more commonly known as euthanasia was the main topic of interest for Friday. And is it just me, or is Glenn trying to make everyone feel bad for being happy? It seems like new unit there is an underlying motif of suffering just waiting to be discussed. But I digress, because regardless of whatever Glenn’s motives are, there is still the issue of whether or not euthanasia is ethical.
From my understanding, there are essentially two sides to the debate: one side believes that as human beings we have a responsibility to further continue the life of every individual regardless of most circumstances, and the other side of the debate also agrees with the aforementioned belief except with only one difference. This difference being that when it comes to the suffering of an individual, or for any other reason, that individual should have the right to decide their fate.
Personally, my stance on this topic lies completely in favor of legalizing euthanasia on the grounds that this practice is completely and one hundred percent ethical. My reasoning follows similar to my reasons for legalizing all drugs in last week’s journal entry: the government should only protect us from external destruction, but ultimately every individual should be able to decide their fate as long as that this decision does not directly harm other people. Whether that decision be abusing pain killers or partaking in suicide does not matter.
Now, more specifically, there is the ambiguity of the ethicality of assisted suicide. Is it morally responsible to assist another individual in killing themselves? The answer to that question is a little more complex, but ultimately I believe the answer to that question is yes. Instead of viewing the euthanasia scenario as ending the life of another human being, or murder, it should be viewed as an act of mercy. Huttman’s essay does an excellent job by revealing the intense pain and suffering that some people are forced to endure. It is absolutely heart wrenching to imagine myself in Huttman’s shoes: to watch the pure torment and anguish a patient is enduring only to can’t help but think that all of this agony is partially my responsibility. But then there is the matter of viewing the situation from the patient’s point of view: stuck in a hospital, unable to move as the growing pain of an increasingly intense suffering overcomes me. With such burdens, it is completely reasonable to despite their existence let alone enjoy life. How are humans morally obligated to continue an individual’s distress? Is this not a cruel and unusual punishment for the undeserving? Are you telling me that if you were in that patient’s shoes, you would accept your undeserving sentence to a life of pain and misery, because if you don’t then somehow you are morally inadequate?
Somehow I believe that the reason euthanasia is legal is related to religion. From my understanding, most religious groups believe that humans have a responsibility in furthering an individual existence despite most circumstances, because if we do not then somehow we all are morally corrupt in the eyes of god. If the only reason euthanasia is not legal is because the bible says so, then does this not conflict with the separation of church and law?