Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Euthanasia is derived from the Greek term “good death.” It refers to one ending life in a dignified manner, usually in a hospital setting. It is a very controversial issue, and many people have arguments for and against the legalisation and use of euthanasia. At the moment the Australian government is debating whether or not to legalise the use of euthanasia in Australia, but the decision process in still underway.

There are many arguments that support the idea of Euthanasia. It allows those who are terminally ill, are in extreme pain, or have a very low quality of life to die in a dignified way that allows their families to say goodbye.
It allows family members to say goodbye
It allows a dignified death
It offers a way to relieve extreme pain
It offers relief of low quality
Freedom of choice
It can be considered cruel to keep somebody alive

However, many people also argue that Euthanasia would not necessarily be a good thing. Many say that it would not be used just for terminally ill patients.
It is argued that doctors are constantly coming up with new technology that could potentially save someone’s life who had previously taken it using Euthanasia.
Doctors are always coming up with new technology that could have saved your life
It can be considered suicide
Devalues human life
People involved with performing euthanasia should not be directly involved with causing death
It could eventually be eased to allow people who are not terminally ill
It would not be only for terminally ill people.

There are many examples that can be used that highlight some of the dangers of legalising Euthanasia:

Example 1:
Euthanasia is a form of voluntary death, but what would happen if an elderly person with dementia, or some other form of disability, is shown a form consenting to be killed, and asked to sign it. Would that be considered voluntary or involuntary? If the time comes when a mere signature can determine someone’s death, who will the law continue to protect? We like to think everybody, but it may not be the case.

Example 2:Another situation that might cause trouble is the possibility that doctors will take advantage of the legalisation of Euthanasia. What would happen if a woman suffering from depression asks to be given Euthanasia? A doctor may have the idea to start up a clinic which gives these people what they want. He may charge each patient and end up doing thousands a year, and make money out of it.

If Euthanasia was to be legalised, we would need a set of boundaries. We could not just let anybody off the street walk in and ask for Euthanasia, but whee would we stop? How bad would your condition have to be for euthanasia to be given to you? Would we allow euthanasia to those with mental illnesses? Would there be a process that one would have to take to get permission for euthanasia? Who would have the power to give euthanasia? Any doctor?

My opinion
Personally, I believe that the use of euthanasia in Australia should be legalised, but only used in very rare occasions. I believe that it should be available to those who are terminally ill, and are in so much incurable pain their quality of life is so low it’s not worth living. I also believe that not every doctor should have the power to prescribe euthanasia, or else problems will arise such as the ones I have mentioned before.