The right to die: the place of religion, ethics and the law
Life is the state of being alive; it is a prominent feature of any living being. There is a popular saying by some people that a life of pain, sorrow, unhappiness, anguish or acute pain is not worth living. For this set of people, death is perceived as a sweet and welcome relief. Death on the other hand is a journey every mortal must embark on. However, when it is prayed for or hastened because of the acute pain experienced, it changes the colouration of everything and tampers with the cycle of life which naturally starts with life and ends in death. The issue of ‘right to die’ and end-of-life-decisions deeply rooted in the concept of euthanasia has generated so much heated debates raising ethical, legal, religious issues among the dying, their care givers, the government and society at large. The concept of euthanasia is a debatable one, so many questions are raised; Does the government have the right to prolong one’s life by artificial means whether one desire it or not? What exactly does life entail? Does it mean mere existence? Or does it include a meaningful life? These are some of the issues that are considered. The overall objective of this paper is to provide a better understanding of the concept as euthanasia will be considered from the religious, ethical, legal and global perspectives.
Keywords: Euthanasia, Right to die, PVS