Taku's Blog(翻訳・創作を中心に)


Essay Practice: Euthanasia


 As a mortal being, I sometimes think what it will be like to take my last breath. Will I be surrounded by my future family members? Will they be crying? Will they want me to live any longer even if I am terminally ill? They probably will. 

   I know that it is a difficult decision for family members to let their beloved one choose to die before they are called to Heaven. However, I am going to tell my future family that I have the right to die with dignity beforehand. The reasons and examples I shall use here will be applied when we consider why society should accept euthanasia as an individual’s right.

   First and foremost, a person who is terminally ill and is already unconscious cannot be called alive. True, his heart may be pumping fresh blood into arteries, letting the pulse beat soundly. However, does that actually matter if it is only due to the help of high-tech medical machinery? He has been on the most modern life-sustaining machine for weeks. He cannot see, hear or talk by himself. If I were him, I wouldn’t feel happy. Furthermore, I would even despair because I know I wouldn’t be able to feel happy again and die in agony before long. If only I could talk and tell them to kill me! I believe that the people whom I love would think in the same way were they in the same situation. I would like to find the common ground with them that we all have the right to "expire" when we have fallen terminally ill, have lost consciousness totally, and are highly unlikely to recover. I know that it will be a tough decision to make for the people around me when I am about to die, but I believe that we can reach a consensus if we put ourselves in a dying patient’s shoes.

   Now we are prepared to consider the second reason why society should embrace euthanasia as our innate right: that it will allow us to die with the least amount of suffering. I have just invited [challenged] you to imagine how a dying person on a machine feels, and hopefully we have agreed with this important point: If, and only if, he can do nothing but breathe, he cannot be called happy. More strictly, we can be convinced that, with a high degree of probability, he cannot be happy and that he hopes to die with dignity. If only he had made it clear that he didn’t want any life-sustaining care, and there were a social and legal system to let him die and rest in peace! No one wants to die with great pain. Everybody is going to die sooner or later, and some deaths will inevitably entail severe pain! Why not legalize euthanasia before it is too late?

   Every human being should have the right to have dignity, and we should want to stick to our dignity until the very end. Everyone wants to live happily; and the last thing we want would be a life on a life-sustaining machine, deprived of not only speech but also consciousness. Therefore, we should be endowed with the right to deal with the last stage of our own life as we like. (547 words)