Euthanasia

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  • Topic: Euthanasia, Death, Medical ethics
  • Pages : 11 (3901 words )
  • Download(s) : 145
  • Published : May 1, 2013
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INTRODUCTION
We have chosen “Euthanasia” as our topic as it is a famous issue nowadays and people differed a lot whenever they are asked about their opinion on it. What is Euthanasia? “Euthanasia” which is also referred to as “mercy killing” derives from the Greek word “Eu” and “Thanatos” meaning gentle and easy death. In short, Euthanasia means terminating a terminally ill person’s life with or without the latter’s consent, for example by switching off the machine on which the person’s life was dependent. There are three types of euthanasia namely: 1) Active Euthanasia: The intention to end someone’s life. 2) Passive Euthanasia: Withdrawing of treatment.

3) Triad of terms:
a) Voluntary- When a patient or terminally ill person’s request is given. b) Involuntary- Kill or terminate a patient life without the latter’s consent. c) Non-voluntary- Terminating a patient’s life that has no capacity to understand. People who are involved in Euthanasia usually are:

* Patients in a persistent vegetative state who are awake but are not aware of themselves or the environment. Such patients have no higher brain functions and are kept alive on artificial life support, such as respirators, heart-lung machines, and intra-venous nutrition. * Patients in terminal illness who may or may not be subject to life-support machines. * People suffering from great pain.

Conventional views on Euthanasia
Euthanasia is a controversial issue under the conventional perspective, that it is considered as both advantageous by some people, worldview and beliefs and disadvantageous by others. Advantages of Euthanasia:

a) Autonomy
The first and foremost argument that opponents of euthanasia pointed out is to have “Autonomy”. It means that a person should have the power to decide and have control over his or her life-hence the person can decide to terminate his or her life whenever the latter wants especially if he or she is terminally ill and there is no remedy to improve his or her situation. Some also argued that they are born free and thus no one can dictate their life nor restrained them from even taking it. Hence by having the autonomy they have the “right to die”. b) Easing the patient suffering.

Euthanasia is viewed as reducing the pain of the patient by taking the latter’s life. In other words, it is seen as “good death”. A person who is suffering from an illness that does not have any cure, has to undergo a lot of pain through endless treatment and medication, can put an end to all those suffering through euthanasia. It is believed that as the stage of death is finished, there is no other pain especially for those who hold the secular worldview believe that there is no life after death. c) Quality versus Quantity.

Those in favour of euthanasia argue that it is better to have a quality of life rather than quantity. Meaning that a shorter life with good health is preferred than having a long life but no health at all especially if the patient’s life is dependent on machines. Hence, if someone is categorized to be valid for euthanasia, the person may wish to end his life to enjoy quality of life but not living a long life which is meaningless if the latter cannot do anything or is bedridden. d) Death with dignity.

Proponents of euthanasia pointed out that when a person who is valid under Euthanasia normally has lost his dignity as he or she cannot do anything or even understand nothing around them. Hence, if the patient has opted for euthanasia, the latter will die with dignity as the person has chosen this option by himself and has power of his life. There is also one ACT for it namely “The Oregon death with dignity Act” which is an example in the Oregon for it is the first and only –state to make physician assisted suicide legal. e) Resource availability and burden.

The theories “Resources are scarce and wants are unlimited” are acknowledged by the economist. A terminally ill patient is often...
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