Euthanasia, originating from the Greek word "euthanatos", literally means "an easy death" or "dignified death". From my Atheist point of view, I believe Euthanasia is a very complex topic as there are many different debates and views surrounding the delicate matter. These views mainly encompass Church teachings, Biblical teachings as well as other religious views. Due to the magnitude in abundance of variety of forms of Euthanasia, my opinion for each will be wavered as such.
Firstly, from the Bible's Decalogue states clearly "Do not murder". This absolutist approach ensures to many people, mainly Christians, that because Euthanasia is essentially murdering, it is wrong. The Roman Catholic Church also teaches around the notion of the "Sanctity of Life". This is the teaching that life is sacred and a gift from God, and thus, should not be interfered with. Tampering with life i.e. Euthanasia could hold the idea of "playing God" which many do not appeal to. The Bible states "He knitted me in my mother's womb" and "Imago Deo (We are made in the image of God)" to help support the idea of the Sanctity of Life.
Being a non-believer, the notion of the Sanctity of Life does not appeal to me and so I completely disregard it. Instead I base my views on what is known as the Quality of Life. For instance, in the situation of Voluntary Euthanasia, whereby it is the full decision of the ill person to die, I believe that it is completely acceptable. The Human Rights Declaration of Independence 1776 states that every human is entitled to "freedom, liberty and justice". Through this, I believe that humans should have the authority of choosing their own death due to their freedom and consequentially I dismiss the idea of "Playing God".
For the case of Non Voluntary, I believe that this decision should be entirely based upon the notion of the "Quality of Life". For this case, many people are mainly in a vegetative state i.e. a coma, or full paralysis from the neck down and as a consequence are unable to communicate with the outside world. Seeing as the patient cannot communicate I believe it is up to the relatives to decide. To conclude I would agree that Non Voluntary Euthanasia should be allowed as the Quality of the patients Life is clearly very low.
However I believe that Active Euthanasia should be allowed because I see humans should be able to decide when they want to die due to their free will, and this decision should be respected. Jesus' teaching of "love thy neighbour" has backed up this notion. The famous Christian Philosopher, Joseph Fletcher, devised the ethical theory, "Situation Ethics" which held the idea that any action was morally right provided the action promoted the most loving thing to the individual. To me, allowing people to be able to choose when they die, in the case of Euthanasia, is the most loving thing as ultimately, they have the full right over their life.
you were supposed to make your main argument then it was not a round of acceptance only. you have only one chance now
You argued that active Euthanasia should be allowed to be administered, as the choice of one's death should lie with oneself. I disagree. Firstly, if the choice of dying is to be left to oneself and the person decides it is time to die, would not it be considered as suicide instead? And is suicide morally correct? Secondly, you mentioned quality of life being the measure of whether Euthanasia should or can be administered. However, who is to judge whether the quality of life is low enough to kill a person? The person himself, you might say. However, is it not wrong to say that sometimes human beings make mistakes? Would human beings start choosing the easy way out, and instead of fighting it out with any illnesses at all, chooses to die instead? What makes their decision a right decision and not a decision where, should they still be alive, they would regret in the future?
On the point of Involuntary Euthanasia, I oppose of the idea to be based entirely on the notion of the quality of life. As I've mentioned in my active Euthanasia argument, what measures the quality of life? What is, then, considered low enough to administer Euthanasia? Even more so, in this case, without the patient's consent. You mentioned that it is one's freedom and rights to decide when and how, he wants to die. Am I not right in saying that, by arguing that in the case of Involuntary Euthanasia, where it is administered by the relatives when the quality of life is deemed as being too low, we are removing or denying the person himself from deciding whether he wants to live or not, hence removing his power of choice and freedom in deciding how he wants to live or end his own life?
I have not talked about the Sanctity of Life, which Pro has dismiss and disregarded, therefore I shall not touch on it. With everything tabled, I strongly oppose to the view of allowing Euthanasia, as the consequences that may be incurred from it, may be unthinkable.
To end off, I would like to thank Pro for starting this debate, and making it happened, and I apologize for my earlier mistake of treating Round 1 as a round of acceptance.
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