Monday, 19 October 2009
Essay 013 (Euthanasia or mercy killing)
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Euthanasia, or mercy killing, has been a controversial issue for many years. Although many people are strongly against such a practice, there is a growing demand to have it legalised. How far do you agree with euthanasia being made legal?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
Although certain human right groups and religious organisations may raise objections to the legalisation of mercy killing, from a practical point of view it has enormous benefits for the critically ill patients who have no hope of coming back to normal life.
In the first place, legalisation of euthanasia can save the expenditure involved in sustaining lives of many terminally ill patients, who just live with the help of sophisticated medical equipments like ventilators. It is unreasonable to spend huge amounts of money on medicines, medical personnel and equipments, since such people are unlikely to recover. Governments in many orthodox Muslim countries spend millions of dinars for sustaining the lives of patients in vegetative state, because their religious law prohibits euthanasia. In fact, the money wasted for this purpose can be used for treating other patients who can be brought back to a healthy life.
Again, in certain extreme cases, it can also be end the hardships and excruciating physical and mental agony of patients who are in the last stages of certain critical illnesses like cancer. Since the law does not allow mercy killing, the last few days are often a trying time for both the patients and their close relatives and friends. Legalisation of this practice can definitely give these patients a peaceful end through a clinically assisted death.
On the other hand, there are arguments that there could be incidents of illegal elements misusing this law for their personal advantage. Strict laws and proper surveillance can definitely prevent the occurrence of crimes related to this issue. Religious people who object to the legalisation of mercy killing or moral grounds should consider the practical difficulties involved in preserving a life in vegetative state.
If proper guidelines are put forward by the authorities, to determine the validity of a legal euthanasia, it will prove to be a great blessing for many patients who survive just because of a life-sustaining equipment attached to their body.