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The survey took in 40 OECD and non-OECD countries, including the USA, the Netherlands, Germany and France.Changing the law to allow euthanasia or assisted suicide will inevitably put pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional or care burden upon others.Journalist and author George Pitcher has said that any change in the law would have .” Increased autonomy would apply only if you met all the criteria to be eligible.
Dignity in Dying patron, Sir Patrick Stewart has argued Surely however the debate is not about the right to die; it is about the right to help patients kill themselves. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are matters of public concern because they involve one person facilitating the death of another.
Instead of giving freedom to patients, euthanasia and assisted suicide is about giving other people the legal power to end another person’s life. Friends, relatives, healthcare staff and society are hugely affected by the wider ramifications of the process.
Some believe that every patient has a right to choose when to die. We do not have to kill the patient to kill the symptoms. Opening the doors to voluntary euthanasia could lead to non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia, by giving doctors the power to decide when a patient’s life is not worth living. Reports from the Netherlands, where euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are legal, reveal that doctors do not always report it. The assumption that patients should have a right to die would impose on doctors a duty to kill, thus restricting the autonomy of the doctor.
Proponents believe that euthanasia can be safely regulated by government legislation. Alternative treatments are available, such as palliative care and hospices. There is no ‘right’ to be killed and there are real dangers of ‘slippery slopes’.
This would especially affect people who are disabled, elderly, sick or depressed.
Some would face the added risk of coercion by others who might stand to gain from their deaths.But surely the most compassionate thing to do is to care for a person at the end of their life and to show them that their life has tremendous value regardless of age or abilities.Palliative care is an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients.Another recent study found that nurses are regularly euthanasing their patients in Belgium even though the laws prohibits it.Since euthanasia was legalised in 2002 there has not been one attempt to prosecute for abuses of the euthanasia law.In 2008, 50 per cent of patients requesting suicide were assisted to die by a doctor who had been their physician for eight weeks or less.There have been tragic cases of people suffering terminable illness who want other people to help them end their life.Dr Andrew Fergusson, of the Care Not Killing Alliance, has said Studies concerning the euthanasia and assisted suicide law in countries that have legalised such measures make for troubling reading.A study conducted in 2012 shows that 32% of the assisted deaths in Belgium are carried out without request and 47% of assisted deaths go unreported in the Flanders region of Belgium.Do people have the right to arrange their own deaths?Before doing this, however, several introductory remarks are necessary.