In ordeal stands on questionable moral ground and

In the
present society, people have always had a struggle with remaining ethical in
the ever-elusive gray area, walking the line between the stereotypical “good”
and “bad”  and the question of Euthanasia
opens this to a whole new perspective. This ordeal stands on questionable moral
ground and since its appearance in modern times has generated much commotion
becoming topic for debate. With that in mind this essay will treat the contrasting
views that surround this, showing how it has impacted the countries in which it
is legalized and how it is viewed in a more worldwide perspective by different
groups.  To
clarify a simple definition for the term Euthanasia is the ending of one’s life
under strict requirements and regulation, but different occurrences call for
different names. A few terms I will be using, paraphrasing from John Keown
author of Euthanasia
Examined: Ethical, Clinical and Legal Perspectives, are: Active Euthanasia, which is euthanasia when there
is direct intervention; Passive Euthanasia, which involves halting life
preserving measures; Voluntary Euthanasia, the decision coincides with the
persons wishes; non-voluntary Euthanasia, when the decision isn’t approved in
advance and the individual is not conscious in the present time; and
Involuntary Euthanasia, when the individual is more likely to wish to continue
living, also treated as murder.

It’s important to view
firstly the different ways Euthanasia is viewed throughout the world. The whole
debate is seemingly divided in to two points of views: those in favor and those
against; with apposing arguments and beliefs. According To news outlet BBC the
most used arguments in favor and against Euthanasia are as follows. Those
against use the argument that euthanasia “weakens
society’s respect for the sanctity of life” , “Voluntary
euthanasia is the start of a slippery slope that
leads to involuntary euthanasia and the killing of people
who are thought undesirable”, and “There’s no way of properly regulating euthanasia”.
While the people who are for the legalization of euthanasia say that, “Death is
a private matter and if there is no harm to others, the state and other people have no right
to interfere (a
libertarian argument)” and that, paraphrasing, the prospect of life might be
worse than the possibility of life.

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The
legality of Euthanasia is very complicated, in some countries it is completely
illegal other there are different types legalized and others illegal and some
have simply avoided the topic all together, but this comes later. There are
many countries in which Euthanasia has been discussed and a conclusion was
reached but countries I’ll be focusing on in which Euthanasia is legalized are
Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Japan, and Netherlands, chosen mainly because of how
spread out most of them are in the world.

The
first one, also being the first to have ever legalized euthanasia back in 2002,
is the Netherlands. There they have a very strict set of conditions in which
euthanasia is permitted if these are not meet the physician will be prosecuted
and judge as if it were a homicide, which are, according to G.K. Kimsma for the
P.M.C. :

1.    must be convinced that it concerns a
voluntary and well considered request

2.    must be convinced that it concerns
unbearable and hopeless suffering of a patient

3.    has informed the patient about the
medical condition and the options

4.    has concluded with the patient that
there are no reasonable alternatives for the situation of the patient

5.    has consulted with at least one other
physician independent of the case, who has seen the patient and has given his
conclusions in writing with respect to the above conditions and

6.    has carried out the life ending
intervention or assisted suicide in a medically correct way