Mercy Killing

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James Palmer

Jason Witt

Writing 2

November 11, 2010

Mercy killing is it justifiable?

There are many perspectives on the issue of mercy killing and if it’s justifiable. Mercy killing is the killing of another human being. As this issue is closely monitored we see that, euthanasia involves the ethics of doctor’s practices, and many other problems that may come up in this controversial issue. Three main perspectives are mercy killing is not justifiable for any reason, mercy killing is justifiable, and mercy killing is justifiable to a certain degree. The mercy killing issue has been brought up in many articles. Some articles are pertaining to military personnel. Other articles are according to health circumstances. Also some information can be gathered throughout several cases in federal and lower courts. These articles seem to come more frequently though when wars appear. When the most recent wars, the Iraq and Afghanistan war came about there were several articles published about this very issue of mercy killing. First of all, we see the different sides of the issue, as is related to mercy killing, euthanasia is one such word strongly used. Euthanasia is used to describe mercy killing it is interpreted by the following: “Euthanasia is the act of killing someone painlessly (someone suffering from incurable disease)” (Word net web Princeton). Involuntary euthanasia is “euthanasia conducted without the explicit consent of the individual concerned” (Word net web Princeton). The medical dictionary term for euthanasia is “the act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment”(Medical-Dictionary). Mercy killing is a decision many people face today. Throughout the years there have been cases within the military with this very issue, and cases involving other people. Some of these cases that come up a lot involve military personnel in other countries. One instant would be a military person shooting a kid due to them being impacted by an IED bomb. The military person kills the boy to put the boy out of his misery because the kid is slowly dying. When the military person returns back to the United States he gets court marshaled. A story in 2005 that was in the newspaper was about a sergeant in the armed forces that killed a Iraqi teen due to the teen being burned alive in a bus, he was beyond the stage of help and was screaming the sergeant felt sorry and put the teen out of his misery. There are many stories like the above that have been published throughout the years, but they all seem to come to the same conclusion “unethical” and jail. Is what the military person did okay? What would you do if you were in the military personnel’s position? We may ask ourselves what do we as humans believe is justifiable? What do we believe is ethical? Do we believe we can play God, who should live and who should die? As we look into this issue we see more cases not just in America but in many other countries. Americans see this as unethical especially if this is done to a civilian even under the circumstances. According to the military there are rules of conduct one must abide to while on foreign soil. Abiding by rules of conduct means military soldiers are liable in which they are court marshaled when returning to the United States. These cases have been going on a lot especially through the Iraq and Afghanistan war. The first perspective on mercy killing is that mercy killing is not justifiable for any reason. If we look at this perspective, we see that all life is precious and we do not have the right as humans to choose who lives and who dies. When someone is dealing with situations according to death, people think our love ones have no right to make life ending decisions for the individual. What happens if the individual that is suffering is rich and the loved one wants the individual’s...
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