• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Choose a case which you consider to be of crucial importance for medical ethics and the law. Explain why you consider that it is so significant, with a focus on the critical evaluation of judicial reasoning in your chosen case, as well as cases preceding

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Choose a case which you consider to be of crucial importance for medical ethics and the law. Explain why you consider that it is so significant, with a focus on the critical evaluation of judicial reasoning in your chosen case, as well as cases preceding and following it. The case which I have chosen to study, is that of Diane Pretty v United Kingdom (2346/02), a case that went through the English judicial system and on to the European Court of Human Rights. The reason for this is that it challenges both ethical and legal aspects of our society that are considered to be norms and as such are vehemently protected and which some critics may say should not be questioned, any such questioning being morally wrong and distasteful. But as it will be shown it is not an isolated case, that of an individual with beliefs and a want for euthanasia or "assisted suicide" that cause much controversy and legal difficulty. The very fact that this case finished in the European Court of Human Rights is perhaps a testimony to this very point. Further more it is not uncommon in other societies for such practices to actually be carried out. The Netherlands being one example of this, in which it was believed that approximately two fifths of the deaths in a year, roughly 50,000 were due to euthanasia, with the individuals concerned having their lives shortened by varying degrees, anything from a few days to a few months or more1. ...read more.

Middle

While it may be argued that in turn it ignores other important principles such as non-malfeasance, it may well be that over all this is the most beneficial of all options, not only to the patient but to society as a whole, relieving the individual, the relatives and society of the very real burden of having to care for such an individual. A utilitarian approach, but one that helps to justify the practice of euthanasia, or euthanasia in its passive form at the very least. Though a point to note is when some one is in a PSV can you really determine an individuals best interest, surely they will be indifferent to all that goes on. This highlights the idea of why "living wills" may be of some use, this is discussed below. Again looking at the idea of acting in the patient's best interests it is useful to look at the case of the conjoined twins6. Here it was deemed acceptable for a medical procedure to separate two twins, Jodie and Mary to be performed knowing that the weaker of them would die. The reasons for this were if they remained together they were both sure to die but should they be separated the stronger of the two would survive and live the remainder of it's life in better health. In effect it was removing the life sustaining equipment from the weaker twin so that it could be relieved from a short and somewhat troubled life, justified by saying that she would die not because she was intentionally killed, but because her own body cannot sustain her life7. ...read more.

Conclusion

In cases proceeding it there is a clear conceptual difference that appears. When the issue concerns passive euthanasia society and law can allow it, perhaps because in the case of refusing treatment it is the natural event that will be the factor that causes death, an event for which no moral blame need be attached to one single person. It alleviates the individual and family of their anguish, releases valuable medical resources that may make the difference in saving another's life, and can act as another source of "medicine" at the doctors disposal when acting in the patients best interest. The idea of "living wills" also arises, documents in which an individual can express their wishes and exercise their autonomy before an event occurs, providing more certainty for doctors and their patients. However when it comes to active euthanasia it brings about the idea of infringing areas of life that the criminal justice system has been designed to protect, the deliberate and wilful ending of a life. It is there for a reason to, to prevent involuntary acts of euthanasia. The idea of making someone kill you may be one perceptual step in the reasoning for it's continued denial. When the end result is the same though, it is perhaps bizarre how society can justify one method easier than the another, perhaps we spend to much time focusing on living, in which law and medicine have become intimately bound, to preserve and enhance our stake in the world while the issue of death still remains peripheral to this process10. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Euthanasia section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Euthanasia essays

  1. My hypothesis: Euthanasia should be legalized in the UK.I am going to answer a ...

    She was 13 years old and lived a happy life with my family and we finally decided to have her put down. I believe this is nearly, if not the same as Euthanasia but one is legal and the other isn't" I agree with her because we end animal's lives

  2. 'Acceptance of the practice of voluntary Euthanasia is incompatible with the Christian belief in ...

    The Roman Catholic Church is opposed to Euthanasia because in their eyes it is seen as murder. The Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae said that all human life is sacred and that all men must recognise that fact. The Church's concern is to bring light and life of Christ

  1. Is Euthanasia morally acceptable?

    Implying that people should be forced to stay alive for the sake of their relatives and to protect them from emotional harm. Overall I believe that people should not be forced to stay alive on the basis that if their life is in dire straights and it is their decision and their decision should be respected.

  2. Euthanasia B

    Volunteer's opinion on Euthanasia. By volunteering the person dying feels loved and doesn't feel like they want to die. God gave every one a voice and that voice should be heard no matter the person's age. 'Show respect for old people and honour them.'

  1. What is euthanasia?

    Specialised care giving is also available if organic changes in the brain lead to a coma or dementia. Hospices are a way of helping the needy before God. It is a good deed from people to God and shows God that Christians appreciate what God has given them, "So God

  2. What are the religious and ethical considerations to the issue of euthanasia?

    Human life is a gift from God. We are stewards of this gift, not owners. It is our responsibility to nurture it, respect it, and protect it. Human life has value regardless of its nature or quality. Life has special dignity and worth.

  1. Brian Clark uses a number of techniques to dramatise the Euthanasia Debate in his ...

    Next in the hierarchy is Dr. Scott, a fresh-faced relatively new doctor, who as previously mentioned is a lot more interested in the feelings of the patients and the grey areas and ethics than Dr. Emerson is. She is overruled by Dr.

  2. Evaluate the Ethical Arguments For and Against Voluntary Euthanasia

    There are several other aspects of personhood including the ability to communicate and interact with others and also to have personal autonomy, or the ability to make your own decisions. Most western countries admit the death of a person when they are brain dead.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work