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'Acceptance of the practice of voluntary Euthanasia is incompatible with the Christian belief in the sanctity of life but not with the attitudes of some ethical philosophers or some doctors'. Discuss.

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Introduction

'Acceptance of the practice of voluntary Euthanasia is incompatible with the Christian belief in the sanctity of life but not with the attitudes of some ethical philosophers or some doctors'. Discuss. Euthanasia comes from two Greek words- Eu meaning 'well' and thanatos- meaning 'death'. It means a 'painless, happy death.' This meaning can be broadened to mean 'termination of human life by painless means for the purpose of ending severed physical suffering' and others choose to call Euthanasia 'Mercy Killing' Euthanasia can be classified into a number of categories. Voluntary euthanasia is the request and consent of the dying person and is usually made on the grounds that death is preferable to the suffering faced by the person. It is based on expected results, relief from anticipated pain. It may relate to the physical or emotional pain that the patient experiences or the suffering of those around the patient. There are many campaigning groups that want Voluntary euthanasia to be legalised in the United Kingdom. One of these groups is Exit, which is the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. They stated 'an adult person suffering from a severe illness, for which no relief is known should be entitled by law to the mercy of a painless death, if and only if that is their own request.' The right to life generates certain duties in others. Two of these being the duty of service and the duty of non-interference. The duty of service allows people to claim certain duties. These may be claimed of those who are in the business of seeing life is sustained, such as doctors and nurses. The duty of non-interference requires that nobody should interfere in another's life in a way that may threaten it. Both duties presuppose that being alive is valuable in itself and is worth preserving; to save someone's life or at least not shorten it in anyway is to benefit that person. ...read more.

Middle

fruitful; Prohibits suicide on the grounds that suicide rejects God's sovereignty and plan, refuses to love self, denies the natural instinct to love and avoids the duties of justice and charity. It seems impermissible in catholic religion to kill someone else. The Catholics state that 'suffering has a special place in God's plan of salvation'. Death is thought to be unavoidable and we should be ready to accept it with full responsibility as the end of an earthy existence and as the opening to immortal life. Christian views on Euthanasia aren't so black and white. This can be seen in the exceptions to euthanasia that they believe in, for instance the double effect, somebody dying from the administration of drugs to help relieve pain, many Christians would have no problem accepting this. People who don't agree with Voluntary Euthanasia argue that if it was legalised it would damage moral and social foundations of society by removing traditional principles such as men should not kill. This would reduce the respect for human life. However the idea we should not kill is not an absolute view, even for those with religious beliefs for example self defence or killing in war, is justified by most. Currently in society we let people die because they're allowed to refuse treatment, which could save their lives. This has not damaged anyone's respect for the worth of human life. The Christian protestant view of euthanasia tends to be slightly more relaxed. A much lower percentage of Protestants disagree with euthanasia because putting a person through unnecessary pain is sometimes deemed wrong. This is the theory that 'the end justifies the means'. In Diane Pretty's case0 that she would die certainly, the outcome was certain so the means, the way in which she died should be as dignified as possible. There is a significant and growing percentage of agnostics, atheists, humanists, secularists and ethical philosophers that do not accept the theologically based arguments. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the future the United Kingdom will most probably listen to the majority and turn also to this form of medical practice. Provisions should be made though to make sure that the country doesn't suffer from the same problems that the Netherlands has encountered. It is hard to decide whom we follow in judging euthanasia. Many philosophers hold different views, some academic ones arguing for changes in the law whilst others expressing deep concerns. Doctors are also the same in deciding euthanasia in that many hold different views. Every Christian denomination has their own opinion on the subject of euthanasia but the Roman Catholic opinion stands out more strongly than the rest. They believe that euthanasia is totally wrong and any act that deliberately brings death is seen as murder whether or not it was done for kindness. They believe that it is sometimes acceptable to give drugs to relieve pain, which may end up shortening the life of a person. They also strongly emphasise the fact sick people do need and deserve special care while they are ill and so shouldn't be discarded of just because some may die. Values of patient well-being and self determination that support a patients right to refuse any life sustaining treatment appear to support active voluntary euthanasia.13 The problem is whether the government will choose to listen to the standing traditional churches, or the people of the country. And if they do listen to the people of the country whether or not they will make sure people don't abuse Euthanasia. It seems however though that, as with most things, people will find a way to get around the law to satisfy their sometimes-selfish needs. 4 Singer, P, Practical Ethics: Cambridge University Press 1979 11 New England Journal of Medicine: Ganzini et al, N Engl J Med, Vol.37, No.8, 582-588 12 1989 when he was crushed at the Hillsborough Disaster. He was in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for four years 13 D.Brock, 'Death and Dying', in Medical Ethics, edited by R. Veatch (Boston: Jones and Bartlett, 1989), 347-348 1 ...read more.

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