Today, there is a large debate over the situation and consequences of euthanasia. Euthanasia is the act of ending a human’s life by lethal injection or the stoppage of medication, or medical treatment. It has been denied by most of today’s population and is illegal in the fifty states of the United States. Usually, those who undergo this treatment have a disease or an “unbearable” pain somewhere in the body or the mind. Since there are ways, other than ending life, to stop pain caused by illness or depression, euthanasia is immoral, a disgrace to humanity, according to the Hippocratic Oath, and should be illegal throughout the United States.
The author states that “it is never justified to intentionally bring an end to human life in order to relieve one of a burdensome existence” (Doug). A human life should be sacred. To take away someone’s life breaks that sacred bond that a human has with another. Life should not be consider something that a person can take away. Euthanasia disregards the value of a human life, and it is a treatment that can act a double-edge sword.
A lot of people think that the practice of euthanasia infringes on a person’s fundamental right to live. What they fail to see is that our “life” as human beings implies death. Without death, we do not have “human life” by its very definition. Like black and white or two sides of a coin, human life cannot occur without death. Therefore, for those that argue that every man has the fundamental right to live, they unknowingly also agree that every man has the fundamental right to die.
Opinions of euthanasia and assisted suicide vary by country to country, and only a few nations permit euthanasia in the case of terminally ill patients (van der Heide et. al., 2007, p. 1957). The public discourse surrounding the ethical, and subsequently legal status of euthanasia is frequently heated and somewhat polarized, because the debate cuts to the very heart of notions of human rights and ethics. Unfortunately, this only tends to further obscure the issue at hand, which is in reality a fairly simple question. Namely, what is more important; the preservation of individual human life for as long as possible, potentially despite the wishes of the individual, or allowing an individual to choose the time and manner of his or her death? As will be seen, the only reasonable answer to this question is to favor individual freedom, but first, it will be necessary to counter some of the distractions and misinformation that opponents of euthanasia use to avoid confronting the essential question at hand.
In J. Gay-Williams’ piece “The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia”, he begins by asserting that euthanasia is gaining popularity within our society, then defines euthanasia, and finally offers retributions as to why euthanasia is neither morally nor practically right. According to Gay-Williams, “euthanasia is intentionally taking the life of a presumably hopeless person” (Gay-Williams 1979, 278). Based off aspects of his definition, Gay-Williams formats his three main arguments against active euthanasia which stem from nature, self-interest, and practical effects. Out of the three proposed arguments, the argument from nature stands out personally, as the least sound. Briefly stated, this argument is not sound because it fails to offer distinction
More than likely, a good majority of people have heard about euthanasia at least once in their existence. For those out there who have been living under a rock their entire lives, euthanasia “is generally understood to mean the bringing about of a good death – ‘mercy killing’, where one person, ‘A’, ends the life of another person, ‘B’, for the sake of ‘B’.” (Kuhse 294). There are people who believe this is a completely logical scenario that should be allowed, and there are others that oppose this view. For the purpose of this essay, I will be defending those who are for euthanasia. My thesis, just by looking at this issue from a logical standpoint, is that if someone is suffering, I believe they should be allowed the right to end their
Some people say that euthanasia will end suffering and pain. But what proof do they have or what right do they have to make that claim" (143). Many authors have asked what proof people have to back up their claims but many of them never have any proof at all and are just relying mostly on their own personal beliefs or feelings. They don’t have any factual evidence that euthanasia will or will not end suffering. Some people believe that euthanasia would only end the burden on those who are around the sick. The reason that they think this is that they believe that the people only end a life to end the burden of worrying and the burden of paying high bills. This is a clear-cut example of just some of the debatable issues behind the topic of euthanasia. Many people believe that others might use euthanasia to send old parents or other
Opponents Against Euthanasia feel that if assisted suicide were to be legalized, life would be worth less than what it is, and the social value would be less (Bourque & Ayoub, 2009). People are also worried that the act could be abused with people just looking for profit, or saying they assisted suicide with the persons wish, yet in reality actually murdered them. Vulnerable members of society, such as
Opponents also argue that there may be a “slippery slope” from euthanasia to murder. Active euthanasia can become a problem when it comes to insurance companies, ultimately providing an incentive to target the poor and disabled in order to save money. Many opponents contend that every life is a gift from God and should be cherished and should never be deliberately destroyed.
It is necessary to explore the different types of euthanasia first in order to fully understand what is involved in determining the moral worth of such acts. The two forms of euthanasia, active and passive, involve the actions of either ‘killing’ or ‘letting die’. An active form of euthanasia refers to the act of purposely taking positive measures, such as lethal injection, to bring about a person’s death. Thus, it is referred to as ‘killing’ many standards. On the other hand, a ‘passive’ form of euthanasia involves the action of either discontinuing medical treatment, or not giving treatment at all. James Rachels and Philippa Foot, both philosophers, have explored the realm of euthanasia from different moral points of view. In James Rachels’ essay, “Euthanasia and Suicide: Active and Passive Euthanasia”, he states that neither active nor passive euthanasia are morally different from each other because the intent is the same for both types: to benefit the one who is to
Humans and human life should be valued. Immanuel Kant, a philosopher says, people shouldn’t use each other for a means to an end. Humans have dignity and are therefore valued. Life is a sacred gift from God. People should not have the ability to take someone’s life so suddenly and abruptly. “Therefore the deliberate taking of human life should be prohibited except in self-defense or the legitimate defense of others” (Seale). The use of euthanasia does not fit this quota; it is not used in self-defense.
In the book “ euthanasia “ (Wekesser, Carol “Euthanasia Opposing Viewpoints “ Greenhaven press,inc., San Diego, CA ) states that “ if terminally ill were allowed to commit suicide, suicide, gradually society would allow others the handicapped, for example, to kill themselves. Saying that active euthanasia is never morally justified. To some people, this may seem cruel and unsympathetic but it, is protecting that person from a life-threatening choice they may believe is the right decision in a time of hurt. No matter what the person's condition their life is still valuable, saying that the value of someone life is not based on physical, mental, or emotional status but the mere fact that they are a human that is still
First of all, it is inevitable that the argument “euthanasia being morally permissible” is relevant to the philosophical theory “Utilitarianism” which generally fixates on increasing happiness and decreasing misery to an
Euthanasia is the practice of ending an individual's life in order to relieve them from an incurable disease or unbearable suffering. The term euthanasia is derived from the Greek word for "good death" and originally referred to as “intentional killing” ( Patelarou, Vardavas, Fioraki, Alegakis, Dafermou, & Ntzilepi, 2009). Euthanasia is a controversial topic which has raised a great deal of debate globally. Although euthanasia has received great exposure in the professional media, there are some sticky points that lack clarity and need to be addressed. Euthanasia is a divisive topic, and different interpretations of its meaning, depend on whether the person supports it or not. While a few societies have accepted euthanasia, there are
Euthanasia is defined as, "The act or practice of putting to death painlessly a person suffering from an incurable disease." Euthanasia can be traced back as far back as the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. It was sometimes allowed in these civilizations to help others die. Voluntary euthanasia was approved in these ancient societies. Today, the practice of euthanasia causes great controversy. Both pro-life groups and right-to-die groups present arguments for their different sides. Pro-life groups make arguments and present fears against euthanasia. I contend that the case for the right to die is the stronger argument.