Explain the case for voluntary euthanasia.

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Explain the case for voluntary euthanasia. [35]

Euthanasia can be defined as, “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma.” When considering euthanasia we must consider the difference between acts of commission and acts of omission. Acts of omission is when something is deliberately not done, e.g. not giving a blood transfusion and just perhaps leaving the person to die – this would not be classified as euthanasia. The BMA (British Medical Association) recognises a distinction between withholding treatment that may become burdensome on the patient and deliberately bringing a person’s life to an end. Voluntary euthanasia is an act of commission; a positive, deliberate action e.g. administering tablets deliberately to bring death.

There are many that would support assisted dying but not assisted suicide, although the two are closely linked. Assisted dying only applies to terminally ill, mentally competent adults and requires the dying patient, after meeting strict legal safeguards, to self administer life-ending medication. Assisted dying is legalised and regulated in the US States of Oregon and Washington. Voluntary euthanasia, on the other hand, allows a doctor to administer life ending medication directly to the patient. Voluntary euthanasia is permitted in the Netherlands and Belgium.
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Many ethical theories and in favour of this kind and believe it can be an ethical choice. In examining the reasons behind this, a good place to start is the Utilitarian view.

The basic principles of this theory seeks through, moral decisions, to bring the greatest amount of happiness to the greatest number of people. When seeking a solution to a moral dilemma you take into account the consequences and the potential consequences of this issue of euthanasia and decide on balance the action that is going to work to the advantage of all concerned. The idea ...

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