This house Believes that Euthanasia should be allowed
Euthanasia refers to every action associated with death of a patient in order to alleviate the pain of the patient who entered the phase of death due to incurable disease. Issue regarding ethics and effect of euthanasia, in fact, has a very long history as it appears within the ancient western history. Following the 3rd century, Christian philosophy in which human life is given from God so that it cannot be driven according to human’s will has been firmly rooted in. However as Renaissance culture came into action so that the concept of euthanasia became reexamined as its discussion has deep root in which debate between pros and cons is severe. In the case of Republic of Korea, the debate started from the claim where it states ‘right to die in humane way’ in response to the ‘right to live as human’. Euthanasia, in terms of legal field, is defined to be a case where a person’s life is shortened by medical intervention for removing or alleviating the pain with the approval or ask of patient who suffers incurable or difficult-to-cure disease. According to its classification, the concept of euthanasia can be specified in detail. Eventually, there are two sides fighting against each other: one claiming that any type of euthanasia cannot be allowed and the other claiming that allowing the practice of euthanasia accordingly to each situation and condition is more reasonable when it comes to respect the human rights. Where do you stand? Is euthanasia a reasonable decision?
b. Definition and types of euthanasia
1. Classification according to one’s own will
A type of euthanasia in which it is being carried out by the will of the patient himself who gets to die. The patient asks for euthanasia through active ways including order, ask, or application or through passive way as approving the practice of euthanasia.
Semi-voluntary euthanasia is similar to the voluntary euthanasia as it leads to the death of a patient who has an ability to approve of his own death. However it differs in that the patient himself is not the one who approves the practice. When euthanasia is being carried out unto the patient who did not approve the practice despite his having the ability to approve of his death, it is called to be semi-voluntary euthanasia.
It refers to the case where the patient who has no ability to approve of his death is led to the death by euthanasia through other’s decision.
2. Classification according to its practitioner
It is the type that specific actions are being carried out actively with full intention of shortening the life of a patient from the beginning by the practitioner. A case where the patient goes through euthanasia through being injected by the fatal amount of substance falls into such category. Passive euthanasia refers to the situation where the patient gets left out despite the ability to halt or delay its development when the patient enters the phase of death due to the pre-existing disease.
It includes every action which leads the patient to death by withdrawing medical intervention having been provided to the patient or by not providing any necessary intervention from the beginning. The reason why a patient, family or doctor decides to stop or not start the medical intervention as a way of passive euthanasia is generally related to the situation where the effect of cure would be too weak or not effective at all to the patient at all or the process would be too stressful to the patient himself.
a. Euthanasia should be acknowledged as it is one’s self decision for his own life.
Social discussion directed to the systemization of ‘stopping the meaningless medical intervention’ has already begun. Meaningless medical care for maintaining the life is not only the most painful and unfortunate event for the patient himself and his supporters around but also against one’s individual human right asking an end with comfort and dignity.
b. Death with dignity
A patient who has no his own will or hope to live any longer should be guaranteed with the right to choose his own death comfortably. Legalization euthanasia is necessary in that it ensures the human right for one to choose his last moment with dignity rather than dying within the hopeless medical care at the hospital.
a. It causes the tendency which values life light
Issue regarding death always stands up on the front line of ethical decision. Euthanasia, in that sense, inclusively holds sufficient possibility to lead people to treat life too lightly. Therefore, unless there is enough system prepared for fight such tendency or answer to such concern, euthanasia should never be allowed.
b. Life cannot be decided according to others’ judgment including financial problem or else.
When medical treatment is being stopped according to family member’s statement or decision, and approval of medical staff, such decision may differ from an actual will of the patient himself. Pros side suggest ethics committee within the hospital or else as final judgment service but such committee would be following the benefits of hospital so that it cannot be treated as a legal solution. Related legal or institutional systems are too weak yet. In conclusion, unprepared legalization of practicing euthanasia has too much danger to be misused as easy method to take care of socially weak people, which already has been proved to be really happening.