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The Legalization of Voluntary Euthanasia

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The Legalization of Voluntary Euthanasia  

Sama Issa Al Taie

Professor Lelania Sperrazza

American University of Sharjah


This paper addresses and argues the legalization of voluntary euthanasia as it helps the terminally ill patients to put an end to their difficulty. Legalizing voluntary euthanasia will result in having higher economic resources and allows the patients to leave this world with dignity instead of suffering their way until the end. After this, this paper will discuss how taking medication does not always result in healing patients as in some cases it is impossible to improve their health. Moreover, examples are provided on how terminally ill patients feel about having the opportunity and capability to end their misery after many failed attempts of curing, therefore, they would rather die with their dignity. In addition, temporary patients can receive the treatments they need due to legalizing voluntary euthanasia as statistics have proven that more money has been invested in treating terminally ill patients than assisting those who can cure with the providence of medication they require.  Despite all of this, many might still argue that it would be seen as if it is an encourage act or duty to die due to the economic resources and money that is spent on terminally ill patients are goes above those who can get treated.

Voluntary euthanasia is a practice that is also known as physician-assisted suicide, where its intentions are to help end a permanently ill patient's life willingly without torture to relieve pain and suffering. Moreover, voluntary euthanasia is applied to both physical and emotional illness to those who have lost the desire to live due to these illnesses. Additionally, this shall be discussed and considered by their doctors depending on how tremendous the patient's suffering as it is much more of a hopeless case for the patients to cure. This has been an increasingly important debate in the world given that there are growing calls to legalize physician-assisted suicide in many parts of the developed countries. Euthanasia has been practiced for as long as the history of medicine, where it was usual for the doctors to kill their patients due to their severe pain and suffering. The debates of legalizing euthanasia took place between 1994-1997, where pro-physician-assisted suicide campaigns in Oregon were raised, eventually, the Oregon Death With Dignity Act, authorizing physician-assisted suicide (PAS) for terminally ill Oregon residents was passed (Purvis, 2012, para.2). Although it may seem morbid, assisted suicide is an important and vital debate to look into, as there are increasing calls for its legalization given that it can relieve terminally ill patients of their sufferings. Voluntary euthanasia should be legalized, as terminally ill patients would be able to get respite from their sufferings. As a result, voluntary euthanasia will also be able to redirect economic resources to helping those who can be cured and not to mention allowing terminally ill patients to leave the world with dignity knowing that their death was a conscious choice that they made.

Voluntary euthanasia relives the pain and suffering that those terminally ill patients would go through; it would therefore only be ethically justified if it were accepted. Euthanasia would be the only way to actually end the patient's difficulty, as it is almost impossible for them to get healed as this is proved and confirmed by conducted research done by professionals and the many searches for a medication that has got them to obviously no reliable results. Additionally, voluntary euthanasia has strict guidelines as not every sick person can simply opt to be euthanized. This would only include patients that have crossed beyond any hope of recovering and who have experienced endless and unbearable physical or emotional pain that cannot be diminished. Furthermore, a second physician shall be consulted, and the ill patient must be questioned several times if this is his/her final decision. Moreover, those who support assisted suicide “argue that medical ethos is not restricted to healing, but includes accompanying the patient in situations in which healing is impossible and unbearable suffering present, taking the patient’s personal values into account”(Lorincz, 2015, p. 4). This proves that the approach of using medication does not always work in favor of the ill patients as it is almost the case with terminally ill patients that their illnesses are impossible to heal and only further worsens their suffering. Furthermore, voluntary euthanasia should also be considered if medication provided by the doctors lead to weak results and are unable to prevent their patients from suffering unbearable pain and have almost no chances of surviving.  The lack of giving consideration to euthanasia in such cases would be unfair to permanently ill patients who live a life that they are unable to control when it comes to their physical health, thereby also negatively affecting the patient's psychological health. In that, euthanasia would be the practice that would relieve them from their what they experience from their physical or mental difficulty.  For instance, a 29-year-old has terminal brain cancer and was given 6 months to live, as she states that “ I can’t even tell you the amount of relief that it provides me to know that I don’t have to die the way that it’s been described to me that my brain tumor would take me on its own” (Compassion & Choices, 2014, para.11).  Under such conditions, voluntary euthanasia relieves the suffering patient from going through the endless physical pain and mental state that extends beyond their will to live. From this example, we see the importance in acknowledging the amount of relief and comfort that patients could get from considering the possibility of euthanasia instead of suffering a long and painful death.

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