In Canada euthanasia was previously illegal, however on February 6, 2015 Prohibitions on Physician-Assisted Dying (PAD) was added to Canadian Charter. This made Canada the second country in the world to introduce PAD; allowing Canada to join some of the great countries like Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland in the euthanasia fight for legalization. (The Supreme Court of Canada Ruling in Carter v. Canada: A New Era of End-of-Life Care for Canadians) This issue is important because of the abundance of controversial material. This is such a rich topic as it has many different points of view to take into consideration. There are two main views to this topic; the pro-life movement who oppose the legislation and the right to die movement who argue the individual’s freedom. It is a highly controversial topic that is open to a great deal of discussion and debate.
Claims on both sides of the issue have resulted in the emergence of alternate views in regards to euthanasia. The controversy lying mainly within the moral status of the issue; as it’s possible to sustain life but the inability to relieve physical psychological and social suffering still remains. Both arguments presented powerful facts and ideas about the issue in general. The right to die; advocates claim terminal diseases that cause extreme pain; the technology exists to end this suffering and discomfort. All that is required are trained professionals to carry out the procedure. “Pro-life advocates state that euthanasia is a drastic measure that leads to and impede the development of essential treatments for terminal illnesses, and disabilities”. This statement claims that euthanasia is an unnecessary solution in dealing with terminally ill patients. Not only does the concept to deal with the ‘lack of choice’ in the situation but also prevents the development of future treatment options.
Euthanasia supporters share the opposing idea that terminal diseases result in intense physiological and psychological pain. Why not use the technology that exists to alleviate the suffering? A calm and peaceful end would result in this circumstance as well. Another argument for euthanasia takes a more logical approach to the issue. The financial implications are overwhelming. “Expenses for the terminally ill will continue to rise with no ceiling”. Pro-lifers on the other hand claim that euthanasia interferes with the development and creation of rehabilitation programs and treatment options. Cost should not be an issue when it comes to dying with dignity. In both issues, the main issue revolves around freedom of choice in the matter. Should a dying person not be given the option to choose what he or she prefers? The charter of rights and freedoms guarantees this right, and the issue can be applied to both sides of the argument. Science has evolved so that life can be extended despite illness or incapacity. Terminally ill patients can be sustained through medical intervention. What becomes the issue are the moral implications of these developments. Does this scientific development and improve the quality of life for the individual for the sake of life’s itself? This is the issue. “Thus, the individual’s right to die when his or her quality of life has deteriorated to the point of being unbearable has been the focus of debate surrounding this issue” (Jerome, Yip “Euthanasia: “An overview.” Canadian Points of View 2009)
My view on this after doing a little research on the law stands the same as did three years ago. A few years ago I investigated the laws on euthanasia and assisted suicide, remembering that my strong stand on the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide. While we are not quite at this point, to be a part of the generation to witness this coming to into play was a prideful moment in my life. The right to do whatever to one’s body has always been my strongest base in any argument; I am after all a humanitarian! To finally know that if one day I may be as lucky enough to be blessed with a terminal illness, I can choose to end my life before the pain and humiliation sets in. I began to vote the moment I turned 19 aiming to achieve a better community for the people of Windsor and Canada, I was doing my part in society; I was contributing my voice, my opinion, even understanding that it was small and that could be considered nerdy by peers!
Each generation moves a little more to a better way of life, self-image, and society. It is my belief that our current generation has made the biggest stride in way of ethical issues and societies views on them. Growing up homosexuality, abortion and euthanasia were all big topics I heard often among my peers, my elders, and as well as on television. I grew up hearing and seeing the long debate on all of these topics. Looking back on the last decade all of these have been brought to a more excepting light in the media and society, I simply can’t wait to see what else might happen in the coming years; as well as what I may participate in aiding in these historical movements.
Euthanasia and overview pg.3
Point; euthanasia should be legalized pg. 2
Point; euthanasia should be legalized pg. 2
Euthanasia and overview pg.2
Euthanasia and overview pg. 3
Coles, Eaton Denies, “Point: Euthanasia should be legalized.” Canadian Points of View 2009
Jerome, Yip “Euthanasia: “An overview.” Canadian Points of View 2009
Klassen, Jeff “Counterpoint: Euthanasia will slow the development of drugs and cause unnecessary deaths.” Canadian Points of View 2009
Lessenbury, Jack “Death becomes him.” Frontline PBS 1994
Smith, Corinne “Anti-euthanasia doctor’s hostile to Québec’s assisted suicide bill.” CBC News 2013
Unknown Author “Euthanasia: Guide to Critical Analysis” Canadian Points of View 2009
The Supreme Court of Canada Ruling in Carter v. Canada: A New Era of End-of-Life Care for Canadians. No. Carter v. Canada. Supreme Court. 6 February 2015.