The Heated Debate and the Ethical Test: Euthanasia

Essay by leeanntwuCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2006

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The issue at hand is whether euthanasia is ethical in today's society. Euthanasia is known as the practice of painlessly putting to death persons who have incurable, painful, or distressing diseases. The word was first exposed in Ancient Greece where it was known as "the good death", however in today's day and age, euthanasia caries a much deeper meaning and serious implication. In the euthanasia debate, there are opponents to this issue, known as pro-life activists and proponents, known as right to die activists, each carrying sustainable arguments for their side.

Opponents to the euthanasia debate, have many reasons why they feel so strongly against the heated issue. One chief concern for the right to life activist is that if voluntary euthanasia were to become accepted, it would not be long before involuntary euthanasia would start to happen. Opponents state that if we change the law and accept euthanasia, we will not be able to keep it under control, Doctors and other health care providers may soon start killing people without bothering with their permission, this is called the slippery slope issue, "...

We must be wary of those who are too willing to end the lives of the elderly and the ill. If we ever decide that a poor quality of life justifies ending that life, we have taken a step down a slippery slope that places all of us in danger. There is a difference between allowing nature to take its course and actively assisting death." (Koop, E. C.1991). Another major matter to the right to life activists is that they believe that euthanasia is a rejection of the importance and value of human life. People who support euthanasia often say that it is already considered tolerable to take human life under some circumstances such as self...