Euthanasia: Who should dictate your life choices?

Doctors advice online

Doctor assisted suicide is a complicated subject with individuals who feel strongly on both sides of the debate. If a doctor were to tell you that there was no chance of a recovery and you’d be in immense pain for the rest of your life – would you want to end your life? Most individuals would argue yes without a second thought but there are others that would feel differently.

Legalities:

As of February 6th, 2015 assisted suicide will no longer be criminalized in Canada; this decision was made in February of 2014. The government has had a year to address the law but is not prepared to implement laws to regulate euthanasia. Quebec in particular is anxious to implement its own laws and to regulate doctor assisted suicides. However, the rest of the nation has not formulated any such legislation to address the issue. Health Ministers have argued that they require more time, six months to be exact, to formulate a consistent, national legislation to legalize doctor assisted suicide. Critics are arguing this is far too long.

Doctor assisted suicide would require the following criteria to decipher if a patient is eligible for euthanasia:
1. The patient is suffering from constant unbearable pain due to an irreversible decline in health;
2. there is no reasonable chance of relief from the pain;
3. the patient is mentally sound and fully competent;
4. the patient is an adult; and
5. the patient is at an advanced stated of an irreversible deteriorating condition

Patients may outline in thier wills for example, that if they are in a vegetative state due to health complications they give their consent to their family members to inform thier doctors that they’d like to be euthanized. Many doctors feel this is the humane thing to do but some individuals stand strongly against such practices.

Supporters:

Many Canadians believe that their right to life should entail their right to end their lives. Proponents argue that it is inhumane to allow a human to suffer unbearable pain and not dictate how to address thier physical health in a point of rapid deterioration. Pro- euthanasia advocates also argue that religion has no space in the legal realm as the “state and church” should remain separated; thus, religious arguments should not hold weight in the court of law.

Opposition:

Many individuals feel euthanasia undermines their religious doctrines and humans should not intervene with God’s will. Humans make mistakes, God does not.

Others have argued that doctors may abuse thier powers and make decisions in a hasty manner without considering all alternatives for patients. Furthermore, doctors are not error-free, they can make a wrong diagnosis and endanger the life of a patient. For instance, a doctor may inform a patient that they have a life-threatening non-reversible disease; consequently, the patient becomes depressed. The patient then makes an emotional decision to end their life as they are in pain and believe that it will be life-long and irreversible. However in reality, the patient actually has a treatable disease that is not life debilitating.

Opponents have also argued that there have been multiple cases of “miracle” recoveries, despite doctors suggesting there was no chance of betterment. Regardless of what the “chances” are, if there is a chance, the patient should not be permitted to make a decision to end their lives because the chance of miracle does exist. The argument essentially contends that once an individual hears the words “there’s no chance of recovery” they lose hope, perhaps fall victim to depression and make emotional decisions which they would likely have regretted if a miracle had taken place. Supporters argue that these cases are rare and few.

Is assisted-suicide legal in your country? If so, how successful is the implementation of such legislation?

Did you find this post interesting or learn something new? If so, please press “like” and follow!

Points of Discussion:

1. How do you feel about the assisted-suicide decision?
2. What changes would you implement to the legislation, if any?

 

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27 comments

  1. Thank you for having the courage to write about this subject. I support legalizing suicide. I don’t believe the government should have a say. I only want it to be done in safe and humane ways that make it easy for family and law enforcement/fire to understand wishes and allow for it to be dignified and safe for others involved.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts. I believe many people would agree with you because they want just what you’ve stated. It’s a difficult decision but your stance seems to be a medium between the two polar stances.
      I hope to hear more from you πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I kind of feel like that is the problem we have right now. People being at two polar ends and forgetting that sometimes we just have to come up with a solution whether we want it or not. Sometimes the best solution isn’t always one that aligns with our politics. But, then again, I am not a politician so what do I know. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I see what you’re saying and that’s a very valid point! It’s easy to get caught up in what we feel is right for us rather than taking into account what others may need. Great point!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad I could help! I wrote an essay and participated in debate regarding euthanasia, it’s most certainly an interesting topic. Best of luck with your exams and your course! I hope to hear more from you in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment Sonia! I can see why you’d have that concern. There are some individuals who might exploit the health of a loved-one to try to obtain their wealth. For instance, if the patient is unable to communicate in English, relatives may convey false information to physicians trying to show the patient is worse off than they really are. These kind of issues are what the current Liberal government has to address and tackle. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts- they are always thought-provoking! I hope to hear more from you in the future as well πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. To be honest I do not think anyone should be forced to live. If someone has given up hope and wants to end it they shouldn’t have to ask anyone for permission. Yes miricale happen but the chances of that are barely anything. Also it is the person that has to live in pain so no one else should be given the right to decide. And nope it isn’t allowed in my country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Jade! Many supporters share the exact sentiment that you’re describing. It’s a difficult decision to make for family members so at least if the person has written it in their will it’s easier to know that it’s what the patient would’ve wanted. Your point of view highlights the right to life argument mentioned above. I’m not sure how many countries allow for euthanasia but I’m assuming not many. Where do you live Jade?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I live in India. TSP? What should I call you? I know it is the most difficult on families only. But atleast they get to say goodbye to their loved ones and know that is exactly what they wanted, that they are happy now and they are looking out for them . obviously it will hurt but I think it is better than watching someone you love suffer everyday of their lives till it ends. Of course it’s a brave decision but that is what I think. Thanks for entertaining my thoughts ! πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You can call me TSP or Sharon. Thank you for your sharing your thoughts! I agree, it’s a difficult decision to make but sometimes it’s for the best. I hope to keep hearing from you πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that. You can appreciate the complexities involved in making such a decision more than most people. Thank you for sharing your story, I appreciate it very much.

      Like

  3. As you may also know, the liberals just asked for a stay on the issue.
    In a related topic, The Christian Medical and Dental Association filed a lawsuit after the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons changed their views on conscientious objection – stating that doctors must now provide an effective referral.

    Interesting to see how the lawsuit will play out and how the legalization of doctor-assisted suicide will impact referrals.
    The impact on doctors, most of whom do not want to euthanize patients, is something to consider.

    Good post though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree, a look at doctors who don’t want to euthanize patients is worth exploring. Hope you’ll keep visiting

      Like

  4. “Pro- euthanasia advocates also argue that religion has no space in the legal realm as the β€œstate and church” should remain separated; thus, religious arguments should not hold weight in the court of law.” Seriously, if people would listen to this, it would fix 80% of the government’s problems in the United States.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think many Americans would agree with you. Are there any particular causes that stand out to you that could benefit from a separation of state and church ideology? πŸ™‚

      Like

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