Principles of Euthanasia

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'Examine the view that religious and/or moral principles resolve the major issues in medical ethics'

Euthanasia can be classified in relation to whether a patient gives informed consent, it can then be sorted into three types: voluntary, non-volontary and involuntary. One of the arguments regarding euthanasia is the problem of definition. The question of the argument is, where does the killing of a person become acceptable and subsequently where is Euthanasia applied. There is a debate amongst bioethics and medical literature, it aims to conclude as to whether or not non-voluntary (and to a point involuntary) killing of patients can be thought of as euthanasia. In the eyes of some, consent from the person is not regarded as being part of the criteria, these beliefs were held by people such as 'Beaucham, Davidson and too an extent Wreen'. However, in the eyes of the majority to be able to justify euthanasia you have had to of had the consent of the patient to which it was occurring to for it to be acceptable. A sentence to sum up this 'grey area' in euthanasia is, How do you find a distinction between cutting short a life and allowing to die?

Another argument that seems to be against the principals of euthanasia is that of consequentialism. It's philosophy is purely about the outcome and it does not matter as to how the outcome was caused as long as the outcome is good. An example of this is one used by Petit, he states that 'If you believe something to be the ultimate good then you should do all you can to promote this good and by any means necessary as long as the outcome is a successful promotion of this good.' This ties in with euthanasia in a sense that no matter what reason or by which process euthanasia is carried out the outcome will always be that of death. Death is clearly not acceptable as stated in the ten commandments. Even if the person who had euthanasia received it under their own gratefulness and will, so that they would not endeavour...
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