It is my contention that Euthanasia should be available to those who are of a sound mind at the time of their decision, who suffer from a severe terminal illness.
For the long-term patient, whose prognosis for their quality of life is poor and they cant live their life to it's fullest and the quantity of life has been shortened, they should be given the opportunity to exercise euthanasia. People who are suffering from the ill effects of medication that previously eased pain, and have lost the normal everyday functioning of their body such as eating, walking etc - should be able to exercise their free will and carry out their beliefs and choose euthanasia over a life of pain and suffering. This to me is simply existing, not living life to the fullest.
The first reason for voluntary euthanasia being widely available to people is because of the right to live or die. I feel strongly and believe that every individual should have the right to decide about his or her own life and death. The definition of voluntary euthanasia refers to when the person who dies has requested to be allowed to die. Supporters of euthanasia suggest that the individual should have the right to decide when this is so. People have the right to die with dignity and lucidity. Imagine if you were terminally ill and hopelessly incapable of just being able to do the normal things in life like eating.
The second reason for voluntary euthanasia is because it is unfair and cruel to refuse any terminally ill patient the right to die with dignity. Euthanasia is ending the life of someone who is hopelessly sick or injured in order to save them from suffering. If euthanasia is carried out then why not let the individual die with dignity? Furthermore, in certain situations active euthanasia should be allowed for terminally ill patients who request it. No matter what, everybody has the right to make their own decisions and the right to make changes at any time.
Many arguments are raised concerning voluntary euthanasia and whether or not the terminally ill patient at the time of the decision is of a sound mind. However, if the individual's state of mind was in the position to make the decision of active euthanasia then I believe it should be carried out. Not everybody agrees with voluntary euthanasia. There are still many points being raised concerning arguments against active euthanasia.
Many people believe active euthanasia is the deliberate taking of a human life. People who believe this statement really don't understand the significance of the terminally ill patient and if only they could imagine what it would be like for the individual then maybe in reality, more people would realise there is a need for voluntary euthanasia. In a sense, euthanasia would be classed as intentional taking of a human life if the individual didn't give consent and gave no request. But voluntary active euthanasia suggests the person has requested to be killed. The chances are, we cannot be sure that consent for euthanasia is voluntary.
This argument brings forward many aspects about the individual's capability to make a rational decision about active euthanasia. The terminally ill person may undergo a lot of pressure from family, friends or the community, which may have influenced their decision. We need to make sure their right to choose euthanasia was not because of the following reasons: that the patient was not depressed, intensely confused through physical illness, and feeling a sense of burden. The individual maybe suffering from easily treatable symptoms and may not need euthanasia. The terminally ill patient may only make a sensible choice if no demented. Finally, there is always the possibility of mistaken diagnosis, a new cure, or spontaneous remission.
According to the Voluntary Euthanasia Society Inc. it is true that new cures are being discovered for such illnesses but they may take years to become accessible. The terminally ill patient may not want to wait in hope for a cure or remission that may never happen. In conclusion I strongly agree with voluntary euthanasia as I believe it is brutal to allow a terminally ill patient to suffer when there is no cure as it not only affects the patient but also family and friends both physically and emotionally.
By allowing active euthanasia I hope it won't lead to abuses and should only be used in certain situations. It is a relief for the patient to be laid to rest in peace and not have to suffer any more.