11 May 2009
Euthanasia-An Ethical Dilemma
Death is nothing new, it has existed for thousands of years. Lately, we are forced to rethink the issue of death and we must decide what types of practices and behavior are ethical when someone is dying. One such practice-which has posed a moral and ethical dilemma for the society- is euthanasia. Euthanasia or "mercy killing" is the act of killing a person, who is ill and in great distress, without the hope of recovery in spite of all the medical advancements, and is killed to relieve him of his misery in a painless manner.(Vidyut Jain) One of the main reasons that the debate about euthanasia has been so hotly contested is because it challenges the values of people. The main value that is attached with euthanasia is that of individual rights or to be more specific, the right to dignified death. Active euthanasia (where the physician agrees to give the patient a lethal injection) allows a person to die while he is still at peace and has respect for his life. Life for the sake of life, has no value in itself. (LeBaron 7) If the state were not to make the practice of active euthanasia legal, it would violate the value of individual's right to dignified death, thus making the individual go through a state of more pain and suffering. Keeping this in mind, the state ought to realize that the quality of life is more important than the value of life itself. Furthermore, the value of the individual's right to dignified death would actually lead towards the progress of humanity. This is because, a person who's life is entirely dependent on life support systems is actually taking up valuable time of physicians and resources. Thus, if he does wish to die, it would actually be beneficial for those people who have a chance of getting cured if they were to be granted proper medical attention and resources. In addition, if the state were to treat this as a supreme value, it could lead to yet another...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document