euthanasia deaths are not reported. Critics claim that the actual number of deaths from assisted killing would probably much higher than the statistics seems to show. And what’s more alarming is that the development of Dutch euthanasia law. Before, euthanasia was only allowed in Netherlands for people who are suffering from chronic and unbearable illnesses. But now, such action is already permitted even for people who are suffering from dementia, for people over 70 who feel tired of life, for severely handicapped individuals, and even for those who are suffering from mental illness.
I believe that if euthanasia will be legalized in the entire country (worse, in all parts of the world), killing will be the norm.
3. Euthanasia Encourages Vulnerable People To End Their Lives.
Euthanasia advocates promote the legalization of euthanasia as they believe that it is a way to protect “vulnerable people” from wrongful death and provide suffering patients their desired, peaceful “death with dignity.” Opponents of the practice counter this with the defense that legalization of euthanasia doesn’t protect vulnerable people, rather it pressures them to make decisions unilaterally.
If euthanasia is available, sick and dependent people will be pressured to choose death, rather than suffer and become a burden to their families. Yes, people who are dependent and ill often feel worthless and burden to their families. Since their body is so weak to work, they are not able to help and contribute to their families and communities. This makes them often feel worthless and useless. And this is the very reason why so many suffering people wish to die. But luckily, euthanasia is not yet permitted in most parts of the country and other parts of the world. But if it’s already available, no one can already stop these people from requesting assisted death. Patients and people with disabilities and problems will think that euthanasia is the only solution.
- People Who Request Mercy Killing Don’t Actually Want To Die.
In tough moments, especially in the presence of death, patients are highly vulnerable. They lack the knowledge and strength to understand entirely their situation, which usually affects their decisions. Many people think that the main reason why patients seek for physician assisted death is because of the pain associated with the illness, but the truth is it’s the fear of the unknown. They are terrified about the possible consequences of their illness, including the possibility of surviving without actually living and most of all, its impact to their families. In a survey conducted in Oregon, USA, 66 percent of people who requested euthanasia did so because they didn’t want to be a burden.
Obviously, no one wants to be a burden to their families, friends, and communities. But it’s also true that no one wants to die. Those people who say “let me die,” usually don’t mean what they say, and in fact are thankful when their request is denied.
The practice of euthanasia is an unwise and wrong choice. Sure, having an illness and being born with disability is tragic, but killing them is not the answer to their problem. What these people need is love and support from their friends, doctors, especially from their families. If these people will only see that we are caring for them and valuing their lives, they will be encouraged to continue life, no matter how painful it will get.
Just look at Ludwig van Beethoven, Sudha Chandran, Tanny Grey-Thompson, and the famous Albert Einstein, as well as Sheryl Crow, Anne Romney, and Hugh Jackman – all these people suffered from life-threatening diseases and disabilities, but they still have contributed to the society and never thought about killing themselves. All these people encountered pain, but they never considered euthanasia as an answer – because it is not!
- Euthanasia Is Unnecessary As There Are Many Better Alternatives.
People believe that when you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you only have two choices to choose from – either die slowly in pain or die quickly with euthanasia. Well little do they know that there is another option that sick people can choose – and that is love and competent caring. As mentioned, the greatest fear of those who are diagnosed with disease is not the physical pain, but the fear of being regarded as a burden and abandoned by their families.
As what Dr. Richard Lamberton said, “Once a patient feels welcome, and not a burden to others; once his pain is controlled and other symptoms have been at least reduced to manageable proportions, then the cry for euthanasia disappears. It is not that the question of euthanasia is right or wrong, desirable or 76 repugnant, practical or unworkable. It is just that it is irrelevant.”
In addition, suffering people don’t really want to be euthanized. Although it can give them their desired peaceful death, they still don’t really like the idea of going through it. Sometimes, their decision-making is just influenced by their physicians. In a 2001 interview with Dr. Joke Groen-Evers, a Dutch physician and former supporter of euthanasia, she admitted that before, she always brought up the subject of euthanasia when talking with her terminal patients. And according to her, 9 times out of 10, her patients would request for it. But when she changed her mind and started to promote good palliative care, she never used the E-word anymore. And the result is no one asks for it anymore! She said that, “…If you mention euthanasia, they will ask for it. If you mention palliative care, then that is what they will choose.”
What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.