Topic Review: Euthanasia in the presence of life-threatening illness.

Euthanasia is an incredibly controversial topic for many reasons, but for the sake of brevity, I will discuss the underlying topic of euthanasia, namely suicide. Euthanasia is defined as the voluntary act of taking one’s own life in the presence of a debilitating or life-threatening illness. Euthanasia is suicide, but under a refined medical context. Due to the nature of the topic, I think it is important to preface this by noting that although I argue that a person has the right to die, I do not by any means condone taking one’s own life.

We did not have a choice as to whether we wanted to come into this world or not; dissimilarly, however, we do have the choice to leave this world. I believe that having this option constitutes a right that we inherently possess. Taking away this right from a human imposes an artificial and contingent law on something inherent and natural. Given this, a bedridden patient experiencing intractable suffering for example, with a debilitating illness, should have the option to end his/her own life as he/she sees fit. The decision should be his/hers, meaning an act of his/her own volition. There is simply no sensible argument to justify why this patient must continue living if he/she no longer desires to, given his/her fatal condition. With the appropriate provisions in place and with the guidance of medical professionals, euthanasia, just like any other medical procedure, can be proven to be a rational and ethically sound practice.

By Chirag
Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine
Class of 2021

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