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The “Yes” & The “No” – Euthanasia

Introduction:
Hi everyone, my name is Abhay Katyal and I am a Grade 11 student from Vancouver, British Columbia. For my final project for Bioethics, I decided to discuss the following ethical question:

Should an individual have the right to commit suicide if they desire to and if so, is a lengthy process of attaining the right to commit suicide needed?

I wanted to discuss the ethical concerns behind euthanasia as well as the process on how euthanasia is obtained around the world. Many people are either denied their request to obtain euthanasia or are pressured to not go ahead with what they think is the best for themselves by their close ones. Furthermore, euthanasia is only available in some countries around the world and my intent is to “raise awareness” about where it is available and why I think it should be available across the globe. Wanting to die with the aid of a medical professional is a big step that an individual thinks about prior to putting it into action. In my opinion, everyone should be given the choice on whether or not they want to live or not depending on the circumstances they are in. Below I have presented information through the means of statistical data, survey results, and etc.

Interactive Response Form:
Click here to access a short survey. You will either AGREE or DISAGREE with the statements.

The Statistics of Euthanasia in My Country – Canada: 
Both processes of euthanasia are legal in Canada and although the services aren’t available in different locations around the country, any Canadian can request to obtain “medically assisted suicide”. Euthanasia in Canada is considered completely legal and there is a detailed process for people who wish to obtain euthanasia. Below are some statistics on the “total number of publicly-reported medically assisted deaths in Canada from December 10, 2015 – December 31, 2016.

The Countries that Euthanasia is Legal in:
Euthanasia is legal and allowed in several countries. In most of the countries around the world, it is either not criminalized and/or illegal. The Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University has created an interactive map in which you can look at the policy of euthanasia in the different states within the United States of America as well as all of the other countries around the globe.

Euthanasia isn’t legal in many countries because of religious and political factors. In many Middle Eastern and Asian countries, this form of dying is deemed as a sin. For example, in my own culture (Hinduism – India), people do not believe in euthanasia because it isn’t a sacred way of ending your life. Furthermore, it is believed that an individual will die when their time comes meaning that their death is destined already.

Ethical Concerns and Questions Raised by Euthanasia:
In Bioethics, I learned about various ethical principles and how each of them can relate to a wide variety of ethical issues. With that in mind, there are two ethical principles that I believe have a direct relation to the topic of euthanasia:

  • The Principle of Autonomy – self-directing, independent, and free.
    • This principle is relevant and important because each individual should have a right to decide whether or not they want to live. Of course, only someone who has a legitimate reason/cause should be allowed to go forward with euthanasia. This is definitely an ethical principle that should be considered when deciding whether or not someone should obtain the right to die.
  • The Principle of Beneficence – providing benefit or advantage to all.
    • When obtaining “medically-assisted suicide”, one should definitely consider the impact their decision will have on their family members and other friends. Any individual should always make a decision of this magnitude after a lot of deliberation. Overall, this principle in a way can be very sensitive because so many people can be affected by the decision of one individual.

Euthanasia – How It Is Viewed In My Local Community:
Below are the results of a survey, which was released within a class of thirty Grade 11 students.

 

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COMMENTS: 11
  1. April 26, 2018 by Gavin Zhang

    Hey Abhay, I really like how you gave us the information to make our own decisions instead of trying to push us one way or the other. The data you provided was also very useful.

  2. April 26, 2018 by jasonzhang2001

    Hi Abhay, I enjoyed your Bioethics project and found the statisitics you provided to be interesting. How you also gathered information about how euthanasia is viewed in your community.

  3. April 26, 2018 by Sophie.Woan

    Hi! I was really excited to read this because I’ve always wondered why euthanasia was so controversial and how it differed in various countries. Your own personal perspective about your culture’s views was fascinating to me. Do you think if you opened this survey up to your entire high school you would have a similar division of responses like the one from your grade?

    • April 29, 2018 by Abhay.Katyal

      Hi Sophie! Thank you so much for your comment :)!! I think I would receive a different division of responses for sure. In my opinion, each and every person has a different opinion and your view on a specific topic can change as you grow. Furthermore, my school is diverse and although everyone is very connected; we all may have different opinions on euthanasia.

  4. April 27, 2018 by Rio.Townsend

    Hey Abhay! I really enjoyed reading your project and you obviously spent a lot of time on it. I found the results to the last question, “Should euthanasia be legalized around the world?” really fascinating coming from a person that lives in Vancouver as well. I view our city and country as being very liberal and progressive so I assumed, prior to reading your page, that most people would be for the international legalization of euthanasia. I wonder what the personal reasons of those that answered “no” are. Thanks for opening my eyes to this topic!

  5. April 27, 2018 by Arianna

    I really liked your project because although we looked into Euthanasia a little bit in the class curriculum, it was interesting to learn more about it specifically in Canada and to see the survey sent out to your classmates. I would be interested to know the reasoning behind people’s decisions in answering the survey. I also liked the survey you created for readers to fill out because in doing it, I really had to think about my own opinion on this issue. I’m still not exactly sure what I think because so many factors go into it, and I think you addressed a lot of them in discussing how this relates to the principles of bioethics.

    • April 29, 2018 by Abhay.Katyal

      Thank you so much for your comment!

  6. April 29, 2018 by Alex Mummery

    Abhay, thank you for sharing your project. Euthanasia is a controversial but interesting topic. I admire that you were clear in your opinion early on in your presentation. I also really liked that you talked a little bit about your own background, and how euthanasia is perceived in India. Do you think euthanasia should be legalized in the United States?

    • April 29, 2018 by Abhay.Katyal

      Thank you so much Alex! I personally think that it should be legalized entirely in the United States. Currently, I believe it is only legal in around 6 states and so if it is already legal then I think that it should be legalized in all states.

  7. April 29, 2018 by Vivian

    Hi Abhay! I love the data you offered and the resources you shared! I find your point about how euthanasia/PAS is stigmatized in certain parts of the world (due to religion or other reasons) really interesting. Looking at the interactive map, I noticed that a lot of countries have fairly recently legalized euthanasia (such as Canada in 2015). Do you think that the countries in Asia and the Middle East that you were talking about are also beginning to change their perspectives towards euthanasia?

  8. May 01, 2018 by Lauren San Martin

    I’ve never really considered the topic of euthanasia and never knew much about it but I thought that your presentation was very informative. I know people consider euthanasia suicide but what do you think about the whole thing? Do you think people should have the choice?

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