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.