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RE euthanasia for and against

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Ought Euthanasia be legalised INTRODUCTION Euthanasia means a good or happy death and comes from the Greek, 'eu' and 'thanatos' which mean good death. It can be seen as mercy killing or murder depending on which view is taken on it. There are different types of euthanasia which include, active euthanasia, which is purposely ending the life of a patient with something specific e.g. by lethal injection. Passive euthanasia, which is taking away any treatment that is prolonging the patients life e.g. switching off a life support machine. Voluntary euthanasia is when the patient asks to terminate their life. Involuntary euthanasia is when the decision to end the life is taken for the person by another as they are incapable of expressing their view. Assisted suicide is providing the necessary components so another can end their life. ETHICAL QUESTIONS Euthanasia poses several ethical questions in which some defend euthanasia and others contradict it. When asked to terminate another being's life, it could be argued that you are maintaining their dignity so that they do not have to suffer so it is right for us to keep their dignity from them and prevent euthanasia to be legalised? Another question contradicts this one by asking is it right to terminate a person's life if they want to live on and keep their dignity in that way? Situation ethics could also be brought in when it could be said that we have to act in the most loving way even if we have to commit an immoral act, could this still be regarded as moral even though we are terminating a life? We could argue that doctors are 'playing God' by being able to end a life and if doctors can do this, then where is the line drawn to set a limit on what we can and cannot do in a medical context? LEGAL STANDING Euthanasia is illegal in the UK despite various Bills that have been put forward such as the assisted dying for the terminally ill bill1, which was discussed by the BMA and rejected by two thirds of the doctors. ...read more.


In this case, doing the right thing is to not allow for the legalisation of euthanasia. DEONOTLOGICAL ETHICS For deontological ethics, the important thing is not the result, but how we get there. If the action is wrong to start of with, do not do it at all. They would say that we should not kill because the act of killing is wrong in itself. If we take an example of torturing a prisoner who has valuable information, they would be opposed to it no matter the outcome because the act of torture is bad. When applied to euthanasia, they would hold the view that we cannot end someone's life because the act of ending someone's life is not right even if the consequence is good. FOR EUTHANASIA (including keeping dignity) Euthanasia is already a legal practice in countries such as Switzerland and the Netherlands. Keeping someone alive with medical treatment knowing that they will not survive is costly. Although brutal, the fact still remains that giving them the option of euthanasia can greatly reduce hospital bills, costs for other patients and provide more free beds. It can be argued that the opportunity of euthanasia can allow people to maintain their dignity if they do not want to allow their family to see them like this or want to stop being what they might perceive as a burden. The human rights declaration states, "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression"15. This includes the freedom of being able to choose whether or not they should be able to die or not, when they choose. The humanist16 Thomas More argued that if one is undergoing "a torturing and lingering pain... they may choose rather to die since they cannot live in much misery"17. It seems that More is arguing that euthanasia is a merciful and loving option even if it does end a life. ...read more.


unthinkable becoming accepted."23 There is a significant difference between terminating someone's life on mutual terms and simply going ahead and doing it without permission. "A 1998 study found that doctors who are cost-conscious and 'practice resource-conserving medicine' are significantly more likely to write a lethal prescription for terminally-ill patients".24 CONCLUSION In conclusion, there is no way we could accurately and conclusively predict the effects of euthanasia. If we were to claim that it would go badly, we can look at Netherlands or Switzerland and see that things run smoothly over there. We could equally use the example of Harold Shipman and argue that his type of abuse of the system can be repeated by other doctors but even more dramatically and often, as they would have the law to support them. Euthanasia is a topical issue that will constantly be discussed and put forward as an option by people. However, for now, people (such as the 163 to 88 doctors rejecting the 'assisted dying for the terminally ill' bill as explained previously) will favour opposing it, as at the moment, it seems as if the system currently intact is working and there is no decisive reason to change it to change it would. The question still posed is why do people still want to turn to euthanasia if there are alternatives? The answer is that euthanasia will end it all and cause no burden on the families or prolong the person's suffering no matter how the hospices make it feel or how much the TENS machine buffer the pain. Euthanasia is a realistic option based on its alternatives, it should be legalised. The argument that brings the euthanasia dispute to a dilemma, is what happens if a mistake is made? What happens if a patient it misdiagnosed, opts for euthanasia? We cannot bring someone back when they are dead but we can help them while they are alive. "Suffering, especially during the last moments of life, has a special place in God's saving plan"25. ...read more.

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