Euthanasia is seen in different ways by different people. Sometimes it is viewed in different ways by the same person. Things happen in a person's life that can dramatically change how they feel about something. It has long been performed on cats and dogs when they are terminally ill with no hope of a cure.
People who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness in unbearable pain know death is coming. Holding onto life may be seen theoretically as noble and showing great strength of character. For the people who love that person letting go may be impossible to contemplate. Knowing the person is dying and there is no way to stop it from happening sets euthanasia apart from murder.
When you love someone intensely losing them is a heartbreak that will last a lifetime. Someone living with pain so great medications can only ease and not eliminate is heart wrenching. The absolute panic stricken ice cold terror that death can happen at any time to someone can only be described as horrific. It is why knowing what the person themselves would want to happen is so extremely important.
There are ways that euthanasia can be done for all the wrong reasons. People get old and can no longer take care of themselves. Family members don't want the responsibility of being a caretaker. They don't want their inheritance wasted in their opinion on someone who is not sticking around no matter what they do. Doctors and hospitals who don't want to waste time and resources on a dying patient when there are others with better chances of survival. For this reason there needs to be strict laws governing the process.
Euthanasia is not an alternative to suicide. People going through emotional, financial or other problems are committing suicide. Death is final and there is no way to change your mind. There have been many reasons why people would want to commit suicide but those reasons fade with time. Once a person is dead there is no chance for a new beginning with better results in the future. The point is for people contemplating suicide there is a future.
The only consideration should be the person who is dying. I myself would not want to live in a vegetative state trapped in a body that no longer functioned. I have heard people say that life is sacred and that only God can determine when death should occur. That it is an inspiration to see people in this state bravely carrying on in spite of everything they are going through. I doubt the person they are referring to feels the same way.
When my cat Joy became so ill that death became inevitable I had her put to sleep. It broke my heart but the idea of her living in unbearable pain was even more heartbreaking. Her pain ripped through me in ways that can not be described. When she died her pain was over but mine unfortunately was not. As a childless woman Joy was more of an adopted child than a household pet. Someone to love and let lose all those deep maternal instincts on.
If the thought of being humane to cats and dogs is enough to justify euthanasia how much more important is it for people? Living is about quality of life and the ability to have a life. It is not just about breathing and bodily functions.