⇉Debate on Euthanasia: Pros and Cons Essay Example | GraduateWay (2023)

Today we will discuss the dilemma of euthanasia. Euthanasia also known as mercy killing is a way of painlessly terminating one’s life with the “humane” motive of ending his suffering. There are different types of euthanasia: voluntary, non-voluntary, active or passive. Euthanasia is passive when it merely allows the death of the individual. Euthanasia is active when it brings about the death of the individual. Voluntary euthanasia (euthanasia upon request) is performed with the consent of the individual.

Non-voluntary euthanasia is performed without the consent of the individual (“Without consent” does not imply “contrary to the wishes”). Involuntary euthanasia is performed against the wishes of the individual. The subject is controversial and we will confront the two points of view on the issue through this debate. The right to die as solution of suffering (the right to die VS the slippery slope argument) Pro: Euthanasia can be described as the right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and dignified death. It is a case of freedom of choice.

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Individuals have a right to die when life becomes excruciating or undignified. Euthanasia provides a way to relieve extreme pain. Moreover, the etymology of the word euthanasia comes from the Greek meaning “good death”. It is an adjective used to describe a successful death. I believe that allowing people to ‘die with dignity’ is kinder than forcing them to continue their lives with suffering. Con: Yes, but legalizing any form of the practice is not the solution.

First of all, it will lead to a slippery slope effect. Indeed, the acceptance of certain practices, such as physician-assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia, will nvariably lead to the acceptance or practice of concepts which are currently deemed unacceptable, such as non-voluntary or involuntary euthanasia. Besides, it is not the solution because alternative treatments are available, such as palliative care and hospices. We do not have to kill the patient to kill the symptoms.

Nearly all pain can be relieved. What’s more, even doctors cannot predict firmly about period of death and whether there is a possibility of remission or recovery with other advanced treatments. So, implementing euthanasia would mean many unlawful deaths that could have well survived later. Dignity or devaluation of human life Pro: Well, I’m not sure. Illness can take away autonomy, and particularly your ability to make choices.

In fact, illness can take away your dignity, leaving you with no quality of life. Euthanasia allows you to take back control in deciding to die. Euthanasia can quickly and humanely end a patient’s suffering, allowing him to die with dignity, and I really want to insist on this point. The disease may lose its autonomy to the patient, making him dependent on others so humiliating and making him lose his self-esteem.

If the patient feels that he cannot preserve what remains of his dignity only by choosing death it must be allowed that choice. Con: I don’t think so. Euthanasia doesn’t allow to protect a life with dignity. On the contrary, it devalues human life. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end. He gives you a life and Euthanasia destroys his gift. Euthanasia is a murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded. It is morally unacceptable.

Personal choice Pro: Yes, God gives us the life, but then you can make your own choices in your own life. By forbidding euthanasia, we prevent the right to liberty of decision. In the name of human dignity and the right of everyone to have its own existence, it is important to respect the wishes of people die at the end of life. Man is the only master of his body and his destiny, he is the sole judge of what is good for him and it is according to this reasoning that medicine must act. This is a personal freedom that everyone should follow. In addition, while men have the right to waste their life smoking, drinking or even committing suicide, they have no right to euthanasia, which seems illogical.

Euthanasia allows people to stop the pain: it is a personal choice and a right. The choice of keeping our autonomy and stopping the pain is a dignified choice. Most people would have their pets put down if they were suffering, this would be regarded as kindness. Why can’t the same kindness be given to humans? Con: Yes! some people decide to kill their pets! Is it the pet who has decided to die? No, so it is a murder! Thus, laws against euthanasia are in place to prevent abuse and to protect people from people who want to decide for us, to protect people from unscrupulous doctors and others.

Family members influencing the patient’s decision into euthanasia for personal gains like wealth inheritance is another issue. There is no way you can be really sure if the decision towards assisted suicide is voluntary or forced by others, like people who forced their pets to die. Laws against euthanasia are not, and never have been, intended to make anyone suffer but in order to protect them. Just think about the English doctor Harold Shipman who was one of the most prolific serial killers in recorded history by proven murders with 250+ murders being positively ascribed to him.

The economical arguments Pro: Lastly, there is an economic argument for euthanasia. A health care system which is facing serious funding problems cannot afford to spend a fortune for terminally ill or person in an irreversible coma. So, if euthanasia was legal, it could frees up funds to help other people… Con: Yes, it may produce possible impact on medical economics. The future medicine could promote euthanasia as a form of health care cost containment. The average cost of euthanasia is somewhere around 40 dollars, while the complete care for a dying patient normally costs ten thousands of dollars.

However, it could involve an assisted suicide of many patients who do not have health insurance, or even Government and insurance companies may put undue pressure on doctors to avoid heroic measures or recommend the assisted-suicide procedure. Pro: No I don’t think so. Euthanasia can help decrease the expenditure on health care. If euthanasia is made a possibility, a family will not have to spend as much as they do on a patient who they know is going to pass on soon anyway. Con: Yes, it may decrease the expenditure on health care but euthanasia can lead to a steep decline in the quality of medical care administered to patients.

Doctors and medical professionals will take it easy on themselves and may do little or zilch to actually rescue patients from the venomous jaws of a serious illness. A hospital and doctors exist to save the lives of people suffering from illnesses, not end it. Advanced medical technology and knowledgeable medical professionals have made credible breakthroughs in the battles against illnesses and diseases. All these efforts would only go in vain if euthanasia got the nod from those who yield power.

What is the difference between active and passive euthanasia? Active” euthanasia refers to an action one takes to end a life, for example, a lethal injection. “Passive” euthanasia refers to an omission such as failing to intervene at a life-threatening crisis, or failing to provide nourishment. It is important not to confuse “passive euthanasia” with the morally legitimate decision to withhold medical treatment that is not morally necessary.

When we forego a treatment that we are not required to use, then even if death comes faster as a result, that withholding is not euthanasia in any form and should not be called by the name. ) What is the slippery slope effect? As applied to the euthanasia debate, the slippery slope argument claims that the acceptance of certain practices, such as physician-assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia, will invariably lead to the acceptance or practice of concepts which are currently deemed unacceptable, such as non-voluntary or involuntary euthanasia.

Do you agree or disagree with theses statements? Human beings have the right to die when and how they want to. And they should have the right to refuse medical treatment. Death is a private matter, and if you are not hurting anyone else, the state should not interfere. Keeping people alive costs a lot of money, which could be used to save other people’s lives. Legalizing euthanasia could frees up medical funds to help other people. Euthanasia can lead to a steep decline in the quality of medical care administered to patients. Doctors and medical professionals will take it easy on themselves and may do little to actually rescue patients from the venomous jaws of a serious illness. To conclude, should people have the right to die?


What are the advantages of euthanasia debate? ›

Overview of pro-euthanasia arguments
  • People have an explicit right to die.
  • A separate right to die is not necessary, because our other human rights imply the right to die.
  • Death is a private matter and if there is no harm to others, the state and other people have no right to interfere (a libertarian argument)

What is a major argument against legalizing euthanasia? ›

Other utilitarian arguments against legalization of euthanasia are that human life will slowly be devalued, a factor that could lead to additional unforseen societal consequences, and that use of euthanasia will cause physicians to ignore other methods of relieving pain and suffering in dying patients.

What is one argument that active euthanasia? ›

Advocates of active euthanasia typically argue that killing the patients in question is not worse than letting them die. Advocates of voluntary euthanasia often claim that patients should have the right to do what they want with their own lives.

What are two ethical issues in euthanasia? ›

Ethical questions include whether the principle of autonomy extends to the right to die, or whether a physician's commitments to support life override (or not) their duty of care if their patient asks to die 1-4.

What is considered to be a better alternative to euthanasia and why? ›

Those who oppose euthanasia often argue that palliative care offers sufficient possibilities to relieve (unbearable) suffering at the end of life. Continuous deep sedation—the administration of sedating drugs until death—can, for instance, be used as an option of last resort.

What are the pros of euthanasia in animals? ›

Animal euthanasia is the humane and compassionate process of ending an animal's life in a way that minimizes pain and suffering. It is often the best option for pet owners facing the difficult decision to end their pet's life due to terminal illness, severe injuries, or other health issues.

What is the euthanasia mercy argument? ›

In the euthanasia debate, the argument from mercy holds that if someone is in unbearable pain and is hopelessly ill or injured, then mercy dictates that inflicting death may be morally justified.

What are the key issues of euthanasia? ›

Religious opponents of euthanasia believe that life is given by God, and only God should decide when to end it. Other opponents fear that if euthanasia was made legal, the laws regulating it would be abused, and people would be killed who didn't really want to die.

Which of the following is not an argument made against legalizing active euthanasia? ›

Which of the following is NOT an argument made against legalizing active euthanasia? It is too expensive.

How does euthanasia work? ›

Euthanasia is most often accomplished for pets by injection of a death-inducing drug. Your veterinarian may administer a tranquilizer first to relax your pet. Following injection of the euthanasia drug, your pet will immediately become deeply and irreversibly unconscious as the drug stops brain function.

What is the quality of life argument? ›

Quality of Life- the view that life is not always worth living, the worth of life depends on its quality = extrinsic. Arguments against Euthanasia: The slippery slope argument – If euthanasia is permitted it may open the gates to removing 'inconvenient” members of society.

What is the euthanasia argument from autonomy? ›

On an autonomy-based approach, it is legal to provide assisted suicide to anyone who makes an autonomous request, even if there would have been options available to improve the person's medical condition or if she is not suffering from a medical condition at all.

What are the 4 pillars of ethics and euthanasia? ›

Four cardinal principles form the basis for the ethical consideration of practice: autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. Respect for autonomy is essential to the care of dying patients.

What's an example of ethical dilemma? ›

Some examples of ethical dilemma include: Taking credit for others' work. Offering a client a worse product for your own profit. Utilizing inside knowledge for your own profit.

What are the arguments against end of life care? ›

Lay Summary: Presented here are four non-religious, reasonable arguments against physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia: (1) “it offends me,” suicide devalues human life; (2) slippery slope, the limits on euthanasia gradually erode; (3) “pain can be alleviated,” palliative care and modern therapeutics more and more ...

What are the best practices of euthanasia? ›

Injectable agents
  • One of the most humane methods of euthanasia is the administration of a barbiturate overdose either by the intravenous, intraperitoneal or intracardiac routes.
  • Injections by the intraperitoneal route work much more slowly than the intravenous route, but are easier for an operator working alone.

When should you consider euthanasia? ›

He is experiencing chronic pain that cannot be controlled with medication (your veterinarian can help you determine if your pet is in pain). He has frequent vomiting or diarrhea that is causing dehydration and/or significant weight loss. He has stopped eating or will only eat if you force feed him.

Why choose in home euthanasia? ›

The primary benefit of in-home euthanasia is that it is less stressful for you and your pet. Having a veterinarian come to your home means your pet won't have to deal with unfamiliar scents, sights, and sounds during their final moments.

What do animals feel when euthanized? ›

As the solution is injected, the animal loses consciousness and within minutes the heart and lungs stop functioning. Since the pet is not conscious, they do not feel anything. Most times, the animal passes away so smoothly, that it is difficult to tell until the veterinarian listens for absence of a heartbeat.

Do most people stay with their pet during euthanasia? ›

Owners stay in the room during pet euthanasia much more often than not: 67 percent in the U.S., according to a study of 349 veterinarians,31 and 86 percent in the U.K., in my 2013 study of 174 veterinarians.

What is the strongest argument against mercy death? ›

The main arguments against mercy death is the possibility of finding cures.

What is the principle of dignity in euthanasia? ›

The dying must know that, for their physicians, they never lose their human dignity and that they continue to possess all their value and esteem: their lives always retain a full measure of meaning and dignity.

What is the argument on dignity in dying? ›

People die with dignity because of their personal qualities, their virtues, whatever the circumstances in which they die: indignity is suffered; dignity is earned. It follows that a dignified death will be something earned. Someone who lives a good life, lives virtuously, will die in that way.

What is an example of a double effect in everyday life? ›

Abortions when the mother's life is in danger

In cases when saving the life of a pregnant woman causes the death of her unborn child - for example, performing an abortion when continuing the pregnancy would risk killing the mother - some people argue that this is a case of the doctrine of double effect.

What happens to the body when taken off life support? ›

Choosing to remove life support usually means that the person will die within hours or days. The timing depends on what treatment is stopped. People tend to stop breathing and die soon after a ventilator shuts off, though some do start breathing again on their own.

Which euthanasia means the patient does not consent to the action? ›

Involuntary euthanasia: This occurs when a patient's death is hastened without the patient's consent.

Which is the best example of active euthanasia quizlet? ›

Killing a patient using active euthanasia means, such as injecting them with a lethal dose of a medicine, is an example of active euthanasia, referred also as "aggressive" euthanasia. B.

How long does euthanasia last? ›

Q: How long does the euthanasia process take? A: Typically, a peaceful death takes 30 seconds from intravenous euthanasia solution administration.

Is there pain with euthanasia? ›

Does euthanasia hurt? Every pet responds differently to pain but there is very little discomfort associated with euthanasia. Your pet will be sedated either by intramuscular or subcutaneous injection based on a short assessment at the beginning of the appointment.

How long does a euthanasia take? ›

The patient needs to be unconscious, so anesthesia is required. Death occurs in approximately two minutes. The liver is right up against the diaphragm and takes up half of the caudal ribcage space.

Is it cruel to euthanize a dog? ›

Animal hospice principles do not accept a pet owner's decision to allow a pet to die without effective palliative measures while under the care of a licensed veterinarian. If pain and suffering cannot be relieved by other means, withholding palliative sedation or euthanasia is considered unethical and inhumane.

Is euthanasia a matter of life or death? ›

Indeed, the infliction of fatal harm to oneself has always been seen as a profound abdication of bodily integrity. Euthanasia: A Matter of Life or Death? medical decisions made in the interests of the patient have the secondary effect rather than the primary intent of hastening their demise.

Which of the following statements is consistent with all forms of euthanasia? ›

Which of the following statements is consistent with all forms of euthanasia? The patient is diagnosed with an incurable disease or severe disability. Which of the following statements are true regarding the definition of brain death? A person can still have a heartbeat after the higher portions of the brain have died.

Why animals should not be euthanized? ›

First, unlike humans, animals cannot express a desire to die, making “voluntary euthanasia” not meaningful for animals. Secondly, as Bernard Rollin, a professor at Colorado State University, points out, pets do not have the capacity to imagine how the suffering that they experience can give way at some point to relief.

Why is it OK to euthanize a pet? ›

A veterinarian may recommend euthanasia, which is a humane death, when other options to reduce pain and distress are no longer helpful. Euthanasia may be recommended when you least expect it, such as if your pet is diagnosed with a terminal illness or if they've been in a debilitating accident.

Do pets feel pain when euthanized? ›

As the solution is injected, the animal loses consciousness and within minutes the heart and lungs stop functioning. Since the pet is not conscious, they do not feel anything. Most times, the animal passes away so smoothly, that it is difficult to tell until the veterinarian listens for absence of a heartbeat.

What happens to the brain during euthanasia? ›

Loss of cortical electrical activity occurred during or within 52 seconds after the infusion of euthanasia solution. Cessation of brainstem function as evidenced by a lack of brainstem reflexes and disappearance of the BAER happened subsequently.

Should I be present during euthanasia? ›

It's advisable to bring your surviving dog to your other pet's euthanasia at home. However, there are instances where it would be better for them not to be present during another dog's euthanasia. Pet is disruptive: Some pets, especially younger ones, may still need to be trained to be still and respectful.

What is euthanasia right to? ›

The right to die is a concept based on the opinion that human beings are entitled to end their life or undergo voluntary euthanasia.

Is it OK to cry during euthanasia? ›

Laugh and cry at the same time. Surround yourselves with all his/her favorite toys and beds and blankets. It's ok to cry, and it's also ok to celebrate! I love when people tell me they took their dog to the beach or napped in the sun with their cat right before coming in to the hospital.

Can organs be donated after euthanasia? ›

From 2012, when the first ODE was performed, to January 2022, 85 patients donated their organs following euthanasia in the Netherlands. Following DCD donation, it is possible to donate lungs, kidneys, pancreas and liver (12).

What is the main ingredient in most euthanasia solutions? ›

A non-sterile solution containing two active ingredients, pentobarbital sodium and phenytoin sodium, for humane, painless and rapid euthanasia in dogs.

What is the primary criteria for choosing a method of euthanasia? ›

The most important criteria for acceptance of a method of euthanasia is that it have a rapid initial depressive action on the central nervous system (CNS) to ensure immediate insensitivity to pain, and that steps are taken to minimize distress in the animal prior to the procedure.


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