In its course and let destiny be accomplish

In this essay the
politically controversial topic of euthanasia and assisted suicide would be
discussed and analyzed using various philosopher’s perspectives. Firstly, there
will be a short explanation of euthanasia and assisted suicide and what is so
controversial about the topic for the reader to have an idea. Secondly, the
topic will be analyzed using various philosophers’ perspectives to justify what
is right according to them. Thirdly, I would also give my personal opinion on
the issue and try to convince the reader what I consider is the right angle to
tackle euthanasia and assisted suicide. Lastly, everything would be concluded
in a final statement.


The word Euthanasia derives from the greek
words; ‘Eu’ means good and ‘Thanatosis’
that means death. Meaning a good or gentle death. Furthermore, in ancient Greece
this was a normal procedure for people who had an incurable terminal illness
and doctors practice it. There are different places in the world where
euthanasia and assisted suicide is accepted. For example the Netherlands has
its own ‘Euthanasie wet’ where it is regulated in the law on how and when this
is legal. However, it is illegal in a lot of countries because of different
reasons and perspectives on how people morally thinks about euthanasia and
assisted suicide. Religion plays a big role as well in the topic of euthanasia
and assisted suicide making it hard for Christians to be liberal or open minded
about the topic. At the same time, there are liberal states such as Switzerland
and the Netherlands where this is accepted. These states think it is up to the
person if he wants to end his pain by accepting euthanasia and not for the
state to prohibit his right. Plato had also written about Euthanasia, his words
were: “Mentally and physically ill
persons should be left to death; they do not have the right to live.”
This is a pretty bold statement but he had his reasons. According to Plato’s philosophy,
his believes were based on natural law, were justice comes from nature and
reason. With this in mind, he does not believe in euthanasia where people are
giving a drug or a poison to end his/her life but a more passive euthanasia
whereas it is human nature to die and not to stay alive for example on a life
support machine, meaning allowing nature to take its course and let destiny be
accomplish naturally without human interaction or aid.

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It is important to
realize that euthanasia and assisted suicide is a moral decision and it differs
from person to person. Some countries think it is the state’s obligation to
protect its citizens even if that means from the individuals selves, meaning to
take away the liberty of the person to make his own decisions. This notion
could be illustrated with John Rawls ‘the principle of liberty’ explaining on
why it is for the individual important to determine its own liberty. To illustrate
this he used an example of a hypothetical state based on rationality and self-interested
people. In the example people do not know who they would be in the society;
black, gay, poor or rich etc. In this hypothetical state, rational people would
choose a society, where they are free and able to influence governance. With
this in mind rational people tend to choose for a maximal freedom society since
they do not know who they would be in the society. With this being said I think
it is only fair to say based on this experiment that having the freedom to choose
for euthanasia and assisted suicide would be justified according to John Rawls
theory of ‘the principle of liberty’. It is only fair according to this theory
for people to make their own decisions.


Furthermore, it
could also be illustrated using John Stuart Mill’s theory on utilitarianism.

John Stuart Mill believes that “actions
are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend
to produce reverse of happiness”. Moreover, John Stuart Mill’s view on
utilitarianism also refers to utility as in social utility meaning the well
being of many people. He believed that people desire happiness and everyone has
their own happiness but must contribute to a larger society. So basically for
everyone to be happy is the ultimate goal. I believe that this theory and
euthanasia & assisted suicide go hand in hand. Firstly, it is important to
realize someone that is in constant pain to be relieved from his pain means to
be happy. His happiness lies in being free from the pain and doing euthanasia
would mean this happiness. Secondly, it is also beneficial for the family to
stop seeing their loved ones in constant pain, and paying expensive treatments
and care. Having the right to euthanasia would relieve all of this pain for the
family members as well as the patient self. Therefore, utilitarianism according
to John Stuart Mill would allow euthanasia for the happiness of the patient and
his family.


On the other hand
Immanuel Kant could also be used to justify euthanasia in a way. According to
Immanuel Kant “act only in accordance
with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a
universal law.” Meaning that by doing the act of euthanasia at the same
time must be willing for that to become a universal law that is available for
everyone including your self. Making it a universal law means that by doing
euthanasia would mean doing the right thing out of rationality.  There are plenty of people that could argue
that euthanasia is a rational thing to do and giving these people the
availability to do it would be justified according to Kant if it becomes a
universal law that gives everyone the chance.


In Aruba the topic
of euthanasia is a taboo for many people. The church plays a big role in Aruba
meaning people’s principles lies in their religion as well. Aruba is part of
the Dutch Kingdom however; Aruba has its own self-determination and autonomy
meaning it makes its own laws. Aruba takes a lot of Dutch influence when it
comes to laws and regulations and all of the laws in Aruba are in Dutch.

However, when it comes to the topic of euthanasia and assisted suicide no one
talks about it. There are a lot of open cases where people suffering from
terminal illnesses who have asked to end their pain mysteriously died from
unknown reasons and its happening more often but people do not want to talk
about it still. It is important to note that Aruba should be taking more Dutch
influence when it comes to euthanasia and assisted suicide because it would
become a bigger problem for the future and being a democratic society we should
prevent further undocumented and dangerous practice of euthanasia and assisted




There is plenty of
evidence supporting euthanasia and assisted suicide and I believe the ultimate
choice should be of the person self in making such a decision. People have the
right of autonomy and self-determination. The right to autonomy means that they
have the right to make any decision relating to them selves as long as they do
not harm others. For example, you can drink alcohol and get drunk as long as
you do not start the car and cause an accident. With this being said, the
person in question then has the right to make decisions for his own body and if
he would like to terminate himself it would be his decision. Furthermore, I
think morally fundamental it is right to relieve someone from pain and
suffering by the use of euthanasia and would do more good than harm by doing
this a humane way. Preferably euthanasia than unbearably constant pain.


I also do think that
this has to be well regulated. I do believe in a liberal perspective of
euthanasia but I do think in order for this to be executed the state must
provide necessary guidelines for euthanasia. For example the ‘Euthansie wet’ of
the Netherlands consist of the following bullet points;

doctor is convinced that the patient’s request for euthanasia was voluntary and
well considered.

There is
talk of hopeless and unbearable suffering of the patient.

The doctor
informed the patient about his situation and his outlook.

doctor and the patient came to the conclusion that there was no reasonable
other solution.

doctor has consulted at least 1 other independent doctor who has seen the
patient. This doctor gave his judgment in writing about the situation, based on
the due care requirements.

doctor has carefully completed the termination of life or assisted suicide.


There is another controversial aspect of
euthanasia and that is the role of the physician. The physician would know the
patient very well and would perform the euthanasia, however he had pledged to
an oath to save lives. He suppose to be a healer not someone to kill another.

However, in modern medicine the oath could also be interpreted as an obligation
to relieve someone from pain and suffering if there is no other solution. By
this interpretation euthanasia could be justified by a physician under his oath
to relief pain and suffering.


In my opinion euthanasia and assisted suicide
should be tolerated, it is practiced in a lot of countries legally, and
illegally in more countries. There were 782 cases of assisted suicide in
Switzerland in 2015 and I think that is more humane than people suffering till
their last breathe. I believe in Nancy Fraser’s theory on politics of
recognition where politics of recognition focuses on forms of respect and
disrespect outside the scope of distributive justice. It focuses on respect, esteem
and prestige. Societies should have debates on what they value about euthanasia
and assisted suicide. For example in Aruba, I believe there are people who
think euthanasia and assisted suicide should at least be talked about or have
debates on the topic. This quote of Nancy Faser I believe is important to see
it in the light of euthanasia and assisted suicide;


“My approach is that,
in so far as possible, we should try to translate questions about the good life
into questions about fairness. Is anybody being dominated? Is anybody having
something thrust upon them that is not a genuine choice?”


Right now there are a lot of countries that you do not a
have a choice but to accept pain and suffering till your last breathe, and this
selfish of the state. You cannot tell someone to wear a tight shoe if you are
not wearing the tight shoe yourself. 


To conclude there are many philosophers whose philosophy
could be applied in the light of euthanasia and assisted suicide, Plato thinks
its human nature to die of natural causes and this should not be hinder by
humans. As can be seen in John Rawls principle of liberty where people tend to
be rational and are more likely to choose a maximal freedom society where
euthanasia would be and option of that freedom. Furthermore, in the light of
utilitarianism to seek maximum happiness for a person in such a bad position,
euthanasia would be justify as happiness and to eliminate pain and suffering.

Moreover, Immanuel Kant’s theory could also be applied to accepting euthanasia
to the universal law that could be used for everyone. Another key point is to
bring more awareness in Aruba about euthanasia and assisted suicide and to end
dangerous mal practices of euthanasia. Also, to bring light of the right that
we have as humans of autonomy and self-determination and this also has to be
taken into consideration when it comes to euthanasia and assisted suicide in
addition to the role of the physician as well under his oath should be seen as
a modern oath to relief the patient of his pain and suffering and not as
someone specifically to only save lives. Last but not least, Nancy Fraser’s
theory on politics of recognition especially for Aruba where societies should have debates on what they value about euthanasia
and assisted suicide and not are oppressed by religious principles. My final
answer on euthanasia and assisted suicide is that it should be available for
people who are suffering from terminal illnesses; they
deserve to have the ultimate decision on their lives.