Euthanasia “It is conceivable, that life can deteriorate to the point where persons lose their dignity and self-respect and are unable to communicate; life in such a form no longer meets meets the basic criteria of human-ness.” (O’Keefe, A1) Under these circumstances only should Euthanasia be practiced and then only passively (“pulling the plug”). “Dutch Death”, Euthanasia, doctor assisted suicide, whatever you want to call it, it should not be legalized. People should live their lives for as long as long as it is worth living.
As long as someone can still have experiences and communicate with others, they should go on living. Someone may have six months to live and decides to end their life rematurely, saying that they are going to die anyway, why bother with waiting. It is the same with anyone. Everyone will eventually die, so why doesn’t every one just kill themselves now? It is because there are things they want to do and see, there is life they still have yet to experience. The same thing is true for a terminably ill person, they could do alot in that six months.
They write an autobiography or a novel, do a lot of reading or traveling, who knows? It has been said that trials and pain make us stronger. Even if someone is in pain, that pain could make them mentally stronger than if they give up and take the easy way out. Life is pain, everyone goes through pain in their lives, but most stick it out to the end, not giving up taking the easy way out. As long as a person still is able to know what is happening around them and can interact with the world around them it should be illegal for doctors to aid in their suicide. “Some say that doctor-aided death is widespread already, only covertly, and that the Netherlands is a model of how to establish the right to die by bringing the practice out in the open, where the medical and legal system can oversee it. (O’Keefe, A1+)” This issue is compared to how abortion was before it was legalized.
“The main reason for legalization of abortion was because it was being done anyway. People HAD access to abortion, it was just being done terribly. We’re in exactly the same situation today: People do have access to assisted suicide–it’s just being done so badly. (Shavelson, 39)” Just because something is done does not mean that it should be legal. Many things that are illegal are done anyway. Look at drugs, underage drinking, drunk driving, and speeding; these things are all illegal and are frequently practiced.
Should these or other things be legallized just because they are done anyway? This is not a valid reason for leagalizing anything. Where would it end if the practice of euthanasia were to be legalized, how far would it go? Would it end with assisted death for the terminably ill? The world looks to the Netherlands as the only working model of assisted death, a nation known for its open aproach to abortion, prostitution and drug use. “A `coffieshop’ next to an Amsterdam police station has on its menu hash and maijuana, one-forth of an ounce for 25 gulden, about $15. A block away a movie theater is showing the film, `Brutally Raped,’ accompanied by an advertisement that it is banned in most countries. Hookers stand in store windows of the red light district. (O’Keefe, A1+)” This country has an open approach to things that most people frown on and yet many “right to die” activists look to it as an example of what to make ourselves into.
If we started with the terminably ill, would we stop there, or would we continue on. Perhaps any physically deformed people, then anyone with a disease, next any elderly people without much will left. Maybe the doctors would start going around euthanizing anyone they deemed fit for death. Then perhaps we would become like a dog or cat and instead of bothering to heal us we would just be put down.
Who knows where it would end. These examples are pretty radical, but once we take that first step there is no telling where it will end. Sometimes change is needed in society, sometimes things must change to fit societies needs. Some things, however, can never change; it will always be wrong to steal, it will always be wrong to kill, and it will allways be wrong to kill someone. Works cited Henry, Sarah. “The Battle Over Assisted Suicide: A Time to Die” California Lawyer, January, 1996 O’Keefe, Mark.
“Doctor Assisted Suicide: Dutch Death” The Oregonian, January 8, 1995. ppA1+ Shavelson, Lonny. A Chosen Death; The Dying confront Assisted Suicide, January, 1994.