Pros and Cons of Euthanasia: Analytical Essay

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Euthanasia, a debatable topic that creates moral questions, concerns, and brings about different point of views. It has been a significant issue in human rights discussion as it also affects ethical and legal issues concerning to patients and health care providers. This paper talks about the legal and ethical debates concerning both types of euthanasia This literature review examines the meaning of euthanasia, what euthanasia is, its types, pros, and cons, advantages, and disadvantages. It also explains if Euthanasia is legal or illegal and Euthanasia Should Occur or Not?

What is Euthanasia?

Euthanasia is the administration of a lethal agent by another person to cause the patient’s death and in that way relieve the patient’s suffering. Euthanasia previously originated from the Greek language meaning “good death.” As per the Washington Report Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, euthanasia’s definition has been changed, now it means is when one person intentionally causes the death of another who is terminally or seriously ill, often to end the pain and suffering. But this procedure is not generally accepted throughout the U.S and is illegal. However, it is legal in the Netherlands and Belgium. Physician-Assisted Suicide is legal in the United States in some states, but not the Euthanasia. PAS is legal in Washington, Oregon, and Montana states. Some argue that PAS and Euthanasia is the same thing, but it is not clear yet. Physician-Assisted Suicide and euthanasia should not be confused and recognized by who administers the medication to end a patient’s life. In PAS cases, the patient administrates the legal dose of poison to end his/or her life, not the doctor. On the other hand, euthanasia is when the physician plays a key role in ending the patient’s life by administrating lethal medication.

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Types of Euthanasia

Active Euthanasia (intentionally killing a person to relieve pain) is where somebody is killed, for example, a person might be given an overdose of a narcotic. Passive Euthanasia (withholding or withdrawing of life-preserving procedures including water and food) is when a person dies because the medicine or treatment that is keeping them alive is withdrawn or stopped. Voluntary euthanasia occurs when a competent and informed person asks another to end his or her life. For example, a terminally ill cancer patient asks a physician to end his life but is in no way induced by the physician to make such a decision. Involuntary euthanasia occurs when an individual competent in making an informed decision is killed using poison even after refusing euthanasia. For instance, an example of involuntary euthanasia would be if a terminally ill patient who did not want to die was given lethal doses of medication by a caring associate without his/her knowledge or approval. Non-voluntary euthanasia occurs when a patient cannot make an informed decision and is killed by a lethal dose of medication. Non-voluntary euthanasia can occur in situations in which patients who have a mental illness, cognition impairment or are in a persistive vegetative state or coma.

Euthanasia Should Occur or Not?

Euthanasia is a deliberate action that is taken by a physician or another person that meaningfully results in the ending of a person’s life. This step is taken under most circumstances to end the continual suffering that individuals experience because of a terminal illness, genetic disorder, or traumatic event. It is a process that, along with physician-assisted suicide, is against the law in most countries. These actions may even include a jail punishment and fine if an individual is found guilty of this practice. There are many areas of medical ethics for which there are no certain answers. When should life support be withdrawn? Is euthanasia ever permissible? Should a baby’s life be sacrificed to save the life of the mother? Should a baby be conceived to donate a needed organ to an ill or dying sibling? Scientific inventions continue to present new medical possibilities and choices but with these possibilities come more complicated ethical issues that must be addressed before choices can be made. The ethical implications of these issues and dilemmas must be carefully examined by the healthcare professional. The ethics of the owner must agree with the ethics of the healthcare professional. Instead of engaging in euthanasia, physicians must strongly respond to the needs of patients at the end of life. Patients should not be abandoned once it is determined that a cure is impossible.

Pros and Cons of Euthanasia

Pros of Euthanasia: People should be allowed to choose and should have the right to decide whether to live or to die. Euthanasia can reduce or prevent human suffering by relieving people who are suffering from severe pain. Forcing people to suffer against their will is wrong. It can also relieve suffering where someone’s quality of life has become significantly low. Euthanasia does not mean a lack of caring or compassion, on the opposite, the patient’s needs are placed first. It provides death with dignity, frees up funds and equipment because terminally ill patients, or people that are in irreversible comas, use a large portion of the medical funding available which could be used on the patients who have the potential to get better or healing.

Cons of Euthanasia: One of the most common brought up topics in the euthanasia debate is that of religion. Most of the religions have some strict views on taking lives, including your own. It is viewed as one of the greatest sins against God. Most medical professionals do not want to be involved with killing patients because their job is to heal people and save lives, so it is opposite to what they see as their purpose. There is a risk that euthanasia could be used to control health care costs, with the patients’ needs and wishes taking second place. This could encourage hospitals and doctors to begin using euthanasia as a means of money-saving, which could result in the unwilling deaths of people. No matter what the theory is, arguments over mercy killings can often be very difficult in practice, as it is not always clear what the patient wants or what their interests are. It seems like more euthanasia demands would result in more extensive legal confrontations. If voluntary euthanasia is allowed, then there is a possibility of it developing into a slippery slope situation where say, sick elderly people end up having their lives terminated because selfish relatives don’t want to take care of them, or out of the desire for inheritance money. Keeping it illegal means that no government can ever use it for political means.

Is euthanasia legal?

In the United States, while active euthanasia is illegal throughout the U.S., assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington, Montana and one county in New Mexico. In Canada, passive euthanasia has been legal for quite some time, but active euthanasia was previously illegal as a form of liable homicide up until June 6th, 2016 with a Supreme Court decision. In the United Kingdom, euthanasia and assisted dying both are illegal. Even though it is an offense to assist a patient in committing suicide, but some doctors still assist their patients with their wishes by withholding treatment and reducing pain. This is only done when the doctors think that death is a few days away and after discussing patients, relatives or other doctors.

Advantages of Euthanasia

Euthanasia is used as the last option when all other options don’t work. The goal with this help is to end the suffering of a prolonged death, especially if there is chronic and severe pain included in the process. Incorporating death with dignity laws can help to make this a possibility. The decision always remains in the hands of the patient because there has to be informed consent for Euthanasia from the patient or the family members. Doctors have a minimum role in the modern euthanasia process. Recent statistics show that less than 1% of doctors choose to participate in these programs. About 40% of those who wrote a legal lethal prescription did not know as to whether the patient took the medication. It can take years sometimes to pay difficult financial issues. When euthanasia is part of the conversation for someone with a terminal illness, then there can be more planning involved to make this transition easier on everyone else. It’s not just relief for the person who is suffering. The rest of the family can find peace knowing that there is a planned time to create an end to this situation. One of the most significant challenges that occur with a terminal illness is the feelings of guilt and shame that a patient has with regards to their caregivers. They begin to feel like a burden on their loved ones who are caring for them. Permitting euthanasia might not be a common option in some groups, but it can create organization for the transitory time that everyone experiences in a situation. The people who qualify for this program is 0.3% or less of the general population. When you look at this specific group of people with a terminal illness who decides that this is the method, they wish to use to end their life, the rate of adoption is typically less than 3%. Critics are often concerned about the idea that more people would choose suicide because of its availability, but the data doesn’t support that idea.

Disadvantages of Euthanasia

The legalization of euthanasia works when a physician is willing to provide this option for their patients. There are times when a doctor is unwilling to provide a lethal prescription for their own ethical reasons. The legalization of euthanasia is not an obvious outcome. When someone makes this decision and it doesn’t work as expected, it places them and their doctor into an almost difficult situation. Medicine field is not a 100 % accurate science, even if we know that there are definite outcomes that are expected in particular situations. For instance, if you have a bacterial or viral infection, then taking antibiotics or antiviral should help to treat you but that outcome is not guaranteed. That is why a second opinion is often recommended when there is a serious illness. Although the United States, the Netherlands, and other countries that offer euthanasia at some level would require little in the way of legislation to permit this practice, it would require a complete renovation of the criminal justice system in others. Because there are so few people who take advantage of this option, it could be more beneficial to direct the resources dedicated to euthanasia into other forms of medical research. Although there isn’t a genuine cure for old age, we might come up with a way to stop cancer dependably, manage Alzheimer’s disease with consistency, and find solutions for genetic conditions that can decrease the quality of life for a person. Euthanasia avoids the benefits of palliative care because instead of trying to improve the life of a patient who has a terminal illness, euthanasia gets to take what remains of a person’s life away from them. People who specialize in palliative care can benefit from the new social, spiritual, and physical problems they face with their health. Giving up on the hope of life because of a challenging condition is not the right message for doctors to send to their patients.


Euthanasia is a way of killing yourself or another person with a lethal medication to relieve the patient’s suffering. There are multiple types of Euthanasia such as Active Euthanasia, Passive Euthanasia, Voluntary, involuntary and non-voluntary Euthanasia. Some people believe it should occur and should be legal to provide a person a death with dignity where others criticize this by saying that it has to be illegal and should occur because nobody has the right to end the life because it is given by the GOD and it would be a sin. It avoids the benefits of palliative care. There are many Pros and Cons of Euthanasia as well as advantages and disadvantages. Arguments cont. to go on because there is not any certain decision about that it should legal or illegal.


In conclusion, there are numerous different types of euthanasia such as voluntary, involuntary, non-voluntary, active and passive euthanasia. However, its meaning remains the same and continues to be known as a procedure that is performed by a medical professional who administrates a lethal drug to a terminally ill patient to end their suffering. There are still several moral and ethical arguments surrounding the issue. Many doctors, patients, and family members continue to hold different beliefs regarding this issue, and support their arguments on self-autonomy, patient welfare, and the wrongness of killing a person. Even though there are quite a few programs of action in place, such as rejecting euthanasia, and or improving hospice or palliative care, society has not yet agreed on what should be done, and the arguments continue unresolved.


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