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Is euthanasia fundamental to a civilised society?

This is a very sensitive topic that will split the readers’ and writers’ opinions. Some of us may have already been confronted with it and this makes it hard to have an impartial view on it.

Euthanasia is Greek and means “good death”. As its translation says, it is supposed to be “good”, positive, helping and not something cruel or inhuman. Now when we look to our past, I have to admit it was not always good, positive or helping. In Germany for example, during the regime of Hitler, the Nazis killed a lot of people during what they called “forced euthanasia”. Many people at that time, manipulated by propaganda, did believe that it was done for a good reason, but when we look at it now, we know it wasn’t.

Even though the term has been misused during our history, at its source, Hippocrates of Kos, a Greek physician who lived around the time the word “euthanasia” was formed, swore in his oath that he will never kill or help killing a human, not even on his own request. Just like the bible says “Thou shall not kill”, the Christians have the same ideology. Following this, euthanasia should be forbidden.

But isn’t leaving a person, who will suffer a painful death in the foreseeable future even more cruel than letting him die quick and painlessly? What would you prefer?

Despite the ideology, animal euthanasia is something very common. Unlike humans, where the dying person actually agrees to his or her death, animals can’t even continue to live when their owner decides to put them to sleep. I had a rabbit, which was put to sleep. It was very sad and I still don’t know if I did the right thing. I don’t know how much it suffered and I would hate myself if I found out that it would want to continue living. But I think I’ll still put it to sleep because I think that I know that it is better for my rabbit that way.

Euthanasia is something contradicting with our ideology, but just like what I did with my rabbit, I think the most of us will prefer euthanasia over leaving their loved ones suffering.

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