Pro-choice arguments (for Euthanasia)
- Can quickly and humanely end a patient’s suffering, allowing them to die with dignity.
- Can help to shorten the grief and suffering of the patient’s loved ones.
- Everyone has the right to decide how they should die.
- Death is a private matter, and if you are not hurting anyone else, the state should not interfere.
- Most people would have their pets put down if they were suffering – this would be regarded as kindness. Why can’t the same kindness be given to humans?
- Illness can take away autonomy (the ability to make choices) and dignity, leaving you with no quality of life; euthanasia allows you to take back control in deciding to die
- Keeping people alive costs a lot of money, which could be used to save other people's lives
Some Christians would support euthanasia. They might argue:
- God is love. Christianity is love and compassion. Keeping someone in pain and suffering is not loving, it is evil. Euthanasia can be the most loving action, and the best way of putting agape love into practice.
- Humans were given dominion over all living things by God (Genesis 1:28), i.e. we can choose for ourselves.
- Jesus came so that people could have life “in all its fullness” John 10:10: this means quality of life. If someone has no quality of life, then euthanasia could be good.
- God gave humans free will. We should be allowed to use free will to decide when our lives end.
- “ Do to others as you would have them do to you”. How would you want to be treated?
- There are examples of euthanasia in the Bible - in 2 Samuel 1:9-10 “Then he begged me, ‘Come over here and put me out of my misery, for I am in terrible pain and want to die.’ So I killed him.”
- Thomas More, a Roman Catholic saint, wrote a book about a perfect society ('Utopia'), which included euthanasia - people "choose to die since they cannot live but in great misery."
For a more detailed study of Euthanasia, have a look at our A level pages.
The Voluntary Euthanasia Society (EXIT) believes that faced with terminal illness, pain or a useless existence, for which there is no cure, everyone should be able to turn to “…..the mercy of a painless death.” They hope that the law will change to allow doctors to end the lives of people who have made it clear, in writing, that this is what they want. As a safeguard, the patient should sign a request to make this possible at least 30 day in advance.
EXIT works to change the law so people can make “Advance Directives” – statements telling others of the patient’s wishes, in case they reach a stage when they cannot speak for themselves but want to be allowed to die.
Quality of Life is a main issue. If someone is enjoying happy relationships, can communicate, and is not in unbearable pain, then most people would agree that euthanasia is wrong. But, if the patient cannot communicate or is suffering so much they cannot enjoy life, then some would argue that euthanasia might be the best option.