Essays on Euthanasia

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18 essay examples found

Euthanasia: Who Makes The Final Decision

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome” (Isaac Asimov). A person can have a disease that cannot be cured, causing high levels of discomfort and agony. When it comes to the matter of death, unfortunately not everyone receives an ideal ending. Typically, one’s final days or weeks are determined by doctors […]

Pages: 6 Words: 1918

Euthanasia: a Religious View

It’s understandable why some patients and their family members would rather choose euthanasia and assisted suicide. Depending on the patient’s situation, euthanasia or PAS may be the cheaper option compared to the medical bills in the future, and not every family has the financial stability to deal with that. With this, the patient feels as […]

Pages: 3 Words: 816
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Euthanasia: Right to Die

“At my age, I get up in the morning. I eat breakfast. And then I just sit until lunchtime. Then I have a bit of lunch and just sit. What’s the use of that?” David Goodall, a 104-year-old Australian scientist, decided to end his life at a clinic in Switzerland. Having a longer life may […]

Pages: 3 Words: 944

Euthanasia: Critical Appraisal in Indian Perspective

The exceptional advances in clinical science and innovation have not been without a critical effect on society. They have brought into front line gives that are modifying the example of human living and cultural qualities. Pari passu with these progressions is the upsurge of certification of human rights, self-rule, and opportunity of decision. These issues […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1102

Euthanasia for The Elderly

Dating back to the early 1800’s, euthanasia and physician-assisted death have been a topic of controversy and continues to this today. Euthanasia can be defined in many ways, according to the text from Touhy and Jett (2018), “Euthanasia means that someone other than the patient commits an action with the intent to end a patient’s […]

Pages: 9 Words: 2555

Euthanasia: Harmful or Helpful

When Mary was 28 years old she was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer. Her doctor quoted her time to less than a month. However, if she chose to endure chemotherapy, she could have more time with her family. Mary decided she did not want to be in pain […]

Pages: 10 Words: 2916

Euthanasia Is a Human Choice

Euthanasia, also known as good death is defined by the article, ‘What Is Euthanasia?’, as the illegal, peaceful and painless death of a patient through medically administered drugs. Patients who are suffering from a terminal or incurable illness deserve the freedom of choosing to continue to fight or choosing how they end their lives. Euthanasia […]

Pages: 3 Words: 765

Why Euthanasia Should Be Legal Essay

Imagine a person who is suffering from AIDS that is at the terminal stage, medication and treatments doesn’t affect their body anymore, and the only thing that can ease the pain is euthanasia. There are many terminal sicknesses on the planet, that there is a huge shot that you will sooner or later know somebody […]

Pages: 2 Words: 729

Perspectives on Euthanasia in The Netherlands

In the Netherlands the art and control of euthanasia and assisted suicide has gained significant concern. This practice is being used as a point in discussions beyond Netherlands and also in the Netherlands; hence, a clear explanation of the situation there is necessary. One of the key questions about euthanasia is that if there are […]

Pages: 3 Words: 823

Death Penalty and Euthanasia

The two controversial topics that have grasped people’s attention are euthanasia and death penalization. The subject itself has roots that have been developed from the beginning of humankind. It is interesting to learn about this subject of matter because it may be useful to know in certain situations. Also, learning if there is a right […]

Pages: 7 Words: 2248

What Religion Says About Euthanasia

In Indian philosophy and rituals there has been given a justifiable idea of one’s death in accordance of own will (ikchacha mrityu). Veer Savarkar and Vinobha Bhave are the well-known examples of the person choosing to end their lives by refusing the consumption of all-nutrition. Even Mahatma Gandhi supported this notion. Mythology says Lord Rama […]

Pages: 2 Words: 683

Ethical Theories and Convenience Euthanasia

Introduction Convenience Euthanasia is very common in the veterinary field. As an undergraduate student in an animal science/pre-veterinarian major and a person who volunteered for several years in different animal hospitals, I have witnessed several pet owners desiring convenience euthanasia. A main topic of discussion is the ethical and moral views behind the acts of […]

Pages: 5 Words: 1431

Controversies in The Legalization of Euthanasia

From the point of view that goes against the legalization of euthanasia, they have a standpoint in which it is believed that societies that allow assisted suicide as an option for people soon resort to forcing them to ‘do the right thing’ and end their lives. This perspective maintains that by supporting this movement, physicians […]

Pages: 2 Words: 590

Medical Ethics and The Issues of Euthanasia

There are many controversial topics in medical ethics that lack consensus and polarize not only the general public, but also policymakers, healthcare professionals, and the criminal justice system’s representatives. Among those subjects, arguably the most debatable one is euthanasia, also known as mercy killing, or physician-assisted suicide. In fact, there is a fundamental difference between […]

Pages: 7 Words: 2002

Review of The Article and Discussion of Euthanasia

Euthanasia and physician-assisted deaths have become a major topic of debate internationally. Upon analyzing an article that aids in defining how euthanasia and physician-assisted deaths play into palliative care, a better perspective can be developed on the topic. White papers are government reports that give citizens and the reader concise information on a given topic […]

Pages: 6 Words: 1715

Reactions to The Hurricane Katrina Aftermath Podcast

This podcast presents an ethical dilemma regarding an MD who was assigned the duty of triage in catastrophic events such as Hurricane Katrina. Her duties were to treat critically care patients and disregard the chronic ones. In the case of Katrina, babies were priority patients. DNR patients were held back and their care was postponed. […]

Pages: 4 Words: 1071

The Lesser of Two Evils: Mercy Killing

In the 1930s, mentally disabled people were marginalized in society. They were ridiculed for being different and often left out. In the book, Of Mice and Men, Lennie is mentally ill and is often made fun of. George has put Lennie under his wing and takes good care of him. They start working at a […]

Pages: 2 Words: 522

Mercy Killing: Contradicting Assisted Suicide 

Patient: I haven’t been feeling very well lately, let me just set up a doctors appointment and ask for secobarbital so I can just end my life instead of conquering the pain. Doctor: I understand there is a possibility this patient may live, but let me just assist their suicide and prescribe this medication to […]

Pages: 2 Words: 465

Euthanasia, often called ‘mercy killing’, is the act of putting to death someone suffering from a painful and prolonged illness or injury. It means that someone other than the patient commits an action with the intent to end the patient’s life, for example injecting a patient with a lethal dose of medication. In euthanasia someone not only makes the means of death available, but serves as the direct agent of death. The issue of assisted suicide is one of the most divisive topics on a personal, ethical, moral, and political level. In an increasingly patient centered health service individuals are demanding to make independent judgments about their own fate.

As a reflection of the general trend the topic of euthanasia has received increasing attention in recent years and has been the focus of much debate. Although euthanasia may be one of the so called medical decisions surrounding the end of life, it is still an issue that greatly affects nurses. This paper attempts to explore the complex ethical, legal, moral, and religious issues surrounding euthanasia. Does an individual who has no hope of recovery have the right to decide how and when to end their life? Those in favor of euthanasia argue that a civilized society should allow people to die in dignity and without pain, and should allow others to help them do so if they cannot manage it on their own.

Main Body

As of March 2018, active human euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxembourg, and Canada (Wikipedia). Assisted suicide and the right to die has sparked political and emotional discourse in this country for over a century. In 1906, the first euthanasia bill was drafted in Ohio (Hanley, 2016). Although unsuccessful, this bill marks the inception of a debate that has raged on. Doctors are allowed to prescribe lethal doses of medicine to terminally ill patients in five US states. Euthanasia, however, is illegal. In recent years, the ‘aid in dying’ movement has made incremental gains, but the issue remains controversial. Oregon was the first US state to legalize assisted suicide.

Opponents of euthanasia say that it enhances the power and control of doctors, not patients. Advocates see euthanasia as a means to give patients dignity and compassion by offering a quick death. It has even been argued that the right to die is protected by the same constitutional safeguards that guarantee such rights as marriage, procreation, child rearing and the refusal or termination of life-saving medical treatment. Nurses have a unique and important role in the euthanasia process in countries where it is legalized (Terkamo-Moisio, Kvist, Kangasniemi, 2016). Compared to physicians, nurses are considered to be more involved with the end-of-life care of patients, due to their greater bedside attendance and frequent confrontation of patients’ suffering. Despite the significant role of nurses and the need for information about their viewpoints in this matter, the ongoing debate is still very much focused on the perspectives of the physicians and general public.

Ethical aspects of nurses’ attitudes towards euthanasia

A review of the literature of nurses’ attitudes toward euthanasia in 2017 found that nurses felt conflicting emotions over euthanasia deaths and compassion for the patient, but also guilt, anger, fear, and involvement in an “unnatural event” (Hosie, 2017). They felt that they were vulnerable and their opinions were overlooked. The professional ethics of nurses are based on moral values, which also guide their arguments for or against euthanasia (Terkamo-Moisio, Kvist, & Kangasniemi, 2016). These ethics are documented in the international and national guidelines. These guidelines emphasize the respect for autonomy.

In addition, they highlight the fact that the nurse does not have to agree with an individual’s choices, but must simply respect each patient as a person. Autonomy or self determination is usually expressed as the right of competent adults to make informed decisions about their own medical care. It is probably the single most talked-about principle or concept in medical ethics. A respect for competent decisions by adult patients is also a cornerstone of medical law. Legislative changes are resulting in assisted death as an option for people at the end of life.

Although nurses’ experiences and perspectives are underrepresented within broader ethical discourses about assisted death, there is a small but significant body of literature examining nurses’ experiences of caring for people who request this option (Elmore, Wright, Paradis, 2016). The moral experience of the nurse is defined by a profound sense of responsibility and is sustained by intra-team moral and emotional support.

Christian and secular perspectives

Regardless of your personal views on euthanasia, whether it is passive or active, the one thing that most religions have in common is the view that your life is not really yours; it belongs to “God.” It is not yours to live as you choose and it is not yours to take, regardless of how much pain and suffering you may be experiencing as you approach inevitable death. Christians are mostly against euthanasia. The arguments are usually based on the beliefs that life is given by God, and that human beings are made in God’s image. Some churches also emphasize the importance of not interfering with the natural process of death.

Many churches believe that the period just before death is a profoundly spiritual time. They think it is wrong to interfere with the process of dying, as this would interrupt the process of the spirit moving towards God. In our secular society, euthanasia must be a personal decision between the terminally ill and their families, without idle threats of supernatural damnation (Katie, 2012). It is ethically criminal to toss guilt and shame into a tragic situation. One of the strongest secular arguments for euthanasia is the right each person has to control his or her own body, including when and how to die.

Proponents of this argument believe that no person or government agency has the right to keep people from making decisions that affect only themselves. There are many disparate spiritual, philosophical and scientific secular beliefs concerning death. This argument, however, still poses the question how can someone have the right to deny another person death when that person’s beliefs and views on life and death may be completely different from their own.


Euthanasia comes in several different forms, each of which brings a different set of rights and wrongs. This debate cuts across complex and dynamic aspects such as, legal, ethical, human rights, health, religious, economic, spiritual, social and cultural aspects of the civilized society. Here we argue this complex issue from both the supporters and opponents’ perspectives, and also attempts to present the plight of the sufferers and their caregivers. Various faiths may believe euthanasia is “immoral” and equate it to murder, but I believe it to be immoral to let human beings suffer in agony when they’re begging to be put to rest, telling them that the choice is not theirs to make.

Because we can determine the course of our lives by our own will, I believe we have the right to live our lives and determine our own course. I think that people who have an incurable, degenerative, disabling or debilitating condition should be allowed to die with integrity. I wouldn’t want to be unnecessarily kept alive against my own will. To prolong a death in some cases is not helpful, I feel that it can also be counter productive. Life is precious, but when the time comes, we should have the choice to die with dignity because, after all, it’s our life.