Human and Euthanasia

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Dane Stone

Professor Arnold

30 November 2011

Why Euthanasia should not be legal?

Euthanasia is the killing of someone who is very sick or terminally ill to end his or her suffering. There are many different types or forms of euthanasia. One type of euthanasia is called passive euthanasia, and is named because a person is allowed to die, rather than the deliberate killing of them. In other words, if someone was on some type of life support, and were taken off of it for some reason, then it would be considered passive euthanasia. Another way passive euthanasia is carried out is by not performing a surgery of not admitting a person the necessary means to continue their life. Passive euthanasia, although it seems more ethically considerable and correct, it is not, because there is a person who is aware they are indirectly the reason why the person is dying. The other type of euthanasia is called active euthanasia. Active euthanasia is the exact opposite of its counterpart; active euthanasia is when the death of a person is caused purposely but something is directly done to actually cause the person to die. An example is administering an overdose of a drug to a person. The main distinction between these two forms of euthanasia is that in “passive euthanasia” a doctor is withholding ways of keeping a person alive and allowing them to die naturally. The term “assisted suicide” is also mentioned when discussing euthanasia. This is true because “assisted suicide” refers to a situation where a person is given the ability to end their own life by someone else. If a doctor gives you a pill that can kill you and explains to you what it is before you take, and you take it yourself, then it is considered assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is also considered voluntary euthanasia, which is when a person asks to have his or her own life to be taken. Involuntary euthanasia on the other hand is when the life of a person is terminated without their consent or knowledge. An example of this scenario is someone who is in a coma, and that person’s family decides to stop the treatment and end the life support that that person is on.

When the taking or even the loss of a life is in effect, ethical dilemmas arise. In the case of euthanasia, no forms should be allowed, or be legally done. The main ethical dilemma of euthanasia is that the sanctity of life is weekend in the society’s eye. Society would not value the life of a person. Another argument against euthanasia is that how would someone other than the person who is being killed; make the decision to end their life? I wouldn’t be able to tell a doctor that I would like to “pull the plug” and let my family member die. Also, “voluntary euthanasia” is the start of a “slippery slope” that could lead to the increase in the practice of involuntary euthanasia (BBC). If involuntary euthanasia is more widely done, then the desire to kill off undesirable people such as the elderly, the mentally and physically handicapped, or any other people considered to be, unfit to function in society normally.

Immanuel Kant might agree with due to its similarities to his idea that a person should be treated merely as a means. If someone tries to take the life of themselves or others, they aren’t treating a human life as a means in itself. So if someone believes in Kantian ethics, then they would be against the practice of euthanasia. Another ethical view that coincides with the anti-euthanasia debate is utilitarianism. Catholic Social Teaching forcefully goes against the idea and practice of euthanasia. Catholicism views euthanasia as morally wrong (BBC). In the Ten Commandments, it specifically says, “Thou shall not kill.” Catholicism teaches that suffering is a part of life. Jesus suffered, and it is a part of human life to suffer, for happiness would not be considered so great without experiencing diversity. It is morally wrong and ethically wrong to kill, commit suicide...
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