Running Head: HUMAN EUTHANASIA
Vicki Lynn Golden
ITT Technical Institute
Euthanasia is the ever controversial topic in debates in ethics. It is the taking of someone’s life upon request by that person, who has a terminal illness. Laws have been passed to legalize this act, however, there are still many that don’t approve of this and considers human euthanasia as an immoral act and a form of murder. Those who support this act believe that the wishes of the terminally sick patient should be respected. Thus, they respect the personal autonomy of human kind. They are those people who respect the dignity and honor of a person as citizen of this country. The abuse of euthanasia by doctors is nothing to fear. Specific conditions can be established under which a person may ask for and be granted euthanasia (Zimmerman, 2005). Euthanasia can be a fast and peaceful way for terminal patients to die on their own terms and be at peace with it.
For many years, human euthanasia has been the topic of many fiery debates on ethics. Legalization of human euthanasia and the morality of the act are usually questioned by people who are too blind to see the benefits of euthanasia. They even classify it as murder but the way I see it, euthanasia is helping people. Now, this unresolved issue is really about autonomy and respect. If people have the right to live, then they also reserve the right to die and the right to freely choose how to die. Those people who accept human euthanasia as a moral act are those people who respect the autonomy of a person. In other words, they respect the right of people in being who they really are. By respecting other people’s decisions, this entails respect of the person’s rights as a citizen and treating that person with dignity and respect. It follows that by doing so one also acknowledges the alternative fact that people also have the right to choose to die. For those terminally ill patients, a sound escape from the torture they are in is euthanasia. But what really is euthanasia? When can you classify an action as euthanasia or murder? Who can participate in this act? These are just some of the questions that must be answered to clarify the grounds for committing euthanasia. Euthanasia, as defined in Euthanasia.com, is the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for that person’s alleged benefit (2009). Thus, for the act to be considered euthanasia, the person who assisted in the process should have the intention of killing the patient or person. By omitting the benefits of a dependent human may mean that the life support of the human who is dependent on the apparatus is being removed. As a result, natural death will follow. The website continues to state that the patient in this scenario should not be considered brain dead because in the event that a physician removes the life support of a brain dead patient, euthanasia is not committed because in the first place, the patient is already clinically dead. Thus, the person being helped through euthanasia should have a confirmed diagnosis of a terminal illness and the act should be of sound judgment.(2009) Euthanasia should only be considered if it is EXTREMELY necessary. There are several forms of euthanasia, namely voluntary active, passive, and non-voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary active euthanasia is when the act of killing is done upon the direct request of the person killed (Procon.org, 2008). There are several conditions that the patient must meet for voluntary euthanasia to be done, as specified in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. This includes: (a) the person should be suffering from a terminal illness; (b) the person has extremely low possibility to benefit from a new discovery of a cure of his illness; (c) the patient is suffering from intolerable pain as a result of his illness; (d) the patient voluntarily...
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