Hee Ran Lee
PAD 7460, Wellington E. Webb
January 16, 2009
Political Advocacy: Debate on Legalizing Euthanasia
In recent years, legalizing euthanasia has been given considerable attention from the people and the media in many countries. While euthanasia is condemned as unethical by politicians, religious leaders and some physicians groups like Physicians for Compassionate Choices (PCC), it is also considered by some terminally ill patients and pro-euthanasia physicians like Philip Nitschke as unavoidable.
Establishing a political stance whether legalizing euthanasia or not is a tricky business because euthanasia is not a medical issue or a religious issue but a human issue. What I, as an opponent of euthanasia, try to do in this paper is to confront proponents of euthanasia legalization and question the adequacy of their logic.
1. Euthanasia as a concept
At the outset, it is imperative to clarify what we mean when we talk out euthanasia. Euthanasia, also called mercy-killing or assisted suicide, is the deliberate, intentional termination of a person's life for the benefit of that person. There are three major considerations in the act of euthanasia: namely, the presence of voluntary decisions, active agents and external assistance. There is no euthanasia unless death is intentionally caused by what was done or not done.
The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the American states of Oregon and Washington offer only competent adults who are medically predicted to have six months or less to live the opportunity to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician.
2. Debate on Legalizing Euthanasia
This image brings about sharp contrast between pro-euthanasia groups and anti-euthanasia groups.
2.1. Pro-euthanasia Group’s Point
The proponents of euthanasia persist that euthanasia is a fundamental right for those who no longer wish to continue a life with dignity and...