Arguments Regarding Anti-euthanasia

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Are you willing to be the reason to let someone suffer due to your selfish needs? In the game of life and death, most believe that life is the winner. When Euthanasia comes into question it leaves much thinking that death is the viable solution to stop the suffering or the financial burden. Euthanasia in some cases is the best option and has more advantages than it does disadvantages. Hi and welcome to the youth Rockhampton parliament 2019. On behalf of Rockhampton youth, I will be talking on the issue of why Euthanasia should become legalized for patients with terminal illnesses.

‘Nobody should have the right to tell me when I can and can’t die. I just want this compassionate choice’ Annie Gabrielides was the face of dying with dignity NSWs 2017 campaign for the voluntary assisted dying bill (2017). Annie had terminal Motor Neuron Disease, she was left gasping for air at times and unable to move. It wouldn’t be long after Annie’s diagnosis that she would end up in a wheelchair. Trapped inside her body with the same intellect, but unable to communicate, feed, bathe or even move. Within the 12 months of her diagnosis, she faced the prospect of suffering a horrible death. Annie said in her fundraiser that ‘The disease always wins, it just keeps taking from me until I eventually choke and or suffocate over a long drawn out and painful end.’ Terminal illnesses can cause patients to suffer in ways one couldn’t imagine. If a patient has been suffering from a terminal illness and has been fighting to cure it but they hit a dead end, isn’t it only fair to let them die in peace rather than to wither away into someone even they can’t recognize? During the past 100 years, medical treatments have advanced amazingly. Society has learned how to treat diseases that were once incurable. The medical fields have gone into many different specialists so shouldn’t they just stick it out? That argument may seem valid but when seeing it in the patient’s eyes, the last couple of years, months, or days will be spent suffering and in agonizing pain for some as their illness was still left incurable. Allowing patients to have the right to go through with Euthanasia will allow them to end their suffering and to get back control of their lives to die with dignity.

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When a terminally ill patient is stuck in hospital they are already suffering but by adding on the extra cost of medical expenses due to aggressive treatments, costly medication and the long duration hospital visits the suffering is not only on them but on those around them. The expenses aren’t only adding up for the patients and their insurance companies but the patient’s families as well. To give the patient the dignity to pass on when they are ready to not only free them up but those around them. Imagine having to watch a family member of yours slowly deteriorate in front of you but you aren’t able to give them your full attention as you are worried about the financial costs.

Resources are a valuable necessity used in the medical field. With patients who have a terminal illness that isn’t even wanting to continue fighting the hospital beds and medical resources are being used up which could be offered up to someone who wants to continue fighting. The medical resources need to be used in the most valuable way so if a patient has decided that they don’t want to continue with their fight as they have suffered enough shouldn’t they have the right to let the medical resources be passed onto someone who wants to continue fighting.

Anti-Euthanasia activists argue that the legal right to die will be abused and that no legal safeguards can prevent that abuse. The slippery slope terminology is that if you let A happen then B will happen to therefore A shouldn’t happen. People argue that in other words if we allow Euthanasia to happen then the abuse of doctors taking control and killing of patients without their consent will start to happen. The problem with that argument however is that if the likelihood of abuse were thought to be grounds for holding back their rights then more than just euthanasia would be banned. For example, when driving the right is abused and no safeguards that we have against the abuse of driving are effective. People drive over the speed limit, through a red light, drive cars that aren’t roadworthy and even without a license or under the influence. Moreover, the abuse of the legal right to drive has more fatal outcomes than the abuse of euthanasias fatal outcomes. The anti-euthanasia activist who sees the dangers of abuse fail to see that the abuse is possible even when euthanasia is illegal. Few opponents of the legal right to die are prepared to accept the implication that driving should be banned. Nor is it a conclusion that should be accepted. There is no reason to withhold from some people a legal right to reasonable activity merely because other people will abuse that right. The appropriate response is regulation, imperfect though that may be. Think of it this way, a study done in the Netherlands in 2005 found that 0.4% of euthanasia cases were conducted without consent whilst euthanasia was legal. However, a study conducted in 1991 indicated that 0.8% of euthanasia was done without patient consent. This study shows that the legalization of euthanasia in the Netherlands has cut the practice of no-consent euthanasia in half. So although there is a chance that the abuse of euthanasia by conducting the act without consent from the patient is a chance from the study it can be seen that the ‘slippery slope argument is invalid.  

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