The Pros and Cons of Euthanasia


Authored by Melissa Church in Society 
Published on 05-25-2009

Euthanasia, or doctor-assisted suicide, is a hot-button topic for many people Americans today. As the cost of medical insurance soars while the quality of medical care is diminishing in many areas, some face an important decision-is euthanasia my only option? In this article we will be exploring the pros and cons of euthanasia, including religious concerns, “right to die” advocacy, and the effects on the American healthcare system. Upon reading these arguments you will have a better understanding of why this topic is so polarizing.

Religious concerns are at the forefront of the controversy of the pros and cons of euthanasia. There are many faiths that prohibit suicide in all forms to preserve what each imbues as their sacraments toward the sanctity of life. Many faiths believe that the taking of life whether it is suicide or murder is taboo. In many scenarios, the violation of this tenant constitutes eternal punishment for the violator. This outcome is unacceptable to many who feel that this works against the mission and message of their faith. Many religious anti-euthanasia groups point to the Hippocratic oath as a major stipulation in the argument against euthanasia.

In the ongoing battle of the pros and cons of euthanasia, there are those who would argue that religious dogma should not be the sole voice on the matter. Proponents for the “Right to Die” argument say that they are fighting for an ailing patients liberty from suffering. A competent person of sound mind who is terminally ill deserves the right to avoid a painful and slow death. Giving a patient the “right to die” allows them to pass with dignity and in a manner of their choosing. Allowing the patient to refuse medical intervention allows them to avoid saddling their loved ones with costly expenses they deem futile.

The American healthcare system is at the center of this wildfire of the pros and cons of euthanasia. Those for euthanasia site the millions of dollars of added expense added to the medical system in time and resources. The drugs that are used for euthanasia cost pennies on the dollar compared to the expensive equipment and procedures needed to sustain life. Proponents for euthanasia claim that by allowing the patient to decide, there would be a substantial savings for the government overall. Critics present that the potential for savings are not substantial enough to make this argument viable. They also stipulate that this issue would involve those that had power of attorney during the time.

The pros and cons of euthanasia are numerous and impassioned. The pleas from both sides leave many choosing sides while those who lie in agony awaiting the inevitable are waiting on the outcome. Religious concerns, “right to die” rhetoric, and the effects on the American healthcare system are three topics that have been hotly debated. This article has provided you with information from both sides of the issue. Now it is up to you to decide where you stand.


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