Autonomy Euthanasia Essay
Dignity in Dying patron, Sir Patrick Stewart has argued Surely however the debate is not about the right to die; it is about the right to help patients kill themselves. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are matters of public concern because they involve one person facilitating the death of another.
Instead of giving freedom to patients, euthanasia and assisted suicide is about giving other people the legal power to end another person’s life. Friends, relatives, healthcare staff and society are hugely affected by the wider ramifications of the process.
Another recent study found that nurses are regularly euthanasing their patients in Belgium even though the laws prohibits it.
Since euthanasia was legalised in 2002 there has not been one attempt to prosecute for abuses of the euthanasia law.
In addition to this the study shows there was a 25% increase in the number of assisted deaths in Belgium in 2012.
In Oregon (where assisted suicide was legalised in 1997) the law has led to patients ‘doctor shopping’ for willing practitioners, using doctors who have minimal knowledge of their past.
Matthew Hampson was a promising young rugby player until a collapsing scrum left him paralysed from the neck down and requiring a ventilator to breathe.
We were also concerned that vulnerable people – the elderly, lonely, sick or distressed – would feel pressure, whether real or imagined, to request early death.” The law must protect the most vulnerable people in society.
We must never let the depressed, the confused, those in terrible pain, the aged and the vulnerable feel that they should pursue the path of assisted suicide so as not to be a burden on others.
This would especially affect people who are disabled, elderly, sick or depressed.
Some would face the added risk of coercion by others who might stand to gain from their deaths.