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Using any of the normative theories learnt in class, critically evaluate two arguments for voluntary euthanasia.

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Introduction

Euthanasia Using any of the normative theories learnt in class, critically evaluate two arguments for voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is when a person, who is terminally ill, consents willingly to euthanasia. The patient is usually dependant on life support or is suffering from unbearable pain. Euthanasia is a controversial issue as it is the killing of a patient suffering from an incurable disease by another person, a choice which is sometimes out of the patient's control. It eliminates the possibility of a "miracle" cure or continued future for the patient. Using the normative theory of Utilitarianism, where the most amount of pleasure is derived from the most number of people, when a terminally ill patient is a financial burden on his family; more people, in this case, the patient's relatives who are funding his treatment, are spared from this burden if the patient undergoes euthanasia, and they experience the most amount of relief. ...read more.

Middle

In addition, spending a large amount of resources on a single patient by a hospital may deprive others of a chance to be treated with equal attention or equal quality of healthcare; it is more effective to be able to save many lives instead of expanding money and manpower on a single patient who might not live. Being able to give professional service to a bigger number of people serves the greater good and results in more happiness experienced by more people, as opposed to having only one patient benefit from this service. Kant's deontological theory advocates that the ends do not justify the means, and that we should treat another person and ourselves as an end, and not as a means to an end. ...read more.

Conclusion

This supports voluntary euthanasia, where the patient knows of the consequences of euthanasia, and not involuntary or non-voluntary euthanasia, where the patient does not have control over his right to live. Involuntary euthanasia is when the person undergoes euthanasia without his consent, and non-voluntary euthanasia is when the patient is unable to make the decision for himself, possibly due to a mental disability. However, if euthanasia is too common a practice, it might escalate to a situation where non-voluntary euthanasia is the norm, for the mere sake of convenience by the medical practitioner. The medical practitioner might also be faced with obstacles if he asked for consent, and if he proceeded with euthanasia, it would be classified as murder. In conclusion, voluntary euthanasia is an ethical practice, as substantiated by the above claims. ...read more.

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