For those people suffering excruciatingly painful terminal disease, euthanasia may seem a very attractive option. Freeing oneself from the wracking pain through an easy painless death would seem an obvious solution. However, this option should not be allowed in any society. The gift of life is something uniquely precious and should be treasured by all, even those suffering terminal illnesses. Though we grieve at their plight, there are other alternatives to euthanasia which could alleviate their problems. Death should not be an option; indeed, illness must be seen an opportunity for growth.
People who are in constant pain or heavily drugged are not in the right frame of mind to choose rationally whether to end their life or not. Often, these patients are drugged because the onset of depression has exacerbated their condition. Furthermore, they might experience a sense of worthlessness which has deepened with incapability to function in normal society.
According to the American Psychological Association, elderly patients who seek euthanasia have often felt neglected. The underlying problem is obviously with the family's lack of care and not with the pain that they suffer. Our society should therefore discourage euthanasia and promote treatments that would allow the patients to retain a sense of self-worth.
Australia has a well developed system of palliative care which allows those terminally ill to be treated in their home or hospital as the need demands. This emotional support, coupled with advanced medical therapy can make the last days of the patient free from the savagery of acute pain and the patient can end his life feeling that he is valued. It is interesting to note that Holland, with its disturbing laws on euthanasia, has a very undeveloped system of palliative care.
Indeed, without wishing to appear arrogant, this essay would argue that chronic...