The phenomenon of euthanasia occurred with the development of social progress, in particular in science and technology related to the maintenance of life of the seriously ill people. The relevance of this topic is difficult to overstate, first, because it is associated with the most expensive thing a person might have - life. Secondly, due to insufficient amount of study of this problem, scientists and lawyers lack any legislative measure in this sphere. Consequently, euthanasia issue has become a problem which lies in the center of a heated discussion. It begins its chronology in ancient times. Even then it caused much controversy among physicians, lawyers, sociologists, psychologists, and so on. Attitude to a process of deliberately death acceleration of the terminally ill, even to end their sufferings, has never been straightforward. The English philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) referred to an easy painless death with a term – “euthanasia” (from Greek eu – good, thanatos – death). Though there is an abundance of supporting views on this issue, the opposing ones outweigh those since euthanasia is against the first moral human law – do not kill.
To start with, euthanasia violates the principle of the sanctity of a human life. In fact, the main argument in favor of euthanasia is the assertion of goodness not of a life as it is, but of a life with certain qualitative characteristics. Euthanasia in this case is seen as a decent way of behavior in a situation where life loses quality that makes it good. From this statement it follows that the good life is directed above life so that life is not so worthy. Within a worldview, which recognizes any life good, euthanasia cannot be argued.
Secondly, euthanasia is an incredible strain on a human conscience. A case of the so-called doctor John Kraay already became a textbook. In 1965, an elderly doctor Mr. Kraay was accused of a premeditated murder of his 80-year-old patient and friend Frederick Wagner, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. To end the suffering of his friend, Kraay secretly, without telling anyone, made a triple insulin dose injection, resulting in Wagner’s death. When the truth was revealed, the doctor was arrested. During the investigation Dr. Kraay was released on bail, and two weeks later he made a lethal injection and died. An incredible pressure of the decision about euthanasia is indirectly confirmed by the fact that the relevant decisions, taken in countries where the practice of euthanasia is elaborated legally in institutionalized forms, are adopted collectively – by specially created ethics committees, collective bodies representing the interests of a patient and a society. The composition of these committees includes doctors, administration of medical institutions, employees of Social Security, representatives of religious communities, civil society, philosophy, ethics, etc. This extended representation is precisely due to the necessity of a collective sharing of responsibility for decisions that go beyond ethically acceptable ones.
Euthanasia also increases the risk of fraud on the part of doctors and relatives of patients, especially in the situation of a hopeless condition. Consequently, this can lead to discrediting of a medical profession and can have negative consequences for social life in general (the potential danger is that society might want to get rid of incompetent people who have legal support).
Euthanasia is unacceptable given the possibility of diagnostic and prognostic errors. Proponents of this argument claim that a wrong diagnosis can take away a human life groundlessly. In addition, a hasty implementation of euthanasia can ignore that an incurable disease “today” will have cure “tomorrow”. Legitimacy of euthanasia can become a serious obstacle to the development of medical knowledge in the search for new therapeutic agents against fatal diseases.
Finally, there is an alternative to euthanasia - modern palliative medicine which is developed on the basis of understanding euthanasia as a set of actions aimed at facilitating the process of dying, and not an act of “a compassionate murder”. All in all, it is clear that euthanasia is unacceptable due to several reasons such as medical error and abuse. What is more, now humanity found more ethical ways to help other people: modern palliative medicine can be an answer both to those who support euthanasia and those who are against it.
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