Medical Ethics and Euthanasia

The mere act of euthanasia represents the most gentle and painless way of terminating a person’s life in order to relieve them from their suffering. This term itself is derived from the Greek word “euthanatos”, which literally means easy death. In many cases, it is carried out at the person’s request, but there are times when they may be too ill and the decision has to be made by relatives, medics or, in some instances, the courts.

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Deciding whether to euthanise a person or not is one of the most difficult questions concerning not only practical, but also religious and ethical matters. However, people should choose euthanasia because it can help the patient by relieving his/her pain and suffering, it can reduce economic costs and provide human resources for other people suffering from curable diseases, and it helps the sick person’s family to overcome the loss without much pain. One of the first and most important reasons for choosing euthanasia is definitely the act of relieving a person’s suffering.

Family members all over the world usually choose euthanasia in order to save their loved one suffering from a terminal illness or incurable condition, from further pain and suffering. In most cases the patients themselves give their consent to euthanasia, which is considered to be the act of voluntary euthanasia. Besides voluntary there is non-voluntary euthanasia, also known as ‘mercy killing’, which is performed only when a person is in a persistent vegetative state and cannot make a decision on his/her own.

This means that the family has to give their consent to euthanasia instead of the patient. Even though the question raises many debates including ethics, morality and religion, the only purpose of euthanasia should be to prevent a person from living in an irreversible coma, constantly taking pain relievers. Taking into consideration the states the patients are usually in, deciding to euthanise them is the right thing to do. In addition to this, it is a fact that many countries are dealing with a shortage of hospital space and medical personnel.

In other words, keeping someone alive affects not only the lives of the patients and their families, but also the lives of other people who could be saved instead of continuing the lives of those who cannot recover. Furthermore, to keep people alive past the point they can take care of themselves and live normal lives has no purpose, for the resources used for their treatments could be spent on treating people who are suffering from curable diseases. All in all, euthanasia is a good choice which helps many people in many different ways.

On top of all this, euthanasia should be performed in order to help the family overcome the loss of their loved one more quickly. Even though the family is in contact with the patient and always by his/her side, the pain and suffering that person feels during a disease can be absolutely incomprehensible to those who have not gone through it. The family feels helpless because they can do nothing to help and reduce the amount of pain the person is feeling. To lose a family member is one of the hardest things a person can experience, and if this can be reduced by euthanising the patient, it should be done.

As it can be seen, euthanasia actually represents a humane deed which can help many people. It is an act of not only relieving the patient’s pain and suffering, but also a way of reducing the shortage of economic costs and medical personnel and a way of helping the patient’s family overcome the loss of their loved one. So, the act of euthanasia should not be considered as killing a person or ending a life by force, but as a way of giving a person a chance to be relieved from never ending pain and suffering.