Medical Ethics: The Issue of Euthanasia

Euthanasia is the killing of suffering patients and individuals who have no chance of recovery. It is one of the current questions that arose at the end of the twentieth century as a result of the intervention of science in the usual model of life and morality. It should be emphasized that the main meaning of euthanasia is to end the life of a suffering patient, which should be interpreted as an act of compassion (Pesut et al., 2020). Despite numerous disputes and equating euthanasia with murder, it is necessary to legalize this process as a manifestation of humanity in cases where there are medical reasons for this.

In theory, the process of euthanasia is divided into two types, which differ in the initiation of death. In a passive form, specialists administer the necessary doses of special drugs in such a way that the suffering patient will die painlessly and quickly (Pesut et al., 2020). In the case of an active process, euthanasia can be equated with suicide with the help of doctors. In other words, at the request of an individual, specialists provide him with end-of-life drugs (Pesut et al., 2020). I believe that the choice between active and passive euthanasia is a choice between killing and allowing one to die.

In my opinion, the legalization of euthanasia is necessary, because it is a manifestation of humanity to those who suffer. It often happens that the patient is in an extremely difficult condition when life is a torment, both physical and moral. As an example, we can cite patients who cannot exist on their own but are forced to be attached to other people. Thus, in such a case, euthanasia will be good; if the medicine can return a person significantly or completely to his former life, it is necessary to provide a choice.

With the development of the practice of organ transplantation in recent years, new problems appear, in some cases directly related to the resolution of euthanasia. An organ of a person who, according to a medical opinion, will die anyway within a short time, could save another person, giving them a real chance to live on. Many people die without waiting for a donor due to long transplant queues (Nicolini et al., 2020). In such a situation, there is a loss of both the patient and the potential organ donor, which aggravates the lack of euthanasia, since it brings more victims.

Among other things, seriously ill patients may feel resentment or shame in front of loved ones, realizing the trouble that the individual provides. This argument is aimed at emphasizing that loved ones are people who are characterized by convenience and well-being. At a minimum, the maintenance of a seriously ill person causes significant damage to the budget, since both medicines and procedures are paid. This leads to the fact that, due to the imaginary hope for an amendment that is impossible, families take loans and leave their jobs, and psychological problems and emotional disorders appear (Nicolini et al., 2020). In this case, euthanasia is a means of getting rid of suffering not only for patients but for their family members.

The treatment and provision of the terminally ill are major expenses for both families and society as a whole. The argument is built around a practical view of resource allocation. It is important to note that patient care harms clinic resources, especially human resources (Nicolini et al., 2020). As an alternative to caring for a patient who cannot be saved, doctors could help those in need.

The main opponent of euthanasia is the church, which considers the procedure a mortal sin. However, life is a blessing, but only when pleasure prevails over suffering (Miller et al., 2019). This argument is strong and obvious because it is based on common sense. Here, a philosophical approach is possible, according to which life is a value when an individual can use it. However, in the case of unbearable and permanent suffering, life turns into existence or survival, which oppresses the individual and creates ethical justifications for euthanasia.

Moreover, a counterargument to the official point of view of the church can be considered the fact that life can be considered good only when a person lives meaningfully. This argument refers to the fact that it is a person’s life that is a great blessing, which allows them to think, and enjoy food, art, and other things (Miller et al., 2019). In a situation where the patient is unconscious in a vegetative state, this existence cannot be called a blessing, since a person does not live in fact, but exists. In this case, ending a person’s life is an act of mercy taught by the church, not murder.

Those who oppose euthanasia note that family members can influence the patient’s acceptance of the procedure for personal gain, for example, inheritance. However, if a strict legal examination procedure is introduced every time before the appointment for euthanasia, it will be possible to reduce the number of such incidents to a minimum (Miller et al., 2019). Opponents of euthanasia are sure that experts are not able to predetermine the time of death, and therefore do not have the competence to end life. From this point of view, the legalization of euthanasia will lead to the death of those who did not need it or had a chance to recover. This process can lead to the abuse of rights by professionals, as well as create new conditions for crime. However, if a clear list of diseases in which the chance of recovery is very low is made, find a solution to this problem can be found.

Based on the foregoing, the issue of euthanasia is debatable and relevant. Society has opposing views, which does not allow it to come to a clear decision. In the case of full legalization of euthanasia, many will still believe that euthanasia as the killing of an innocent is an absolute evil. This opinion is supported by the argument of violation of the law, abuse of rights, and deliberate killing of individuals. On the other hand, it is impossible not to see that euthanasia already actually exists in medical practice. With proper regulation of legal issues related to the procedure, it can not only relieve the terminally ill from suffering but save the lives of people in need of organ transplantation.


Miller, D. G., Dresser, R., & Kim, S. Y. (2019). Advance euthanasia directives: A controversial case and its ethical implications. Journal of Medical Ethics, 45(2), 84-89.

Nicolini, M. E., Kim, S. Y., Churchill, M. E., & Gastmans, C. (2020). Should euthanasia and assisted suicide for psychiatric disorders be permitted? A systematic review of reasons. Psychological Medicine, 27(2), 1-16.

Pesut, B., Greig, M., Thorne, S., Storch, J., Burgess, M., Tishelman, C., … Janke, R. (2020). Nursing and euthanasia: A narrative review of the nursing ethics literature. Nursing Ethics, 27(1), 152-167.


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