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Euthanasia legalised in Australia?

OACSTUDENT3
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5/27/2015 5:13:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
This article has been written by three students and your feedback is much appreciated.

Voluntary euthanasia is the act of ending an individual"s life, in a way that is painless, which is done usually in order to take away that person"s pain caused from a terminal illness, that cannot be cured, at their request or with their permission. There has been much debate in Australia as to whether or not voluntary euthanasia should be legalised in the country. The purpose of this article is to present the main reasons, from other sources, for why voluntary euthanasia should not be legalised in Australia and to also discuss and refute arguments for it being legalised.

Arguments against the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia

The Right to Life Australia argues that euthanasia should not be legalised due to substitute medicines being available, and therefore voluntary euthanasia is not necessary. It is generally believed by many that individuals with fatal illness only have two choices available to them: that they painfully pass away gradually or they resort to the use of euthanasia to enable them to die quickly and painlessly. In reality, most symptoms that a person experiences during the various stages of fatal illness can be relieved by Palliative medicine, as thorough and in-depth research reveals. This has been illustrated in the hospice movement, which allowed physical or mental signs of a fatal disease to be dealt with at home or in a setting of a compassionate hospital. Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, and as a result only a very basic hospice system is in place there, whereas in the United Kingdom, euthanasia is illegal, and as such, very advanced hospice systems exist, especially for patients with a fatal illness. Although this may be true, currently there still a lot of individuals who are passing away in their homes or in hospitals who are not receiving optimal care. Common reasons for this include hospitals not being located in the vicinity of a terminally ill person, or due to medical practitioners not having the abilities or experience required to care for such people effectively. Therefore, the answer is to provide suitable and efficient nursing to people with a terminal illness, and as a result, not allow doctors to have the power to end their patients" lives. In conclusion a reason for why euthanasia should not be legalised is that it would limit the availability of palliative care.

It is important to realize that if voluntary euthanasia is legalised in a country, this therefore puts strain on medical research. It is essential for society to have medical researchers, so new treatments and cures for illnesses are found (Zerhouni, 2012). If more people have the opportunity to choose "euthanasia" than more money will go into this act rather than medical research (Saunders). As a result new treatment and cures will not extensively be found, as there will be less terminally-ill patients subjected to give samples of their tumours for example. This will affect future patients that want better treatment or possibly a cure. In Australia there are many people who belong to religious groups such as Catholicism, Christianity and Islam and these groups are against voluntary euthanasia. It is important to consider these peoples" beliefs as they do represent a majority. All three of these religious groups believe that all human life is sacred and that the right to die should not be an option (Christianity and Catholicism - Euthanasia and assisted dying, 2009 and Islam - Euthanasia, assisted dying, suicide and medical ethics, 2012). Medical research in a way respects these peoples" beliefs by providing access to new treatments and cures. Once again if voluntary euthanasia is legalised "we can expect advances in ktenology (the science of killing) at the expense of treatment and symptom control. This will in turn encourage further calls for euthanasia." (Saunders). Medical research is important and voluntary euthanasia corrupts medical research and so it should not be legalised.

It is stated that euthanasia is legal in countries such as Belgium, Colombia, India, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands and some states in America (Where Is Euthanasia Legal? 2015). In addition people who want to undergo euthanasia that live in another country therefore travel to these countries. Considering how Australia has excellent doctors as well as safe and clean health centres, this will definitely encourage patients to undergo euthanasia in Australia if it was legalised. As a result of this people may take advantage of the system (Saunders). Australian citizens may also take advantage of the system, the doctors do have some type of authority over their patients and so therefore may subject their patients to undergo euthanasia. In addition the patients themselves that either have a terminally illness or treatable illness may in fact choose euthanasia. The system therefore could get exploited and so for this reason voluntary euthanasia should not be legalised.

Counter Arguments for arguments against the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia

While you do have some good points, there are other things that must be considered regarding the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. While it is true that there is palliative treatment available there are several problems with it. One such problem is the availability of palliative care for people who would prefer to live out their days in their own home where they can spend time comfortable and with family rather than a hospital. People who would prefer to live the rest of their lives in their home also have problems with palliative care due to the cost of it as even with subsidies from the government, which mostly goes towards hospital run palliative care, the cost exceeds what most people who actually need it can afford.

While it is true that voluntary euthanasia may lead to euthanasia tourism coming to Australia, the fact is the people that would come to Australia would just go somewhere else if Australia does not fit their needs, meaning that no matter what these people would choose to die whether they are in Australia or not. In addition to this the requirements for them to be euthanized in Australia would dissuade them as well due to the patients requiring consultations with medical and psychological doctors to be euthanized.

Conclusion
In final consideration, due to the many arguments against euthanasia being legalised, such as that euthanasia should not be legalised due to substitute medicines being available, that doctors assume new levels of unrestricted, dangerous power if voluntary euthanasia is legalised, and that it would put strain on medical research and that it could get exploited, voluntary euthanasia should not be legalised in Australia.
OACSTUDENT3
Posts: 4
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5/27/2015 5:13:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Bibliography
Christianity and Catholicism - Euthanasia and assisted dying 2009, BBC, accessed May 2015, <http://www.bbc.co.uk...;.
Islam - Euthanasia, assisted dying, suicide and medical ethics 2012, BBC, accessed May 2015, <http://www.bbc.co.uk...;.
Right To Life Australia, 2015 Euthanasia, Right To Life Australia, accessed 12 May 2015, <https://righttolife.com.au...;.
Saunders, P n.d., Euthanasia - Ten Reasons Why Euthanasia Should not be Legalised, Right to Life Australia, accessed May 2015, <https://righttolife.com.au...;.
Where Is Euthanasia Legal? 2015, New Health Guide, accessed May 2015, <http://www.newhealthguide.org...;.
voluntary euthanasia, Collins dictionary 2015, accessed 18 May 2015, <http://www.collinsdictionary.com...;.
Zerhouni, E 2012, Why is health research important?, Community Connect to Research, accessed May 2015, <http://www.connecttoresearch.org...;.
http://www.abc.net.au...
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