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Arts 1007 Sample Draft Paragraph Does Democracy Appropriately Balance Individual Freedom with Other Concerns?

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ARTS 1007 Sample Draft Paragraph

Does democracy appropriately balance individual freedom with other concerns?

Topic: Euthanasia

Democracy is the champion of equality. Today, many nations of the world practice democracy as a form of government. It is because, democracy dignifies individual right to freedom in many ways. However, the role of democracy becomes less vibrant when it comes to balancing individual right to euthanasia. It is not because democracy is incapable; but because many other factors are involved which prevent democracy to appropriately balance individual freedom with other concerns. This essay will discuss how other factors that curtains democratic practices to allow an individual’s right to Euthanasia.

Euthanasia implies an individual’s right to end his life to relieve pain and suffering. Whether euthanasia is an individual’s right or not, this discourse has been a matter of interest in political and legal dealings. Today countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United States, have legalized Euthanasia. In Australia, “In the early hours of 25 May 1995 the Northern Territory passed the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995 (NT) - becoming the first jurisdiction in the world to permit a doctor to end the life of a terminally ill patient at their request” (Cica, n.d, para.01). However, according to The World Federation of Right to die Societies (n.d, para.04) “the first patient who wanted to use it, cancer sufferer Max Bell, could not get the signature of a specialist in his disease.” Many states opposed the act; and in 1997, the Australian Federal Parliament upper house overturned the law within a few years of its inaction. Australia is a democratic country. However, when it comes to euthanasia, the democratic role of Australia comes to a standstill.

In addition to this, in countries where euthanasia is legal, many legal requirements prevent the easy practice of euthanasia. “There is clear evidence from Netherlands (where euthanasia is free) that the strict guidelines requiring informed patient consent are frequently ignored and many such patients are subject to what is effectively involuntary euthanasia” (Harris, 2001, p.368). The pretext behind such lengthy legal artifacts is that the mental capacity of a patient at such crucial time is questionable. Although this makes a good pretext, but sometimes the motive of such rules roots back to practices of old superstitions and religious practices.

Moreover, the legalization of euthanasia can also lead to the decrease in autonomy of patients. No one wants to see their loved ones suffer because of them. It is our moral and ethical obligation. Morality requires that we strive to contribute to maximum welfare of others” Harris, 2001, p.367).

Nevertheless, almost all the developed countries are democratic; and, there is more freedom for individuals in these countries. Additionally, “in the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,001 American adults, 42 per cent of respondents are in favor of legalizing euthanasia in the United States, while 36 per cent oppose this notion” (Canseco, 2010, p.01). There are also financial advantages to the legalization of euthanasia. For instance, in 2017 in terms of per capita GDP growth Luxemburg and Switzerland were top two leading economies. Both these countries are democratic; and both have legalized euthanasia.

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