Legalize Euthanasia: Should people have the right to die, or should they not be harmed?

by chelsea-martin on February 3, 2014 - 7:02pm

The article posted on CBB Montreal on June 12, 2013 states that in Quebec’s national assembly, all four parties agree on the bill to allow euthanasia, however doctors are not in favour because they would have to take someone’s life. One of the doctors interviewed, Dr. Marc Beauchamp, states that allowing the bill to pass would be opening a large door in ethics. Other doctors also agree that it would be difficult to euthanize patients; however the bill does not claim that the doctor must put an end to the life of the patient, although they must inform their supervisors of the request of said patient. Another doctor, Dr. Van Gurp, stated that he would no longer want to work in the field if the law passes, and also stated that in his 30 years of practice he has not witnessed a patient’s pain that couldn’t be relieved somehow. Once the pain is relieved the patients no longer want medical aid in dying. Van Gurp explores the idea of introducing high quality palliative care units, with responsible doctors and nurses, instead of euthanasia. In 1993, the federal government passed the law against euthanasia, and voted again three years ago to keep that law in place; however they are now reviewing the legislation that has been proposed.

The main idea pointed out in this article states that euthanasia is a difficult law to pass because there are deep opinions for either side. The doctors hold the value of autonomy and order, meaning that they view the difficulty in ending someone’s life. However, those in favour hold the values of individual freedom and compassion, meaning they believe that if the person is suffering they should have a right to end their own lives. The doctors follow the moral claim that one should never harm another. Taking someone’s life is something difficult to do and it would certainly harm the person. Also, doctors are supposed to save lives and euthanasia would put an end to that idea. As stated in the article, some doctors are so opposed to the idea of harming an individual that they would be more willing to leave the profession. Those in favour, however, view the moral claim as everybody’s interest should have equal consideration. If the person feels that they should not live any more than they should have the option to do so because their opinion isn’t of less worth than any other, even if it puts others in a difficult position.

I feel that euthanasia should be legal, I firmly stand behind the value of individual freedom, and therefore, if a person no longer wishes to live they should have the right to make that decision themselves. I understand that it would be very difficult from the doctor’s point of view, however the person’s choice should truly come first, after all it is their life. I also believe in the moral claim that everyone’s interests should have equal consideration because currently those against euthanasia are omitting the interests of the patients. I believe if a patient’s wish is to no longer live, that should be included in the decision. I strongly feel that patients should have the right to their own choices, if a patient is at the point where they no longer wish to live, they should have the right to no longer live. I truly think it should be the patient’s decision, not the doctors, even though they are in a difficult position they should agree to the patient’s wishes. And to be honest, would it be completely impossible to find at least one doctor who is in favour?

CBC News. “Anti-euthanasia doctors hostile to Quebec’s assisted suicide bill.” CBC News Montreal. 12 June 2013. Web. 1 Feb 2014.


As someone who has had to make the decision lately I agree with what you are saying and I too believe if it is the last will of the ill individual is to receive no medical attention then they should in fact live their last moments in dignity and have their wish granted. I have found an interesting website supporting assisted suicide or if you prefer an article the gazette has made a thought-provoking article on this issue also.
The gazette:

At first, your title catches my attention. I was interested to know what people where thinking about this issue and how would they react. I agree with assisted suicide being legalized. Someone who is suffering or experiencing severe pain should have the right to decided if he wants to wait and see what happens. Most people in this phase will not get better and forcing them to live this way can have serious impact on the family as well as them. Watching a loved one slowly dying of a severe illness such as cancer can cause serious issues in a person’s psychological health. The only thing in the other side is the fact that there has a moral issue with killing someone because there are instances of a wrong diagnosis or similar issue. But why should someone be forced into continual pain and suffering when he or she feels that life is meaningless, humiliating, and the sense of selfhood has been destroyed?

Thank you for writing about this subject. I really appreciated the fact that you took time to show to your readers the two different sides of this issue. However, I have to disagree with you regarding what should be the doctors' participation in the process of euthanasia. First, Veronique Hivon, the instigator of this project, designed this law in the idea that it would be applicable only for patients who are going to die and that no treatment will remove their pain. However, the problem with your position is that only a doctor can decide if, whether or not, there is no turning back in a patient's condition. Thus, the law of Ms. Hivon is very clear: like a judge, an independent doctor cannot and does not have to give his opinion about euthanasia, he or she only has to determine if, whether or not, the patient meets the criteria regarding euthanasia. After that, the final decision belongs to the patient. The problem with your argument is that if doctors were not allowed to prohibit a patient from requesting to stop living, it would become like, in my opinion, encouraging suicide because there may be chances that the patient's condition may improve. Finally, I would like to invite you to watch a video in which we see the Catholic priest Raymond Gravel and Ms. Hivon on an interview at the francophone television show called 'Tout le monde en parle' where they say that the project was made to prevent from extreme pain.

Works Cited
“Aide médicale à mourir: Véronique Hivon en entrevue.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube. 5 November 2014. Web. 7 February 2015.

“Soins de fin de vie.” Government of Quebec. N.p. N.d. Web. 7 February 2015.