Euthanasia is still a very delicate topic to discuss. People all over the world have divergent opinions on it with some supporting this practice and others opposing it. Some of these stands have no concrete facts to support them; the public always comments about it based on their personal opinions. Some of the staunch opponents of euthanasia are the religious leaders who would never accept any statement that seeks to explain the positive concept of euthanasia. An article entitled “Euthanasia Is a Bad Law by Bad People” appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald website on 1st February 2011. The article’s title is a quote from the speech of the Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher. During a mass at St Mary's Cathedral, he strongly opposed euthanasia saying that bad laws are often made by bad people and in turn make people bad (Leesha, Para 4 ). The Bishop went ahead and gave a warning to the legal fraternity that euthanasia was against the ideals of justice and charity, and thus it would corrupt the society (Leesha, Para 1). Bishop Anthony also added that even if such a proposal went ahead and gained a parliamentary majority support, it shall still not be right (Leesha, Para3).
In Bishop’s sentiments, a lot of fallacies can be pointed out. For instance, when he said that ''Bad laws are usually made by bad people and in turn make people bad'', he overlooked a lot of facts for he has not done any investigation to find out if all the proponents of euthanasia are bad people or whether embracing the concept of euthanasia makes people bad. In his comments, Bishop Anthony was solely motivated by his emotions and feelings but not by any scientifically proven concept. Thus, he should have simply said that the concept is not right without referring to supporters as bad people. The Bishop also said that parliamentary support would not make euthanasia right without taking into account that parliament consists of the law makers who make laws that are right before the Constitution. He did not realize that members of the parliament are professionals in law making; hence, they cannot make laws that may hurt the citizens. The Bishop also pointed out that legalizing euthanasia is “the killing of those who suffer by those who are okay, of the vulnerable by those in power, of the sick by those professed to heal them” (Leesha, Para 9). These opinions are full of fallacy for euthanasia is only used to those patients who willed so or those whose relatives have formally requested the procedure. In fact, the main aim of euthanasia is to relieve the dying from unnecessary pain.
In response to Bishop Anthony’s utterances, a NSW Greens MP, Cate Faehrmann, said that the Bishop’s remarks were a case of an “out-of-touch commentator driven by out-of-touch ideology” (Leesha, Para 8). This sentence is a fallacy as Mr. Anthony might have been wrong or insensitive in his comments, but he may not be an out-of-touch commentator with an outdated ideology. Even if the Bishop was wrong about euthanasia, not all of his ideas may be irrelevant.
In another scenario that also involves the topic of euthanasia, Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick, an anti-euthanasia advocate, responded to a speech by Professor Etienne Vermeersch on CNN website (Kevin n.p.). From his written article, it is evident that he was irritated by the professors’ comments. Both Kevin and the Professor’s sentences are full of fallacy; for instance, Professor Etienne is quoted saying that any man without arms or legs is rather dead than living (Kevin, Para 3). This opinion is not sensible at all, because there are many people who lack various body parts but still have a normal life. The professor is speaking on their behalf without their authorization, which, as a result, gives the sense of inaccurate information. Mr. Kevin, on the other hand, shows some fallacy. He writes that the Professor said that “Disabled people, old people, adults made vulnerable by terminal illnesses inclusive of the children are being told that their lives are not worth living” (Kevin, Para 1). He is putting it in a way that would imply that all the disabled, elderly, vulnerable, and children can be just euthanized without their consent, something which the Professor might have not meant.
In another article entitled “Belgium’s Parliament Votes Through Child Euthanasi” posted on British Broadcasting Corporation website on 14 February 2014, Duncan Crawford reports on Belgium’s legalization of child euthanasia and the general public’s reaction towards the new enactment. The opponents argue that children do not have the permission to take away their lives, and thus the law is not right (Duncan, Para 4). As much as it true that children cannot decide whether to die or live, it is a fallacy to say that they should be left to suffer to death even after the confirmation that their chances for survival are nil. In some instances, if those children could speak, they would request for euthanasia. As it has been observed, the same article indicates that one man in the public gallery of Belgium's parliament yelled ”murderer” in French when the vote was passed (Duncan, Para 8). That statement is fallacious in nature for the speaker cannot provide any evidence to legitimize his argument.
The concept of euthanasia was introduced to help both the patients and their suffering families. Therefore, it does not qualify as a murder when it is done for a medical reason and with the consent of the relatives and according to the patient’s will.
McKenny, Leesha. “Euthanasia a Bad Law by Bad People, Says Bishop.” The Sydney Morning Herald Magazine, 1 Feb 2011. Web 17 Sept 2014.
Fitzpatrick, Kevin. “Euthanasia: We Can Live Without It… “
Cables News Network, 27 Nov 2013, Web 17 Sept 2014.
Crawford, Duncan. “Belgium’s Parliament votes Through Child Euthanasia.”
British Broadcasting Corporation, 31 Feb 2014. Web 17 Sept 2014.
Biggs, Hazel. Euthanasia, Death with Dignity and the Law. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2001.