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Should Euthanasia be legal?

Updated on December 30, 2012
Tony Nicklinson is fighting for his right to end his own life!
Tony Nicklinson is fighting for his right to end his own life!

What made me think of Euthanasia!

Well as many hubbers and readers that live in the UK may well be aware. A soap opera called Emmerdale has just done a story line on an assisted suicide on a petraplegic. A petraplegic is some one who can not move from the shoulders down because of paralysis.

A young man fed up and depressed with his life after an accident that left him in the petraplegic state of being, decides he can take no more. He comes to a long drawn conclusion that he wants it all to end. However as he can not move, some one has to make the deadly concoction he takes to kill himself and also hand it to him. In effect killing him. In this circumstance it was the character's mother and boyfriend. Was it selfish of him to put his loved ones, who may not have been thinking rationally to do this? If they had left it long enough would he have changed his mind? Who knows. But shouldn't we all be allowed to choose?

Some say only God has the right to take a life. But what if that God is not your God? Or if you believe that God will understand. After all doesn't he have compassion to see suffering? Anyway, let us not go down the religious path, but rather one of self choice.

In my minds eye, it would be kinder to give people an option when they are terminally ill or in a debilitated state where the life experience is near zero to end it all with what dignity they have left. Why should there be no legal way, when loved ones are pressured by the one wishing to die? Surely there should be a well thought legal way?

Yes I know, we have all heard of Harold Shipman and he is always the one brought in when people are scared something like this would be abused.

But we are not talking about people committing suicide on Governments deciding they will kill people because they have no voice. I am talking about people who are still able to give their consent and it is their specific request. People who would be open to this option would have documented medical notes and it could be made clear that it had to be done at a medical centre and signed by a gp, a consultant and a doctor that has taken care of the patient. That means that unless you had 3 separate people somehow conspiring, there would be no room for abuse.

This is a delicate subject and I by no means suggest that everyone who is left petraplegic wants this. Some have a fulfilling life that they are happy with. And I am not just stating this need for that reason.

I once had a friend that fought cancer with her dying breathe. But in that last week she was in so much agony, she begged her husband to help her die. She died in pain and hardly knowing who was who. She did not get a dignified goodbye with all her young children and her husband was left with the memory that he could not stop her pain.

Update on this subject of Euthanasia.

I am writing this update as currently in the UK a man called Tony Nicklinson is desperately fighting for the right to end his life. Tony Nicklinson is a man who lived a very sporty and fulfilling life until he had a stroke that he by rights should not have survived. By a strange twist of fate he did survive but has " locked in" syndrome. Being mentally aware of everything and being unable to live as he wishes, he wants to end the misery of living a stunted life.

Tony's case has made me realize that the reason people can't decide whether they are for or against euthanasia is because euthanasia really needs to be looked at on an individual basis and not as a blanket cover for all.

I for one hope that Tony Nicklinson wins his case and gets his right to escape the prison his body has created for him.

Locked in syndrome victim Tony Nicklinson update

Poor Tony has been refused his "right-to-die" by judges in London. He emotionally started crying with all his heart as this means his anguish and pain is now prolonged. How cruel to leave a man in this position when if we left our pets in this position people would deem us as cruel.

Tony's legal team will back him all the way and get a new president set but for now the man has to keep living through his own living hell.

Tony Nicklinson could go to Switzerland, but it is not in the hills and valleys we think of as Switzerland, it is in a horrid industrial estate. Also the other facts of it being expensive and that he would not be in his own country when he died. Surely every person has a right to be in their own country to die?

Tony Nicklinson dead

Bless this poor man. This will be my final update as Tony died at home of natural causes, only 58 years of age.

Life had been cruel to him when it gave him a stroke, a man who lived life to the full had his body stolen from him.

The courts may have denied Tony his wish but he got it any way. He managed to die in his own home, in his own country, with his family. This was all he ever asked for and we could not give it to him, yet the fates did.

R.I.P Tony, I hope you move on to happiness, where ever that may be.


Submit a Comment
  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    Timetraveler2, I have used those very words myself. " Why would we not do for human beings what we would do for a dog?". I for one WOULD!

    It is inhumane to leave someone in that state, especially when we know someone's wish. Maybe a bit harder if we do not know someone's wish but yet surely common sense should prevail?

  • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

    Sondra Rochelle 

    7 years ago from USA

    Why would we not do for human beings what we would do for a dog? Those who have never known severe pain, intense depression, the inability to live with a life that has any level of quality should not be the ones to make decisions about euthanasia. Only those who suffer should decide, and they can do this with a living will written at a time when they are mentally alert. To allow anything less is to be inhumane.

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    I don't think if it ever became legal it would be used very freely or often, yet in my opinion it should be there for the people who are desperate enough to fight in the high court for that right.

    Thank you for giving your heartfelt opinion and for reading this. It is so sad that someone had to die at all but he made his mark before he went.

  • Rfordin profile image


    7 years ago from Florida

    I'm not sure how I feel. I know if it came down to it and my loved one's begged and pleaded and there was ZERO hope I may out of mercy and love help them. I would however make sure we had gotten 10,0000 "second opinions" and there was no treatment in the forseeable future (5 years or so). I know when it all boils down to suffering no one can walk in anyone elses shoes unless they've been there but I'm still torn. Voted interesting.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    It certainly is Dwachira.

    I am glad he does not suffer anymore, this man's story touched my soul!

  • dwachira profile image

    [ Danson Wachira ] 

    7 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

    It is sad and i hope wherever he is, he has no pain, no more. May God bless rest his soul in eternal peace. AMEN.

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    Thank you Jennzie, your comment was very interesting to me. Euthanasia isn't meant to be available to every single person but as you said, when people are at a point of no recovery and in pain etc they should be allowed to ask for help to die with dignity.

  • jennzie profile image


    7 years ago from Pennsylvania

    I watched a documentary about this sensitive subject. I forgot the lady's name in the documentary, but she had started an organization that allowed people to make the decision to end their lives because her own husband had been very ill and in pain but wasn't allowed to make that choice. It was very sad, but I believe that if people are suffering that much they shouldn't be forced to keep enduring it day after day until it eventually kills them anyway.

    Very nice hub on what I believe is an important topic. Voted up and shared!

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    Choice should be something available to us if possible.

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    I am sorry to hear you have been in such a situation in your life. Thank you very much for the compliment and let us hope that when and if they do decide Euthanasia is acceptable to be made legal that they cover all aspects as to not abuse it.

  • Angela Kane profile image

    Angela Kane 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

    I think we should be given the option if life has been become to difficult to live because of a disease or handicap that makes it unbearable.

  • fpherj48 profile image


    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    I have pondered this very topic on more than two occasions......certainly when sitting bedside, of a terminally ill loved one, withering away and bearing horrendous physical and mental torture......Through my own inner pain and tears, I believe I may secretly wish for them to be free from it all....but could I, would I allow myself to be complicate?

    This is a question I simply and truly cannot answer. The question paralyzes me.

    Extremely interesting and profound hub....UP+++

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    I agree, I watched his documentary and cried most of the time. He truly truly deserves to be allowed to go and let his family grieve and remember the man he was. That is what made me want to bring the topic to people's minds. These people are not pawns for religious argument, they are people who are struggling to stay alive with out really living.

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    I am grateful for such a thoughtful comment to this hub on Euthanasia. So delicate but think we need to start looking at how to make it happen correctly and for the right people instead of refusing them now.

  • Peanutritious profile image

    Tara Carbery 

    7 years ago from Cheshire, UK

    Anyone that can look at Tony Nicklinson and not feel that he should be allowed to die must have a heart of stone. What a hideous, achingly lonely way to be locked in to your mind with a useless body. I don't believe in any gods, heaven or hell. If there was a hell , being trapped in your own body would be a living one.

  • nmdonders profile image

    Nira Perkins 

    7 years ago

    Think of the point you have to be at to be fighting for the right to end your life. The "locked In" syndrome is something I could never imagine. I get that it's a slippery slope and a lot of factors have to be thought of - current mental state, influence from family or medical staff, etc. In certain conditions, euthanasia should be a right. Parents have assisted their own children with this. Can you imagine the pain both parents and child were in to do this? Such a painful but powerful topic.

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    Thank you for your interesting comment Tammy. I most definitely agree with you that it couldn't be a clear cut decision but it should it should be an option at a point in my opinion.

  • tammyswallow profile image


    7 years ago from North Carolina

    I think that people should have the final say in end of life matters, but that people should be tested for things like depression and other factors that may cause them to make a temporary decision. I personally wouldn't want to live with chronic pain. Great topic for discussion!

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    Being in "bardo" would be better than what some have to endure in this life. I do not believe in the Abrahamic faith so the forbidden fruit does not go with me or others.

    Saying it was not God's fault but that of human kind for eating forbidden fruit is like breaking our children's legs for pinching a biscuit. It would be an awful parent that did so.

    I would no more upset Yaweh than any other God or Goddess, yet I feel that is a myth of man and not one of a God's making to state that we suffer as we do for eating a fruit of knowledge. We constantly search for knowledge and that is how it should be, so we can grow spiritually.

  • lone77star profile image

    Rod Martin Jr 

    7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    Ddraigcoch, you said, "I really believe this has nothing to do with Gods because if it were, it would be a cruel one that placed such a burden on 'his children'."

    I understand your viewpoint, but the decision was not God's, but that of his children to partake of the forbidden fruit -- to turn their backs on spirituality and delve into the world of physicality, blinding themselves to all. It took the creation of Homo sapiens to give these children enough continuity of consciousness to even think of these things clearly. To suicide is to jump back into the chaotic nightmare which the Buddhists call "bardo" -- the "between time."

    If you were only a body, then euthanasia would make sense. But nothing could be further from the truth.

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    Thank you for an interesting reply to this topic. I purposely did NOT bring religion in to this as much as I could help it because I am Pagan and believe in other Gods to that of the majority of people who read this article.

    The Gods I know do not expect anything from humans as humans have free will.

    I certainly do not see suicide as cowardly, it takes a tormented person a large amount of courage and it is a scary situation to consider.

    I would hardly call a man such as Tony Nicklinson selfish for wanting to escape the mental anguish he is suffering.

    I really believe this has nothing to do with Gods because if it were, it would be a cruel one that placed such a burden on "his children".

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    Thank you Kj force. I wanted to be delicate in covering this issue as I am aware some may have people who are in a similar situation to Tony Nicklinson.

  • lone77star profile image

    Rod Martin Jr 

    7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    Legalized? No! Never! Under no circumstances!

    Should we be allowed to choose? Certainly. God gave us that right and so many abuse it.

    What if God is not your God? I suppose that's a bit like an American saying that Obama is not their president. He is, but by their own decision, they have disowned that very real president.

    God is owner of this universe. He's not some petulant child using a magnifying glass to burn up these "insects" called Homo sapiens. He is a loving Father who wants His children back. But remember, the children were created in His image, and He is not Homo sapiens.

    Suicide is perhaps the most selfish thing anyone can ever do. It has cowardice and ego written all over it.

    You cannot exclude religion from a topic of self-choice. While it is true that many of the religious have distorted and maimed the sacred works they hold dear, that does not diminish their value.

    What is "self?" What is "man?"

    These Homo sapiens bodies were created for a purpose. That purpose is the awakening of the child of God, within (the Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit or soul).

    Throwing away your Homo sapiens vessel early (before its time) is an affront to that divine purpose. The true self is being discarded along with the body. In fact, the true self is being entirely ignored in favor of holding the physical form as far more important.

    There are sinister forces behind our governments who have been working for decades to plant the seeds of euthanasia and eugenics for a more perfect society of tyranny -- master and slave, lord and serf.

    Having lived 5 years outside the United States, I've finally been weaned of the Corporate Party media kool-aid and see the lies they've been perpetrating for all of my 62 years. They've been quite subtle and persistent.

    Should Tony Nicklinson be allowed to "escape" the prison of his body? No! What of the child of God within who has waited untold thousands of years to escape the prison of physicality? That is the true self. That is the self which must be given every possible opportunity to awaken.

    When we see two people with identical tragedies we are immediately repulsed by one and drawn to the other. Let me explain:

    One whines and complains. They are bitter and resentful for what life has done to them. Self, self, self. Ego! And ego is the barrier they must face.

    The other laughs and uplifts the spirits of those around them. They add charm and beauty to the lives of those who know them.

    Who is the hero, here? Who is selfish and self-obsessed? Who has a better opportunity to quash the ego which blocks them from spiritual awakening.

    You talked of self choice. If a small child wanted to take a flying leap off of a skyscraper just to see what would happen, would you let them exercise their free choice? Would you caution them and teach them?

    Self choice? We all of the choice of murder, rape, theft and extortion. Most of us choose not to do these things.

  • kj force profile image


    7 years ago from Florida

    Kudos for covering this did a great job..

    This has been the most controversial subject in life....I for one believe in living wills.. " we " should be the one to make the decision, by choice.

    The medical field cannot take life, but, they should be allowed to give you the patient, the information as no one but the patient actually knows what turmoil they are dealing with...I have to agree with d.williams

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    There is a case right now in the UK about Tony Nicklinson. He has "locked in" syndrome and can only communicate by blinking one eye. He has a fabulous computer that helps him communicate and he wants to die. He is only in his 50s and is like this after doctors saved him from a stroke. The doctor even says he regrets saving him to end up like this and that Tony should not have survived.

    Faith is one of those issues where we must be careful not to force it upon others when it is they who would suffer for another's beliefs.

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    Thank you very much. Euthanasia is something that I have always deliberated over. It has come back in the public eye with Tony Nicklinson in the UK. If ever there was an argument for euthanasia it is him.

  • Cathleena Beams profile image

    Cathleena Beams 

    7 years ago from Tennessee

    This is a difficult subject even to think about. I would hate to ever be in the situation where someone were begging me to help them end their life since I view it as such a valuable commodity and I do believe that God (The Ultimate Giver of Life) is the one who has the right to decide when our time on earth ends. Sometimes the time of death is influenced and determined by family members and medical staff such as when a patient is on life support and the decision comes up whether to continue a feeding tube and respirator or to disconnect and allow the patient's life to end. It is a very touchy and painful dilemma to evaluate and make the call to pull the plug and end a loved one's life. I don't think it would be better to allow us to euthanize when it is the patient's wish but they can not carry this out for themselves; it fails to take into consideration the option of faith, hope and prayer, and the amazing power of God to heal if it's His will to do so. I have heard testimonies of people who were injured in accidents that were told they would never walk again, that are walking and living productive lives today. Doctor's aren't always right in their predictions, so my feeling is that euthanization should not be a routine option to end a human life.

  • unknown spy profile image

    Life Under Construction 

    7 years ago from Neverland

    Shared! One of the msot interesting topics here on HP. Euthanasia..

  • Ddraigcoch profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from UK

    Thank you kindly for reading and commenting on this delicate subject Sooner28.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I agree with you.

  • d.william profile image


    8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

    Voted: up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    Good article. I am a retired RN of >35 years who worked for hospice for many of those years. I have been asked by many terminally ill patients what my thoughts are on euthanasia and suicide.

    I would never tell anyone, yes or no - that they should or should not; but rather that those kinds of personal decisions were to be made only by the patient himself (or herself).

    I, too, have seen many patients die a slow agonizingly painful death and have come to a rationalization that if, and when, this ever happens to me, i would surely want to go peacefully in a time of my own choosing. If the person is able to eat/drink and taking pain medications; or has an I.V. running with pain medications and has the use of their limbs, i have suggested to them that if they were truly contemplating suicide, to ask their pharmacist what constitutes a "lethal" dose of the meds they are taking - without any further elaboration.

    As far as assisted suicides for a patient that is not able to feed themselves, or paralyzed from the neck down, this is a private decision between them and their caretakers. And should be considered carefully, logically, and realistically, as long as the people who remain after the termination can live without regret, remorse, guilt or recrimination. No one else's opinions really matter.

    We put down our pets when they are old and infirm without hesitation to spare them pain and misery. It is truly sad that we can not do the same for the people we love - not because it is wrong, but because those decisions were already made for us by other people who only want to mandate the morality of others and who could care less about the person who is suffering.

    There is also another consideration for a person who is totally dependent on others for sustenance: It can be done via a living will stating that there are to be no life saving procedures done. If food and water is withheld (feeding the patient is certainly within the realms of a life saving procedure), the death is painless and certainly not illegal if this is the wish of the patient.

  • Eiddwen profile image


    8 years ago from Wales

    A great hub on such a sensitive subject and I vote up.

    Here's to many more hubs to share.

    Take care



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