• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
  21. 21

Euthanasia and types of euthanasia

Extracts from this document...


Introduction In the UK, a lot of ideas for improving the lot of the disadvantaged has been formulated although the lead is not always maintained. Doctors are believed to be giving their patients euthanasia far too often and the law however takes no perception of euthanasia; whether the motive is merciful or merciless and greedy, the deliberate taking of life is classed as murder. Arguments about euthanasia often hinge on the 'right to life' and the 'right to die'. The first is a widely accepted basic human right and moral value, based on the fact that people generally want to live. But the question is, what should be done to those who are seriously ill or in vegetative state and no longer wants to live? A century ago, most people died quite quickly if they had serious injuries or illnesses. Nowadays they can be treated, sometimes cured, and often kept alive almost indefinitely. Codes of conduct formulated centuries ago, for example the Hippocratic oath, cannot necessarily help us with twenty-first century problems of medical ethics. In this project, I will outline the issues and views from Religious groups, different cultures, and medical opinion on the above. I will follow a survey which will be conducted by the public and will help establish their views. Chapter One Euthanasia and types of euthanasia Euthanasia comes from two Greek words whose literal meaning is 'well death'. Today it is also referred to as 'mercy killing' and is understood as causing or bringing about a person's death painlessly, usually because the person is suffering greatly, terminally or irreversibly ill, severely mentally or physically disabled. (Donnelan 1995). Superficially it can seem an ideal solution for some people with particularly distressing problems, the elderly, and such. Euthanasia is one of the biggest controversies of this decade. It originally meant 'a gentle and easy death' but is now used to mean 'the act of inducing the painless death of a person for reasons assumed to be merciful. ...read more.


Every individual is seen as unique not just in a logical sense but also in a special sense defined by his or her destiny. The right to make the ultimate decision of life and death will be vested in the community rather than the individual. Accordingly, the societies have an abundance of both ordinary and special procedures forwarding off premature death. Medical advances in sustaining life have outpaced society's ability to deal with the profound legal, ethical, and moral aspects of issues surrounding euthanasia. The medical profession and the patient's family have been allowed to determine the courses of action for a terminally ill patient who has raised society's awareness and forced it to recognize the ethical and moral implications. The medical profession is split on the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia and a large majority of doctors (60 per cent) say that they would draw the line at assisting the suicide of patients who were severely mentally disabled but not terminally ill. Chapter Five Pro Euthanasia and Anti Euthanasia Issues Very few people in Britain are at either ends of the debate over euthanasia, asserting either a person's right to die at will or a prohibition against being able to opt for death regardless of the circumstances. The vast majority falls in between, supporting euthanasia in certain qualified circumstances. For example is a survey carried out in UK which showed that 82% of people would support a law allowing doctors to end the life of someone with a 'painful incurable disease', up to 75% who took the view about ten years ago. At the other extreme, only 12% think law should allow euthanasia for someone who is 'simply tired of living and wishes to die. 51% would legalise euthanasia for a person 'who is not in much pain nor in danger of death, but becomes permanently and completely dependant on relatives for all their needs'. ...read more.


in the "best interests" of patients who could not speak for themselves, such as newborns, disabled, people with Alzheimer's disease and those disabled by a stroke. Doctors however must first judge against a set of criteria whether the patient is benefiting from being kept alive. John Harris (Nursing Times 1995) argues that killing is wrong when it involves depriving someone of something he or she values. Therefore, if a person requests death because his or her life is no longer valuable to him or her, voluntary euthanasia would be unjustified. However, this argument could not support involuntary euthanasia, as only the person deprived of life can decide whether or not its quality is still valuable to him or her. Summary In conclusion, while recognising the importance of individual patient autonomy, history has clearly demonstrated that legalised euthanasia poses serious risks to society as a whole. We also need to recognise that requests for voluntary euthanasia are extremely rare in situations where the physician emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients are properly met. Doctors on the other hand have power over their patients, which must not be abused and so if they become killers, patients would become afraid to go into hospital. As from the information gathered, the doctor may be most helpful when asserting the value and the meaning of life, when that has been lost to the patient or those around him or her. Introducing death therefore is a very major change and so to my opinion, legalisation would bring about fear and further anxiety to the already tense situation of serious illness especially to those with disabilities. I do feel that it is our responsibility to meet the real needs of the terminally ill and not to justify an opinion or to support a position. Each individual is different, and needs a different answer. We need to get alongside people and to respond to the challenge of their specific life-situation with life-affirming responses. Death is no answer to any need. ...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 ...

    out whether a person's age or gender or religion can affect their view on Euthanasia. The death of a loved one may have a major affect on a person's opinion of Euthanasia and whether or not they believe it should be legalized.

  2. To what Extent was Hitler’s Euthanasia policy a distinct “Nazi” Policy?

    According to a letter, the people were unaware at the time that they would be going to their imminent deaths.6Although the T4 personnel tried not to arouse suspicion, this was however inevitable as there were thousands of deaths of institutionalised people and other similar death causes.

  1. Does Euthanasia Have A Place In A Civilised Society, Or Is It Simply Legalised ...

    Euthanasia will lead to many incidents similar to Dr Harold Shipmen's. Another point which must be taken into consideration, is that euthanasia represents suicide. There is no difference between euthanasia and suicide and most religions are strongly against suicide. Take Islam for example, the Quar'an says "Every human being belongs

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

    The body is a temple (sacred place) dedicated to God for him to use; 'Don't you know that you are God's temple and that God's spirit lives in you. If anyone destroys God's temple then God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred and you are that temple' (Corinthians 3v 16,17).

  1. The Legal Position On Euthanasia around the World.

    Australia Euthanasia is now illegal in Australia although it was once made legal by the Terminally Ill Act 1995. These laws were overridden by the 1997 euthanasia Law Act. Exit international are constantly campaiging for changes but television adverts were banned before they were aired.

  2. Should Euthanasia be legalised in the UK? One of the biggest controversies in ...

    It can express a patient's thoughts towards future medical treatment, it allows anyone capable of making decisions to tell doctors beforehand if they do not wish to be put on life support. We choose to do this for different reasons: religious beliefs or because of pain and suffering that we would endure.

  1. Why is Euthanasia such a controversial issue?

    Cost should never be a reason to end a person?s life. If euthanasia ever became available it would inevitably undermine the proper financing of health services for the elderly and disabled. Expensive and complicated operations might not be appropriate for an elderly person in the final stages of life, but

  2. Should Voluntary Euthanasia be allowed in the U.K.?

    Even after many operations, he was left unable to move his body other than his fingers?. As with every debate, there are pros and cons for both sides of the argument. One of the arguments against euthanasia is that some people get better.

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