Religion and Bioethics: Physician Assisted Suicide, a Religious Perspective

2205 WordsApr 8, 20139 Pages
The article I read examined the link between bioethics and religion in regards to Physician-Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia. Specifically, it made an obvious point of defining the distinction between killing and letting one die. In addition, it focused on the link between Faith and Reason, the development of tradition throughout history, modern statements on this ethical dilemma, and then drew conclusions based upon these analyses. These are all significant points to consider when attempting to determine the morality of physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia. In order to fully understand the “euthanasia debate,” it is crucial to look at our two main theoretical camps: deontological or “Kantian” ethics, and teleological or “utilitarian”…show more content…
That is, that everyone affected is to be considered equally. This feature alone makes it possible for actions to be declared moral based upon their consequences without taking motives into question. The best way to illustrate this key difference between deontological and teleological theories is by examining Philippa Foot’s trolley problem. Overall, this illustration attempts to clarify under what circumstances it would be morally just for one person to violate the rights of another for the purpose of benefiting the group. In doing so it helps one essentially justify harming someone in order to benefit the group/larger number of persons. It is able to do this by assigning equal utility to those involved. In doing so, this shows the practical nature of Utilitarianism, and how it is “content heavy” – making very evident the right way to make decisions. Inevitably, the opposing side to this argument (deontologists) refute this way of thinking by arguing that it could very easily lead us to “repugnant conclusions;” which in theory could be used to justify almost any action if the consequences of the situation worked out just right. This idea could be applied effectively to both act utilitarianism (an act is right if it results in as much good as any available alternative) and rule utilitarianism (an act is right if it is required by a rule that is itself a member of a set of

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