The Pros of Legalization of Euthanasia

Cases of misuse of euthanasia have become common nowadays, especially where patients are under pressure from family members to consent to end their lives. Legalization of euthanasia will give an opportunity to protect people from situations like this and in the process avoid incidents of compulsion and fraud in the exercise. A set of guidelines and regulations will provide a way through which euthanasia is administered to the patient and must be observed by all parties involved. Legal euthanasia will ensure psychological counselling and psychiatric evaluation of the patient and all parties involved. On the other hand, counselling and evaluation will help in ensuring that the choice of the patient is free of any coercion. It will also ensure that the patient while in a normal state of mind signs a legal agreement and has a grace period to think over the action before it is done. Probably, this is done according to the laid down rules such as the Terminally Ill Act of Australia’s Northern Territory in addition to the regulation that only doctors are permitted to carry out euthanasia. An illustration of misuse of euthanasia is the case of Dr Jack Kevorkian, who used unethical methods to administer euthanasia to any patient who requested for it. His actions have caused fear and abhorrence from the public because some of his patients were not terminally ill. It is therefore possible that such patients could have committed suicide even without the assistance of the doctor, like in the case of Sherry Miller and Marjorie Wantz. Another fear is illegal transplant of organs in total contravention of proper medical guidelines and procedures. The cases of killing patients without their consent were practiced by Dr Kevorkian. As a result, these cases have elicited a widespread trepidation of euthanasia among people.

Fraud is also rampant during euthanasia. In such cases doctors take money to perform the act because it is illegal. Such action amounts to misuse of their power and can lead to prosecution. Fraud usually occurs when family members have interest in the properties of a patient who is deemed terminally ill. In such cases, a family member can collude with the doctor to offer euthanasia to the patient without proper procedures. The doctors normally do this with the promise of money. Part of the reason why a doctor is likely to accept such arrangement is the lack of regulations that guide the process of euthanasia. It will therefore be easier for doctors to perform illegal operations with patients. Legalizing euthanasia will therefore enhance an environment in which the doctors have to provide a legal framework of consultation with the concerned parties. This would include securing the state authority on matters that pertains to the admission of an euthanasia request. Legalization of euthanasia will also give channels through which any matter involving the practice brought before the courts is handled within a legal structure with the judges having laws that guide the verdict in such cases. In the absence of legal framework, most judges find it difficult to deliberate on matters involving euthanasia and in most cases end up giving judgment based on their own understanding. Thus, legalizing euthanasia will ensure that the judges do not give decisions based on their own judgment. An example of merciful judgment involving a case of euthanasia is the case of Hans Florian. He had killed his elderly wife, who had lost her mind because of Alzheimer’s disease, and he therefore feared that she might suffer if he died before her. The jury could not act on the matter conclusively because of the absence of a regulation that outlined how euthanasia was carried out.

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