The present paper intends to portray the ethical dilemma of mercy killings for the medical professionals. The paper will present the positive and negative aspects of applying a mercy killing.
Although this is not my professional area, I think this moral dilemma is of great importance since any one of us can deal with this situation, even though we are not the professionals treating patients; still we can make a decision.
Mercy killings are used in those situations in which persons are terminally ill and suffering from great pain, comatose or with a cerebral death which causes an inactive life and a vegetative state. They are called mercy killings because these people are the ones that suffer from very painful treatments, they generally have emotional problems due to their disease and have an unbearable form of life. It is mercy that acts when the pain or suffering of another person can be relieved with the consent of that person. The pain and suffering is very devastating to people and these could be aggravated due to intensive medical treatments that may result in terminal agony to the patient. These people usually lack of quality of life and dignity at the moment of their death because they are not competent. What they tend to protect a lot is their autonomy and self-determination and the right to decide whether or not he or she wants to terminate his or her life. Most of the people that favor mercy killings state that they do not want to become slaves of technology and to be attached to electronic life-sustaining devices. In order to legalize this practice, a document called “Living Will” should be necessary. In this document, the person that wishes to die due to mercy killing will specify that life under circumstances “much worse than death” is when life-sustaining treatment are to be stopped or withdrawn.
Those in favor of mercy killings argue that the terminally ill patient must be allowed to face death with dignity and that any person must have a humane and dignified death. Living in a vegetative state is therefore no example of a dignified life. “Many patients with terminal diseases have explained that their major fear is to loose dignity. Dependence, lack of individuality,...