Jerome Tan Yee Sing
Professor: Dan Munteanu
September 30th 2013
Death to Help
Euthanasia stems from an ancient Greek word meaning “good death”. But does such a thing exist? It is commonly said that death is life’s only compromise, which explains why the argument of euthanasia should come to pass for the terminally ill. The debate surrounding euthanasia is emotionally charged and controversial. Some label it murderous while others, merciful. To euthanize someone and to take away someone’s life unnaturally are murderous.
Religious and cultural perspectives are generally at the forefront of arguments involving this controversial subject. Leigh Turner explores the contemporary presence of multiple accounts of the meaning of human life and acknowledges that, with regard to the topic of euthanasia, differing social worlds collide. She states that “what is construed as “reasonable” and “common sensical” can shift over time” (Turner 191). According to Turner, what was previously believed to have been known as murder is gradually becoming regarded as a choice. It may be that some believe that every patient has the right to choose when to die, but there is no “right” to be killed. Opening these kinds of options to doctors, to voluntary euthanasia, could lead to non-voluntary and involuntary euthanizing. Giving doctors the power to decide when a patient’s life is not worth living is completely unethical and will ultimately lead to abuse.
Religious communities believe that euthanasia stresses the sanctity of the soul, where life is interpreted as a God-given gift that should never be renounced. This presents the argument that a terminally ill person could have already received a death sentence from God and that euthanasia is simply an option in effectively managing one’s passing. From a Christian perspective, one could argue that our lives are not our own and they belong to God. Within these religious traditions, the self has no claim to make decisions...