Essay on The Case for Euthanasia

2338 Words10 Pages
In order to provide a framework for my thesis statement on the morality of euthanasia, it is first necessary to define what euthanasia is and the different types of euthanasia. The term Euthanasia originates from the Greek term “eu”, meaning happy or good and “thanatos”, which means death, so the literal definition of the word Euthanasia can be translated to mean “good or happy death”. The different types of Euthanasia are active or passive euthanasia and voluntary or involuntary euthanasia. Passive Euthanasia generally refers to the ending of a persons life by removing the person from a life-sustaining machine, such as a respirator. This form of euthanasia is endorsed by the American Medical Association and is less controversial than…show more content…
I believe that active euthanasia is in and of itself a moral act when practiced under a framework of strict guidelines and laws used to make the determination on whether euthanasia is warranted. I believe the decision process used to determine whether or not to perform euthanasia must be accomplished on a case by case basis depending on a number of factors such as the patients overall medical condition, prognosis for recovery, ability to live without the aid of life supporting machines and the patients desires. Active euthanasia is currently only legalized in Oregon and Washington in the United States and in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg in Europe. One of the ethical norms most often cited when discussing morality surrounding euthanasia is an individuals right to autonomy. “A person organizes his or her own private life so that the government, doctors and nurses cannot counteract what a euthanasia requester considers as the individual realization of his or her autonomous choice”( Quaghebeur, Dierckx de Casterlé & Gastmans, 2009). Arguments for and against euthanasia are made on the basis of autonomy. Quaghebeur et al., go on to state doctors must respect an individuals right to autonomy, even if they do not agree with or feel qualified to carry out the request for euthanasia (2009). On the other hand, critics of euthanasia based on autonomous norms make the point that euthanasia carries in part, too little respect for the lives of
Open Document