Euthanasia: a Right to Die or a Right to Kill?
Wikipedia gives the following definition of euthanasia: “It is a practice of ending life in a manner which relieves pain and suffering”. And there is one more detailed definition from Committee on Medical Ethics: “Euthanasia is a deliberate intervention undertaken with the intention of ending life to relieve intractable suffering”.
There are also several synonyms that can help to understand the notion of euthanasia“, namely assisted suicide and excusable homicide. According to this euthanasia can be categorized in different ways including voluntary and involuntary, active and passive. Active euthanasia can be viewed as homicide and in this case it is considered as criminal. Passive euthanasia is mostly considered as non-criminal.
Let’s consider arguments for euthanasia. First of all, euthanasia gives a way to relieve unbearable pain. But is it a weighty argument? Modern technologies provide a lot of pain-relieving solutions – it makes the argument less forceful. Moreover, is a sick person who suffers from severe pain able to make objective appraisal of his medical condition? One should also take into consideration that fact that illness is usually accompanied by depression. Second argument for euthanasia says that people have right to commit a suicide. But…Do we give a right to die or a right to kill that will not be criminalized? Thirdly, euthanasia is supported by freedom of choice; people must not be pushed to stay alive. And again, does the condition of person allow him to evaluate the situation without bias? I don’t think so.
And what are the arguments against euthanasia? Euthanasia depreciates human life. Euthanasia may transfer from voluntary to involuntary. Euthanasia may be used not only for people who are “mortally sick”. Does it sound weighty enough? I think more than enough.
In conclusion, religions are different. But there is the only and extremely important issue that unites Christianity and Islam: suicide is forbidden. God gives us life and God takes it back. And it’s not up to human beings to make such a decision.