Assisted Suicide, Morally Wrong or Your Right?

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Assisted Suicide, Morally Wrong or Your Right?

By | March 2011
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Assisted Suicide, Morally Wrong or Your Right?
Is assisted suicide your right as a human; is it moral or ethical? First we must look at what is assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is a common term that most people know of, suicide that is facilitated by another person. (Dictionary.com) However, there are three terms that are sometimes used interchangeable when discussing assisted suicide; physician assisted suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia. Physician assisted suicide is when a physician intentionally gives the patient the method of suicide, such as pills. Assisted suicide involves a layperson or a non-physician who is equipping the patient with the means to kill themselves. Euthanasia is when the person is directly killed by a physician or a layperson; euthanasia can be voluntary, involuntary or non-voluntary. Voluntary euthanasia is at the patients request, involuntary is against the patients request or consent and non-voluntary is without the patient’s knowledge. (Nightinggale.com) In this paper we will explore the morality and ethics of assisted suicide by comparing and investigating the Utilitarian , Kantian and Egoism ethical perspective of assisted suicide or euthanasia.

Utilitarian ethics is the theory that the starting point of ethics is the principal that everyone, humans and creatures alike, want to enjoy pleasures and avoid suffering. Starting from this principal ethics becomes a calculation of how to balance the greatest pleasure over suffering. (Waller, 2008, p. 50) According to utilitarian John Stuart Mill, “Actions are right as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce pain or the reverse of happiness.” (Defining Utilitarianism) Jeremy Bentham's Hedonic Calculus of utilitarian ethics states that we should always try to perform that act that leads to the greatest pleasure. “This raises the question as to how we are to quantify pleasure; if we cannot put a value on the quantity of pleasure that an act...
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