Euthanasia Essay: Example and Tips

Examples of titles and topics for euthanasia essay

  1. Pros and cons of euthanasia
  2. Moral dilemma of euthanasia. Who has a right to decide?
  3. What is euthanasia?
  4. Legal aspects of use of euthanasia around the world
  5. Euthanasia and religion

How to write argumentative essay about euthanasia

An argumentative essay is one of the types of research, which allows considering a particular problem from different points of view. Euthanasia is one of the standard topics proposed by a teacher for writing an argumentative essay.

In the preparatory part, it is necessary to determine the following: what information to include, whom to refer to, how to interpret the facts, which methodology to choose.

In the introduction, use two points:

  1. Introductory statement (familiarity with the topic, its history, purpose of the study) using known techniques (unusual statement, interesting quote, statistics, etc.)
  2. A tense statement, which is, in essence, the position that is to be substantiated (at the same time, indicate the difference of possible positions and to what extent the arguments are necessary).

The presentation of the thesis is the main part of the essay in which arguments are presented in favor of the chosen position. The most common way is the statement and further facts as justification. It is possible to write it vice versa: at the beginning a list of facts, and then a conclusion, a consequence (statement).

Giving objections. It is thought that the thesis statement will be more convincing if we anticipate the arguments of the opposite statement on euthanasia, giving it a critical analysis. Then offer a compromise solution, giving way to the opposite opinion.

Conclusion of the essay on euthanasia should show the reasonableness and validity of the chosen position. To achieve this goal, the final part of the essay should:

  1. Summarize the main points of the application with evidence and examples of the use of euthanasia;
  2. Re-formulate the thesis to emphasize its meaning;
  3. Discuss the perspective of the main thesis;
  4. Show practical significance;
  5. Put questions that will help you look at the topic from a new perspective.

Euthanasia argumentative essay example

Introduction of euthanasia argumentative essay example

Euthanasia means any action aimed at ending the life of a person, in pursuit of his own will, and performed by an uninterested person. This definition of euthanasia is given in by Dutch law.

The problem of euthanasia has arisen not today, and not suddenly. It begins its summer count in ancient times. And already then it caused numerous disputes among doctors, lawyers, sociologists, psychologists, and so on. The attitude towards deliberate acceleration of the onset of death of the incurably ill, even with a view to ending his suffering, has never been unambiguous. The English philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) introduced the term “euthanasia” (from Greek euthanasia, eu, well, thanatos – death) to denote easy, painless death, that is, good, calm and easy death, without torment and suffering.

Although the very idea of ​​euthanasia originated a long time ago, from the time of Hippocrates to the present day, the traditional medical ethics includes the prohibition: “I will not give anybody who is even asking for it a death-causing drug, nor will I advise it.” But recently doctors have more and more willingness to resort to this practice, at least when the patient asks for death. How should we treat this trend? How to liberate from obsolete prohibitions or as a kind of permissiveness, which at the same time is incorrect from a moral point of view and dangerous in practice?

Main body of euthanasia argumentative essay example

At the beginning of this century, lawyer Binding and psychiatrist Hooke proposed to call euthanasia the destruction of so-called “inferior” lives. Such a monstrous interpretation of the concept of “euthanasia” was later widely distributed in fascist Germany and in the countries seized by it. They killed newborns with “maladaptation,” mentally ill, patients with tuberculosis or malignant neoplasms, the disabled, the elderly, etc. A special industry of killing in the form of gas chambers, mufflers, crematoriums, etc. was created. The International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg has classified these acts as crimes against humanity.

People who acknowledge euthanasia of the human right often draw attention to the following:

  • Everyone has the right to choose: “Human is an intellectual creature to decide for himself to live longer or to depart from life, freed himself from pain and suffering”; “To condemn torture is cruelty, there should be the right to choose”; “If a person in a clear mind decides to die, then this is his right”;
  • It is better to accept death in the case of an incurable disease than to experience suffering and to be a burden for the family: “It is better to die than to lie chained to bed, suffer from pains and torture relatives for years “; “The expectation of death is much worse than death itself”; “It’s hard to watch when the closest person is tormented. It is difficult to understand for those who have not encountered this problem”;
  • it is acceptable only under the condition of strict control over this procedure: “It is legally necessary to make it so that euthanasia does not become a legalized murder”; “Euthanasia can be recognized as a human right, but there is a danger of abuse and harm, in particular from the medical staff: fraud and illegal actions of doctors, death by the order of third parties, etc.”.

Those who oppose the legalization of euthanasia have the following arguments:

  • euthanasia contradicts religious and ethical norms: “No one is free to deprive a person of life, if we allow euthanasia, then we will cease to be human beings”; “Life is given by God, and only God has the right to deprive person’s life”; “Euthanasia is not recognized by any religion”; “Everyone’s life is invaluable!”;
  • Our country is not ready for this step, as it will most likely follow abuses: “this decision will lead to irreversible consequences, actions against human life”; “In our country, euthanasia can easily be turned into a deliberate killing for mercenary purposes, without the consent of the person himself”; “Bad people will take advantage of the right to kill single and defenseless people”;
  • The patient, due to his state of health, can make an incorrect choice: “a sick person who decides to subjugate euthanasia can not always adequately assess the situation”; “A sick person is not an expressive of free will, he may ask to ease his care under the influence of the moment. What if the diagnosis is a medical error? This can be used by relatives, expressing their opinion, and not the desire of the patient “; “Every person wants to live till the last minute”; “Many people who signed this procedure at the last moment changed their minds.”

Conclusion of euthanasia argumentative essay example

The church completely condemns euthanasia. The condemnation applies to all attacks on human life – both abortion and euthanasia. In the Christian tradition, death is accepted as a division of the soul and body, and as a revelation of the spiritual world. Christianity cultivates a relation to death not as a final stage of being, but to a transition to a higher sense, a union with God. Christian bioethics rejects active euthanasia as a deliberate interruption of life, and considers voluntary euthanasia as suicide. But there are situations when the actions of the doctor are contrary to the oath they brought. We are talking about euthanasia.

I believe that debate around euthanasia will continue till the end of the world. As there always be proponents and opponents to it.

How to write informative essay on euthanasia

We have a tip for those, who has got the task to write an essay on euthanasia. As there are so many types of essays and, if the teacher has not clarified the particular type, choose informative essay. This decision will work best for those, who are not sure about their personal position concerning euthanasia.

In case of informative essay, you need to work deeply with literature, collect information from different sources and read arguments of defenders of different positions. If you stay objective through the course of writing, act like a narrator and explain different positions in your informative essay on euthanasia.

If during studying the information you find your personal position, explain it in the conclusion of the essay. In any case, you can become an author of a successful informative essay on euthanasia.

Euthanasia informative essay example


What is euthanasia? It is the cessation of life of a person suffering from an incurable disease and / or experiencing unbearable suffering. It can be accomplished by stopping maintenance therapy, or by the administration of drugs that results in a quick and painless death.

In 1968, in Spain, Ramon Sampedo, 25, jumped from the cliff to the sea and broke the spine. He was completely paralyzed and devoid of sensitivity below the neck. For 30 years, Ramon was chained to bed and surrounded by family care. He read a lot, could write with a pencil pressed in his mouth, spoke on the phone, and even worked on a computer, but he could not reconcile himself to such a life. He wished for death and for years sought the right to euthanasia, since he himself could not commit suicide.

Ramon’s story is screened in The Sea Inside (2004). Ramon’s fate sharply puts the sick question – does the person have the right to “order” death for himself.

Main body. Active and passive euthanasia

With passive euthanasia, the provision of medical care, life-supporting treatment, which accelerates the onset of natural death, is stopped – this practice is widespread in many countries. But most often, when talking about euthanasia, they mean an active euthanasia, under which there is used introduction of any medicinal substances to the dying person, which entails a quick and painless attack on death.

In the active euthanasia, the following forms are distinguished:

  1. “Murder of mercy” occurs when relatives or the doctor himself, seeing the tormenting suffering of a hopelessly ill person and being unable to eliminate them, inject him an overdose of the pain medication, resulting in a quick and painless death. The question of consenting the patient in this case is not put at all because he is not able to express his will.
  2. The second form of active euthanasia is a suicide, assisted by a physician. It occurs with the consent of the patient, the doctor only helps him to put an end to life.
  3. The third form – actually active euthanasia – occurs without the help of a doctor. The patient himself turns on a device that leads him to a quick and painless death.

Thus, the essence of the problem of euthanasia is the deliberate infliction by the physician of the death of the patient from compassion or at the request of the dying person himself or his relatives.

Main body. Moral aspects

Speaking of euthanasia, two questions arise: moral (“What can one say about the character of a person doing similar actions?”) and legal (“Should such actions be prohibited by law?”).

Some argue that, although euthanasia is immoral, it should not be prohibited by law. Two arguments, which usually lead to arguments against the application of criminal sanctions: firstly, too high costs for the implementation of these sanctions into life, and secondly, the prospect of disobedience is so wide that it already undermines general respect for the law, in this case are not applicable.

Others argue that although euthanasia is not in all cases incorrect, it should not be permitted by law. One of the options for this argument is that euthanasia is morally permissible only in rare cases, but even there it should be banned, since this practice can easily be abused, that the legalization of euthanasia will do more harm than good. Another option is that legalization places the elderly in the difficult position of choice: either to continue to live, or to die, a situation in which no one can be put.

In foreign and domestic literature, there are many options for a moral assessment of euthanasia. Most authors support methods of passive euthanasia and reject any possibility of active euthanasia. However, there are also opposite opinions. For example, the most famous manifestation of his expression is the great American philosopher J. Rachels, who made a sharp critique of the Decree of the American Medical Association dated December 4, 1973, which states: “… the deliberate cessation of the life of one human being to another – merciful murder – contradicts itself the purpose of the medical profession and the policy of the American Medical Association.”

J. Rachels believes that if a patient in the consciousness understands that his days are counted, can not endure terrible pain and asks the physician to accelerate his death, and the doctor fulfills his request simply by ceasing treatment (passive euthanasia), the suffering of the patient may be aggravated, although they may be less intense and prolonged than with continued treatment. In this situation, a lethal injection (active euthanasia), in the opinion of J. Rachels, is more humane, since it will immediately stop the suffering of the patient.

Most scholars do not agree with him, above all because it contradicts the principles of humanism and the purpose of medicine. The value of human life prompts fights for it even contrary to objective medical laws and in the most hopeless situations, since medical science and practice are rich in cases of healing the most hopeless patients.

It is precisely strong pains that are usually the cause of a patient’s request to accelerate the onset of death, and therefore it is forced and insincere. Here, the doctor must confront them with the help of a wide choice of pain reliever. Another case is when, for example, a person is in a state of coma for a long time and his consciousness has already been lost irrevocably, and progressive medical technologies make it possible to carry out life-sustaining treatment for a very long time. The question arises – is it necessary?

Many scholars fear that the formal introduction of the right for euthanasia may become a specific mental barrier to finding new, more effective means of diagnosing and treating severe illness, as well as promoting ill-treatment in the provision of medical care to such patients. Emergency aid to them requires not only great material expense, but also a huge strain of physical and mental forces of the nursing staff. It is precisely the lack of proper treatment and care that can stimulate the patient’s demands to expedite the death, which will allow the physician to completely stop any treatment and care for a serious ill. And this is another reason for the need for legal regulation of this issue.

More generally, the view was that euthanasia was permissible from an ethical point of view only in exceptional cases, but in such cases it should be legitimized. Recent legislative initiatives in countries where it is permitted only allow euthanasia in exceptional cases.

Main body. Euthanasia and cancer

It is painful and unbearable for every person to see how dying people are suffering. The modern man was unaware of the pain of stoicism, and humanity as a whole lost much of its ability to tolerate. At the same time, people today suffer from cancer more and more terrible than in the past.

Paradoxically, but it is related to the fact that over the past decades, undeniable progress has been made in the fight against cancer. Progress, which led to the fact that now the person does not perish, as it used to be, in the early stages of his illness, and even in those cases where treatment does not lead to healing or remission, reaches to that point in the development of the disease that was in the past fundamentally unattainable. In that terrible moment, when metastases affect the whole of his body, a person encounters excessive exhaustion and monstrous pains. Until now, before this stage of the disease, units survived, now it has become the livelihood of most cancer patients.

As a result, euthanasia is becoming an increasingly frequent solution to the “problem of pain” that the patients themselves, their relatives or doctors can not cope with. On the part of this it seems monstrous, but experts practicing euthanasia receive letters of gratitude from relatives of patients, and the patients themselves, infinitely tired and exhausted, advocate for euthanasia.

Increasingly, it is said that a person should be able to take advantage of the right to death” in the case of a fatal illness which will still lead to imminent death within two or three weeks.

Main body. Psychological character of proponents and opponents of euthanasia

Opponents of euthanasia: doctors, writers, lawyers, clergy, believers and atheists – do not get tired of repeating that modern civilization goes along the path of justification of suicide, which is “assistance in committing suicide” (this is precisely what the method of administering to the sick of a dose of hypnotic, resulting in painless death) is unacceptable.

Attention is drawn to the fact that opponents of euthanasia in the majority of them speak extremely rigidly, aggressively and with irritation, revealing their inner weakness.

When someone begins to talk about euthanasia and its inadmissibility, having spent the night in the bed of a dying person and not knowing in his own experience what this pain is, he looks not only unconvincing, but somehow immoral.

On the contrary, adherents of euthanasia, as a rule, are people who are soft, conscious of how monstrous horror of pain is, or just knowing what it is, from the experience of daily work. People in whom it is impossible to see the villains, aspiring as soon as possible to get rid of pain.

In this way of life, believers say euthanasia apologists, people need only for the reason that their life was already artificially extended by doctors, without intervention they would have died much earlier.

But how to be with euthanasia? A person feels that it is for some reason unacceptable, but can not understand why? An atheist or agnostic begins to speak in the language of the priest, which turns out to be extremely unconvincing, and therefore has to be sharp. That’s why the opponents of euthanasia seem aggressive. That is why they sometimes do more to legitimize “voluntary death” in the public consciousness than the most convinced apologists of euthanasia.

Main body. Euthanasia or hospice?

In different countries, these issues are dealt with differently depending on economic opportunities, religious, national traditions, respect for old age and readiness to help the infirm and hopelessly ill. For this purpose, special medical institutions are created – hospices, in which patients feel that they live a full-fledged spiritual life, but do not live their own age in terrible torment. Hospice is a truly effective alternative to euthanasia.

The first such institution was created in England, where at present there are more than 140 of them (in 1986 there were 53 of them). The hospice’s patient is surrounded by such attention and care. An amazingly friendly and trusting atmosphere reigns here that allows the patient to feel comfortable.

Unlike ordinary hospitals, in the hospice there are no restrictions for you, even for domestic animals, such as a cat or a dog, patients can see relatives, arrange celebrations. Hospice never takes their hope of recovery. There is always a chance that mistakes in the diagnosis or incredible self-healing of the body are possible. If even all hope collapsed, the last one remains – a worthy end to the life path. The medical staff is selected according to special criteria, since in most cases it is about doomed people. At 15-20 full-time employees, only 15-20 patients, at the same time 100-150 patients are served at home, 30 come in the day themselves. But not everyone who needs it, can afford staying in a hospice even in England. After all, all this requires a lot of material costs!

In medical ethics, there is a sacred taboo – life is invaluable, and it means to speak of the price of life is immoral. But life is worth the price, especially when expensive medicines are constantly needed for treatment, for which neither the patient nor the relatives have enough money, they need special equipment that supports the life of the one who is already doomed and is waiting for death every minute. What is better, it is wise to spend not so small means on squatting incurable patients, oligophrenic, vegetative creatures, or to spend the same money on the treatment of patients who have at least one but a chance to survive?

The struggle for a patient’s life is valid only if there is hope that his salvation is possible. From the moment that this hope is lost, the question of mercy in its highest manifestation arises with all its sharpness. And in this case, they will only have euthanasia.

I believe that there may be situations in which the use of passive euthanasia is fair and can indeed be regarded as a humane attitude to the dying patient, for, having an inherent constitutional right to life, he must, in accordance with international norms, be entitled in certain circumstances to have the right to decide on its termination. Not everyone can and wants to prolong a poor quality, not worthy of life at the stage of dying, while experiencing physical and moral suffering.

Dr. Peter Admiral wrote boldly: “The next generation will be deeply puzzled by the long time that our generations will need to come to unconditionally recognize euthanasia as a natural human right.”

Analyzing the situation, one should admit that they are right who believe that the current issue is not whether to allow or not to allow doctors to use euthanasia, but about when and under what conditions to admit it and how to organize control over the lawfulness of its implementation.

Main body. Euthanasia in different parts of the world

The overwhelming majority of doctors and lawyers believe that euthanasia is an oath and criminal injustice, and it is completely inadmissible, even if it is taken solely from “compassion”, on the insistent demand of a patient who in any case is due to die soon.

In Germany, the criminal law punishes for “murder at the request of the patient” by imprisonment for a term from 0 months to 5 years.

In England, a law has also passed on the unconditional prohibition of any euthanasia in medical practice.

In the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, and some states of America, after lengthy discussions, the government officially introduced a passive euthanasia permit, with certain reservations that exclude any abuses. The physician discontinues useless maintenance of life, however, the basis for the decision to terminate the treatment is the free and informed consent of the patient. Similar requests from close relatives of a patient in an unconscious state are legally void.

But there is an opinion that the prohibition of euthanasia violates the human right to death. This led to the fact that, for example, in California (USA), after years of discussions in referenda, the world’s first law “The Human Rights to Death” was adopted, which means that we can not cure sick people who can issue a document expressing the desire not to be reanimated. However, until now, no one was able to use this law, since one of the conditions for the implementation of euthanasia should be the conclusion of the psychiatrist about the patient’s fitness, and another mandatory condition is that the doctor should carry out euthanasia. That is impossible because the American Medical Association has decided to ban its members from participating in euthanasia by putting forward the slogan: “Doctors should not execute.”

Therefore doctors adhere to the stoic dogma that patients should be treated in spite of everything. The most important professional argument against the introduction of euthanasia is that if we allow it, then doctors will not have to strive to alleviate painful suffering to sick people, and “the more accessible the euthanasia, the more temptation is to get rid of the burden of these worries in general. Between permissible and directly criminal, there will always be a danger of abuse, and then patients will be afraid to get to the hospital, because they will not be sure of their safety. The doctor is not God. He has to decide how to treat and not when to kill.

And there are so many examples. Here are some of them.

  • In Austria in 1989, four nurses from the military hospital “Laignz” charged for giving somnolent drugs in excessive doses to patients. In the case, there were 42 cases of killing; the court found proven 21 killings. On the question of the judges about the reason for such a relationship with the sick, one said that they did it out of compassion in order to facilitate the transition of old people to another world; others admitted that they were irritated by the cries of the sick and the pleas for help. Two of the killer nurses were sentenced to life imprisonment, and two were sentenced to 20 years in prison. In Austria, they were nicknamed “Witches from Lainze”
  • Here is another example. A physician from a Californian city for eight years of sympathy, attempting to alleviate suffering, killed a dozen of his patients who he considered hopelessly ill. During a poll using the “lie detector” on the question “Do you consider yourself an angel of death?” He answered “Yes!” After several days in prison, he was released and deprived of a medical license.

On these examples it becomes clear that the implementation of euthanasia should not be a medical matter. The last point in this procedure should be made by the patient himself.


Euthanasia can only be used as an exception, with one aim being to ease the process of inevitable dying without leaving the patient in this difficult time. All of the foregoing as well as other measures should be aimed at preventing offenses.

Contrary to the arguments of the opponents of euthanasia in recent years, not only in the foreign, but also in the domestic press, it is fairly noted that the legislative resolution of euthanasia will not lead to an increase in the number of abuses. On the contrary, the current legal situation generates concealment of the true intention of ending life. I believe that in the presence of doctors and lawyers, taking into account numerous factors, eliminating contradictions in the law and bringing the legislative norms into line with human rights, such offenses will be minimized.

There is an unequivocal legal solution to the issue of euthanasia, indicating the inadmissibility of the use of active euthanasia, as well as a list of conditions permitting, in exceptional cases, passive euthanasia. The adoption of such a decision and the implementation of euthanasia should be in strict accordance with the procedure, which, taking into account the experience of other countries, should be developed by lawyers and doctors and approved by the relevant ministries. Despite the fact that at present active form of euthanasia in our country can be resolved, legalization of this problem should not be left out. It is necessary to start the solution from the legal support and elaboration of the order of strict control over each case of euthanasia.