Euthanasia is not a new issue. The question of whether doctors should be allowed to end a life under certain circumstances has been around for years. In my opinion euthanasia should be legalized if the relevant guidelines are put in place. In Britain groups supporting euthanasia have been around since 1935 and in the USA since 1938. Today no agreement can be found either way. Euthanasia can refer to two things: euthanasia and assisted suicide.

For a definition we need to look at the final action or in other words who pulls the plug. Euthanasia implies a doctor carries out the final act. For example a lethal injection that is given by a doctor constitutes euthanasia. On the other hand assisted suicide implies the patient carries out the final act. For example a prescription for a lethal dose of medicine, which is taken by the patient at a time of their choosing. If our society is really a humanitarian democracy, shouldn't we have the right to choose the way we live and die as long as it does not have an adverse effect on others?

The fact we are a democracy implies we are free to choose who we want to lead us, what we want to do and how we choose to die within the guidelines of society. Why should fellow humans have to spend their final months on this earth in torment? Shouldn't we do all we can to provide for those suffering? Even if that means euthanasia? If a person is guaranteed to die in a matter of weeks and he or she is constantly writhing in agony, they should have the right to choose whether they die now by their choice under controlled circumstances. Euthanasia is also a way for people to save what shreds of dignity they have left.

By letting them go quickly and quietly without causing a burden both emotionally and financially to their families. Seeing someone you love and care about suffering right in front of your eyes but being powerless to do anything about it must be one of the hardest things to face. The strain on our struggling health budget could also be alleviated through allowing euthanasia and assisted suicide. It is a great deal more economical than sustaining the life of a vegetable. This may not seem very appropriate but when there is only a limited sum of money available and there is the choice of sustaining a bare semblance of life or investing in cures for the world's medical woes such as Aids and cancer, a choice has to be made as to which is the most beneficial. One of the problems that "prolife" organizations refer to is that of involuntary euthanasia, where a patient has been forced or coerced into making the decision by either a doctor of overbearing family member or indeed being given no choice at all as in the morphine drip for "pain relief" in ever increasing doses until ultimately a fatal dose is administered.

If the right guidelines were put in place this would not, could not occur. With the advances in modern medicine pain should be controllable. This is not always the case although over the last 50 years great breakthroughs have been made, even so we are still a long way off being able to cure or even provide adequate relief for many health concerns we are faced with today. In certain cases it is impossible to provide adequate pain relief to people suffering due to allergies, addictions etcetera.

Some organizations also disagree with euthanasia as it involves the ending of a life, but what of abortion. In the case of abortion, a life is terminated before it has a chance to run its course. For euthanasia you a merely providing relief for a person who has run the race of life and is ready for the finish line. And what right do "prolife" organizations have to decide who should live. Isn't it as bad as a doctor deciding who is no longer fit to live. If euthanasia were put into practice strict guidelines and regulations would have to be adhered to.

These guidelines would cover such things as: who is eligible covering reason e.g. fatal illness, intolerable pain, the severity of situation and whether their mental state is fit to understand the implications. The guidelines would also ensure that all cases are reported accurately and to the full to be submitted to an independent body dealing solely with issues surrounding euthanasia. Regulations would ensure qualified supervision was present in case any unforeseen problems arose, they would also ensure that all applications are seen and agreed to by a certified panel rather than giving the responsibility to just one person thereby preventing any misjudgments. Appropriate laws would also need to be drafted to guarantee compliance, theses laws would be enforced by an independent body. In conclusion euthanasia is a complex issue with many arguments for and against. I have aimed to highlight a few of these arguments to allow you to make an educated and informed decision.