I chose to discuss euthanasia and why it should be legal. Euthanasia can be characterized as directly or indirectly bringing about the death of another person for that person’s sake. There are many objections to why it is illegal. For example, some believe since physicians are called upon to do the killing, it undermines their roles as healers and it compromises the patient-physician relationship. However, I believe this is false. If euthanasia were legal, physicians would be doing something great for patients. Physicians would be putting patients out of their misery and suffering. Why is that such a bad thing? Keeping patients on ventilators for months while they’re health is not progressing is wrong. Keeping patients alive with no hope is torture. How much of that do they have to endure before it is enough?
My main argument for why euthanasia should be legal is autonomy. Autonomy is the right to self-governance. It allows patients to make choices and decisions for themselves based on their particular set of personal values. We should each be free to make important choices bearing on how we shall live our lives, so we should equally be free to choose the time and manner of our death. I understand that for some, more life will always be better. But for others, more life would mean more suffering and an unrelenting loss of everything that invested their lives with meaning and dignity. Each of us should be free to live and die as we see fit according to our own perceptions of the meaning of life and death.
Some philosophers have argued that it is a form of tyranny to force a person to withstand horrible suffering at the end their lives. Euthanasia is an act of mercy that delivers peace within the person. Not having the choice of euthanasia is wrong.
“I’m worried that students will take their obedient place in society and look to become successful cogs in the wheel – let the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they’re doing. I’m concerned that students not become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that’s handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers.”- Howard Zinn