Life or Death
Published 13 Dec 2016
Right to life is something that most people will agree upon. Not simply because everyone agrees on its meaning and implication but because it is a positive right which is necessary to stay alive. On the other hand, the right to die is also a positive assertion but it connotes a negative action, thus people often disagree if it is necessary, beneficial and practical. The right to die is almost always discussed in issues which concerns, euthanasia, suicide, abortion and war. There is a prevalent view that since death is part of life then the right to die is a part of the right to life. Therefore if one will accept that all human beings have a right to life, then they also have a right to die.
Nonetheless, this view falls under the category of the logical fallacy known as ‘slippery slope’ wherein the arguer tries to argue that by admitting that statement A exists or is true, it follows that statement B also exists or is true; through a series of logical arguments or vagueness of the term (Curtis, 2008). Death can be viewed as a part of life yet some may argue that death is the end of life which is beyond life itself and therefore beyond the right to life argument. The right to life in itself is still under debate due to its application/s and implication/s. The basis of the legality of ‘right to life’ is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (United Nations, 2008).
This declaration and covenant are internationally acclaimed and adapted by their signatories who validate their respective legality in different countries and/or nations. With this in mind, it can be surmised that ‘right to life’ only exist legally in nations who are signatory of the UDHR and the ICCPR. The United States Declaration of Independence also mentioned that humans have inherent right to life; making right to life an inalienable legal right (UShistory.org, 2008).
I do not agree that death is a part of life. I believe that death is actually the termination of life or a point beyond life. Therefore, I also disagree with right to die in general which undermines the ability of a person o choose the time and manner of their own death. Nonetheless, there are cases wherein a person is better to die than to live; such as the case of (definite) terminally ill persons. Euthanasia is a more probable solution to be able to lessen pain, discomfort and financial burden to the whole family (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2008). In this case, a person may waived his rights, including his right to life and therefore choose the time and manner of his death. By joining the army or national defense, I believe that a person have already accepted the possibility of death in the course of duty. Aside from this two, I believe that a person do not and should not have the right to choose the manner and time of his/her death.
- Curtis, GN. (2008). Slippery Slope. Retrieved on October 28, 2008, from http://www.fallacyfiles.org/slipslop.html.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission. Right to Life. Retrieved on October 28, 2008.
- United Nation. (2008). Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Retrieved on October 27, 2008 from http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html.
- UShistory.org. (2008). The Declaration of Independence. Retrieved on October 28, 2008, from http://www.ushistory.org/Declaration/.