The Morality Of Voluntary Euthanasia

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Euthanasia, defined as the act of “putting a person to painless death especially in case of incurable suffering,” is a controversial subject surrounded by many moral dilemmas (Murkey, 2008). Although euthanasia is the overarching term used to describe the act itself, within it are three principal forms: voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary, each of which pertains to case specific issues. Following The Supreme Court’s recent decision deeming Canada’s controversial law against physician-assisted suicide unconstitutional, I will focus here on the morality of voluntary euthanasia (VE) and physician-assisted suicide (PAS), as well as the legal limitations to which their implementations shall be bound.
VE is referred to as “the intentional act of causing the death of another who is competent and has made the request” (Higgins & Altilo, 2007). By minor accounts, PAS differs from VE in the sense that it involves the provision of death hastening medication to a competent patient, after which the act of hastening death is in the patient’s control (Higgins & Altilo, 2007). Although the act of administering the medication may differ, as well as the persons so acting, I conclude that the intent of both sorts of acts are equivalent. Therefore, I argue for the decriminalization of both VE and PAS under specific, restrictive, and legally regulated circumstances.
The criteria to be followed should be such that the patient in question is suffering from a terminal illness where all other
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