Explain religious and ethical arguments in favour of Euthanasia

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Explain religious and ethical arguments in favour of Euthanasia

Under the theory of Utilitarianism, Doctors are obliged to do the thing that will generate the most good for the all people involved; Doctors also have to respect a patient’s autonomy, for example, by giving them the right to refuse treatment even if, in their opinion, this is not the best option. Therefore, if a patient wanted Euthanasia, and it seemed that it was best not only for the suffering patient, but also the family and friends, the Doctor would have no reason to prevent Euthanasia. However, there is no way of accurately anticipating the outcome of an action and there is always a risk that what was thought to be the best action has unforeseen consequences. In preference Utilitarianism, a person should do what they think is best for the patient regardless of their wishes. So if a patient wants Euthanasia but still has a good chance of survival, then a Doctor could refuse despite their wishes. Are we asking too much of a doctor to decide what’s best for all concerned? Many people argue that matters of life and death are best left to God as a human cannot be a truly impartial judge.

Some Christians argue in favour of Euthanasia as they believe it demonstrates the compassion and Christian Agape that Jesus told us to practice when he commands us to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Mathew Ch 5). If you were experiencing intolerable pain and suffering then you would want someone to help you end that suffering with dignity through Euthanasia. Jesus said that people could have “life in all its fullness” (John 10, 10), if we have a right to a good quality of life then surely we have the right to end it when life is no longer enjoyable.  Death is preferable to living a miserable life.

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The idea of Christian agape is linked to situation ethics as they both promote always doing the most loving thing, which, in the case of a suffering patient, would be to allow euthanasia. However, this can be difficult to apply as it is subjective, dependant on the merits of each individual situation. For example, a baby born severely brain damaged that will only have a short, painful life, who will have to have constant care form parents and doctors is completely different to a cancer patient who simply wants to speed up the process of dyeing, though both of these ...

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