By: Ashley Ann Bryan, Comments Editor, J.D. Candidate, December 2019, St. Thomas University School of Law.

With the growth of technology and great advancement of modern-day medicine, there should be a reconsideration of the legality and use of euthanasia. However, there continues to be a reluctance in this regard, while the legality and support of capital punishment continue to strive in the state of Florida. In his paper Douglas A. Blunt poses an important question: “can one consistently be both opposed to . . . euthanasia and in favor of capital punishment?

The similarities are stark. For example, both are carried out through the administering of Lethal injection. “[T]his injection is a common procedure in both practices, but it requires trained skills to perform it properly.” And as a result, both including the killing, whether it be for the mercy of a terminally ill and suffering patient, or as a punishment or consequence. And in both cases, mistakes are a possibility, whether it be a mistake in diagnosis on the part of a medical practitioner or the mistake in guilt decided by a jury or the court. Nevertheless, the point remains, both forms have great similarities and supports compelling arguments, however, what differentiates the two so much that one is more understanding to society as opposed to the other? And ironically, why is it that the more ghastly of the two is legal in Florida today?

The primary difference that should bear the maximum weight in comparison and the ultimate decision between allowing to have one over the other is that capital punishment involves the action of ending a persons’ life as punishment for a crime where death was not imminent. Whereas on the other hand, euthanasia is done in an effort to ease pain and accelerating the inevitable in the interest of the patient.

Note, this post is not posing that capital punishment in Florida to be abolished, however, it highlights the absurdity of being open to legalizing one over the other. This state and many others who do the same must reconsider the feasibility of implementing and legalizing euthanasia as times and technology have, and continue to change. Same as the technology of the death penalty has evolved in regards to choices of chemicals and means of execution, a forward-thinking solution can be made for the imputation of euthanasia. For example, a humanist philosopher A. C. Grayling has offered the thought of a “thanatologists: medical professionals specialized in human euthanasia.”