Euthanasia is a fundamental right for patients in Malaysia as it is not going against the Hippocratic Oath, promotes organ donation as well as it occurs with the patient’s consent.
A One reason why euthanasia should be legalized is because it does not violate the Hippocratic Oath.
1. Euthanasia does not violate the Principlism System of non-maleficence, which means no harm should be done. (Tharmaseelan, n.d.)
a) Instead of causing harm, euthanasia relieves ill patients from their suffering.
b) When no longer any medical treatments are capable of reducing the pain or curing the sickness, choosing euthanasia shall be the last resort. (Strinic, 2015, p. 4)
i) For instance, patients who suffer from muscular dystrophy who no longer want to receive any form of medical treatment.
B Another reason why euthanasia should be supported is it provides an opportunity to advocate for organ donation.
1. It can be seen from another perspective that euthanasia gave the choice of continuing to live for the patients who are in need of organs, other than to give the choice of terminating their life for the severely ill people. (Strinic, 2015, p7)
a) As an example, organs that are in good condition such as cornea and kidneys from muscular dystrophy patients can be donated.
2. Shorten the waiting list of organ needy patients.
a) Many cases that occurred where patients die still in the waiting list for an organ transplant.
i) Through this, many lives could be saved as one donor could donate more than one organ.
b) Malaysian’s organ donation rate is in among the lowest in the world. (The Star Online, 2016)
i) Dr Abdul Rahim said until August 2016, a total of 17, 458 people had signed up as donors yet the number only represents 1% of 30 million Malaysians.
ii) This can subtly raise awareness among Malaysians to join and become organ donors.
C The last resort why Euthanasia should be allowed is because it can only be carried on with the patient’s consent
1. The professionals who would be euthanizing the patients would not receive any personal gain. (Rachel, 1975).
a) The doctor’s main concern is to ensure the patient undergoes minimum amount of suffering.
2. The use of Euthanasia can only be done with the patient’s consent.
a) According to article 5 in the Federal Constitution, everyone has the right to live.
i) It is a common understanding that if someone has been given the right to do something, he too has the right to terminate the action.
ii) Not being able to live a joyous life reduces the meaning of living to only being able to exist in the world.
b) Patients have the right to die in dignity.
i) If an action promotes the best interests of everyone concerned and violates no one’s right then that action is morally acceptable which in some cases, euthanasia promotes the best interests of everyone involved and violates no one’s rights (BBC).
c) The action shall only be carried out with the voluntarily made request through thoughtful and repeated basis, not from being pressure of making the decision.
(Strinic, 2015, p. 6)
The choice of euthanasia to end sufferings should be patients of Malaysia’s fundamental right as it does not violate the Hippocratic Oath, supports organ donation and it can be only be done with the patient’s consent. With proper conduct, euthanasia can have a bright future in helping to end sufferings.