Right to Die
Right to die is a based on the belief that an individual can end their lives or undergo a voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is a medically assisted death which can be performed at the individual’s home or hospital. This right has been misinterpreted, and many believe that those with terminally ill conditions, e.g. brain cancer, have a right to end their lives or perform euthanasia. Some individuals have also argued that one’s body and one’s life is one’s own, and that one can take his life at will or dispose of their body the way they like. In this article, the concentration is on voluntary euthanasia, the pros and disadvantage of this right will be discussed.
Performing a voluntary euthanasia is important to the individual and the relatives. Euthanasia is done by people with a sound mind. It encourages discussions between doctors and the stakeholders involved. These discussions help in making comprehensive and humane decisions concerning the patient and what action to be taken regarding the life of the patient. A patient with a terminal disease is sometimes considered to have lost the sense of reasoning and can do anything to end their lives. Instead of the patient using dangerous methods such as self-starvation, this method can be very appropriate. In this mode of termination of life the doctors make final decisions, this helps in avoiding wrong judgments about the patient’s conditions. The physicians and the patients are also safe as it is a legal process. Therefore, voluntary euthanasia is necessary and should be limited to physicians’ decisions.
But the doctors have the mandate to improve the quality of lives and not to terminate it. Since euthanasia requires doctors’ involvement, many people will start viewing physicians in a different way as life terminators. This will make the patient- doctor relationship deteriorate e.g. patients will find it difficult trusting the doctors. Once trust is lost some patient might decide to boycott treatments resulting in premature death. The patient on whom euthanasia is to performed must be of sound mind and able to make right decisions. Gauging the mental fitness of a patient might be difficult even to the psychiatrists. Therefore, the decision of a patient to end their lives might not be known to doctors whether genuine or not. The decision might be influenced by ones’ condition of leaving, for example, a depressed person will desire to die anytime. Some doctors might not be strong enough to withstand life termination; this will depress them and eventually lead them out of their profession.
In some countries euthanasia is not allowed and is viewed as self-murder, even doctors performing risk being jailed. Religiously euthanasia is seen differently, with the Hindus agreeing to it and the Catholics opposed to it. To the Catholic, it’s a grave sin that cannot be forgiven. This will, therefore, mean a bad relationship between the church and the family members involved during euthanasia decision making and by extension the society.
In conclusion, voluntary euthanasia is best for terminally ill patients, but the administration should be performed by other individuals other than the doctors. The government should also consider the religious beliefs of the patient and the counties of residence laws. The authorities should make laws stating clearly when euthanasia is allowed. This will help in curbing suicide commitments and other harmful practices of ending lives.