The term ‘Euthanasia’ comes from the Greek word for ‘easy death’. Itis the one of the most public policy issues being debated about today.Formally called ‘mercy killing’, euthanasia is the act of purposelymaking or helping someone die, instead of allowing nature to take it’scourse. Basically euthanasia means killing in the name of compassion.Euthanasia, can be either ‘voluntary’, ‘passive’, or ‘positive’,Voluntary involves a request by the dying patient or their legalrepresentative. Passive involves, doing nothing to prevent death -allowing someone to die. Positive involves taking deliberate action tocause a death. Euthanasia, at the moment is illegal throughout theworld apart from in the State of Oregon, where there is a lawspecifically allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs for thepurpose of euthanasia. In the Netherlands it is practised widely,although, in fact, it remains illegal. I believe that everyone has theright to choose how they live and die. Everyone deserves respect,freedom and the power to control their own destiny. Not everybody willhave an easy death. Some terminal pain cannot be controlled, even withthe best of care and the strongest of drugs. Other distressingsymptoms, which come with diseases, such as sickness, no mobility,incontinence, breathlessness and fever cannot always be relieved. Painis not always the issue – quality of life is too.
Most people want to die with dignity, but some people may spend thelast moments of their life, in a way which to them, is undignified.Having the right to control over their own life and death helps peoplekeep human dignity in the face …
…nimal is put to sleep. The owner is upset over the loss butthey feel that they have done the right thing, by putting the pet outit’s misery.
I do not think we can look at human life in the same way however, ashumans’ are treated better than animals and have more respect. Butwhat is better, letting someone suffer a prolonged and very painfullife, or allowing him or her to die with dignity, in peace and withoutpain?
This issue needs a lot of thought. Many people agree with voluntaryeuthanasia, many disagree but there is also a large amount of peopleundecided on the matter. The time will come when the Government andmedical services will have to open their eyes to euthanasia, and therewill be a lot of debate on the subject. Until then the euthanasiadebate will continue to linger, like a terminal disease.