The Controversy and Ethical Debate Surrounding Euthanasia Essay

The Controversy and Ethical Debate Surrounding Euthanasia Essay

Length: 1427 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Dax Cowart was hospitalized after a gas explosion engulfed his car because he suffered stern burns. He was “burned so severely and [was] in so much pain that [he] did not want to live even the early moments following the explosion.” He repeatedly asked his doctors and family to end his agony. Dianne Pretty had a motor neuron disease that instigates a painful death. She wanted to have “a quick death without suffering, at home surrounded by [her] family.” 85-year old Mary Ormerod was starved of nutrients after she went into a coma. Her doctor and daughter made the decision to end her torment, however the doctor got suspended in doing so (BBC).
These and many other cases have occurred in medical history, and many more are bound to occur. This ending of the anguish is called euthanasia. In order for the ethical concerns of the issue to be discussed, euthanasia needs to be defined, and the different classes of it understood. The discussion itself has to be based on a method of reasoning and logic. One of the sources of ethical rationale, and probably the major method of reasoning in some parts of the world, is religion. Different religions differ in their view of euthanasia, some share similarities while others differ completely.
According to the book titled “Euthanasia: a Reference Handbook” by McDougall and Gorman, the Merriam Webster dictionary defines euthanasia as “ an easy death or mercy killing.” Suicide is also defined as “the act of killing oneself purposely” (McDougall, Gorman and Roberts). Thus, physician Assisted suicide is the act of taking one’s life with the aid of a doctor (McDougall, Gorman and Roberts). Euthanasia is a very disputable matter, some regard it as a human right while others deem it unethical. One of t...

... middle of paper ...

...ews of euthanasia. Following this similarity in views, can a global ethical law be formed? To answer this question further investigation into the viewpoint of these three religions on other ethical issues is required.

Works Cited

Alters, Sandra. Death and Dying: End-of-Life Controversies. Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, 2009.
Athar, Shahid and Hossam E. Fadel. ISLAMIC MEDICAL ETHICS: The IMANA Perspective. n.d.
BBC. BBC. 4 april 2011 .
Betzold, Michel (1993). Appointment with Doctor Death. Troy, MI: Momentum Books.
McDougall, Jennifer Fecio, Martha Gorman and Carolyn S. Roberts. Euthanasia: a Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2008.
Novak, David. The Sanctity Of Human Life. Washington D.C.: Georgetown UP, 2007.
Sachdina, Abdulaziz Abdulhussein. Islamic Biomedical Ethics: Principles and Application. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Euthanasia: The Right to Die with Dignity

- Euthanasia taps into many controversial motives such as government, religion, ethics, and human rights. It is a very challenging issue to fully understand because of the different stances that can be taken on the subject. Euthanasia is the act of ending a person’s life by either lethal injection or the postponement of medical treatment. It is a way of allowing an ill patient to die with dignity. The debate of whether or not euthanasia should be legalized has gone on for many years. If a person is terminally ill, they should have the right to choose to die if they do not want to suffer any longer than they feel necessary....   [tags: Legal issues, ethics, human rights]

Powerful Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

Euthanasia is Our Right to Die Essay

- Euthanasia is Our Right to Die By ruling euthanasia illegal, America's justice system is violating one of our most natural rights, our freedom of choice. In all respects, the right to die is as natural as the right to live. Webster's dictionary defines euthanasia as "an easy and painless death or an act or method of causing death painlessly." Euthanasia, when administered correctly and under the right conditions can be a humane and moral procedure. There are so many misconceptions and cliches surrounding euthanasia today that it has become very difficult to make an informed decision about the subject....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1358 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Ethical Dilemma of Assisted Suicide for Nurses

- The Code of Ethics for Nurses was created to be a guide for nurses to perform their duties in a way that is abiding with the ethical responsibilities of the nursing profession and quality in nursing care. The Code of Ethics has excellent guidelines for how nurses should behave, however; these parameters are not specific. They do not identify what is right and wrong, leaving nurses having to ultimately make that decision. Ethics in nursing involves individual interpretation based on personal morals and values....   [tags: suffering, dignified, morals]

Powerful Essays
863 words (2.5 pages)

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Essay

- Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide There has been much debate over euthanasia and assisted suicide with no agreement in sight. Currently Oregon is the only state that allows euthanasia and assisted suicide in the United States. Like all questions involving the projection of personal beliefs upon the fate of an entire population, this is an issue that may never be resolved. Euthanasia and assisted suicide are methods people may take to end their lives either on their own with lethal prescriptions from physicians, or under the care of a doctor or assistant with various methods, lethal injection and the "pulling of the plug" on life support machines being the most commo...   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
759 words (2.2 pages)

Free Euthanasia Essay

- Euthanasia After years of debate the issue of euthanasia has sparked my interest. Euthanasia should be legalized here in the United States. As we contemplate legalizing euthanasia many issues should be taken into consideration. One issue that should be taken into consideration is by religious orders. I feel a religion must support the decision of any person in their congregation who is about to die in whatever choices he or she makes. Euthanasia is a type of suicide that is intended to benefit the person who is dying and requires a final act by some other person....   [tags: Free Essay Writer]

Free Essays
1059 words (3 pages)

Physician Assisted Euthanasia Essay

- Physician-Assisted Euthanasia What is a physician's duty to a patient. Are doctors ever justified in ending a life entrusted to their care, even at the request of the patient or his family. These questions are being asked in today's society as part of the growing debate surrounding physician-assisted euthanasia (PAS). Several well-publicized cases in the past few decades have only fueled the fire, inspiring equally convicted individuals and organizations to rise up on both sides. Pro-life advocates argue the immorality of assisted suicide, and are, except for a few instances, supported by the law....   [tags: Ethics]

Powerful Essays
1328 words (3.8 pages)

Ethical, Moral and Religious Issues Surrounding Euthanasia Essay

- ... The truth is that death is often not peaceful, in fact, it is often painful, unfair and cruel to those with neurological disorders, cancer, or AIDS. These people often die slowly and painfully, despite every effort by their doctors and nurses. According a 2012 article in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, The main arguments that proponents cite for euthanasia are free choice and patient autonomy. Autonomy is defined as "the right to self-government and moral independence" (Karlsson, Milberg & Strang, 2011)....   [tags: death, ethical issues]

Powerful Essays
1212 words (3.5 pages)

The Debate Surrounding Physician-Assisted Suicide Essay

- Physician-assisted suicide is the practice in which a doctor prescribes a terminally ill patient with a lethal medication as a form of active, voluntary euthanasia. These patients, rather than suffer slowly and painfully, often request this procedure as a means of experiencing a more “dignified” death. The debate surrounding this issue is a heated one, especially among the general public whose attitudes are deeply influenced by the level of patient pain and discomfort (Frileux et al. 334). At the heart of the issue is the conflict between a patient’s right to choose between life and death and, as expressed by one social scientist, “society’s obligation to protect its most vulnerable members...   [tags: Euthanasia Essays]

Powerful Essays
1681 words (4.8 pages)

The Gift Of A Good Death Essay

- ... In 1905, Charles Norton, a recognized and distinguished professor hailing from Harvard University advocated for euthanasia in a speech which eventually lead to an effort to legalize euthanasia in Ohio by the wealthy Anna Hill, whom become an advocate for her mother who was suffering from cancer. A representative from Ohio, the state from which Hill resided, introduced legislation to legalize euthanasia, but was ultimately defeated in the Ohio Legislature 79 to 23 (Emmanuel). The acknowledgement of Nazi death camps and the involuntary genocide of millions by Nazi physicians virtually annihilated any remaining public debate surrounding euthanasia for much of the future....   [tags: Euthanasia, Death, Medical ethics, Health care]

Powerful Essays
1774 words (5.1 pages)

Euthanasia Is Ethical Or Not? Essay

- Of late Euthanasia has been a highly contested issue among media, politicians, public and medical professionals. In spite of being banned in elsewhere in the world than Switzerland and Netherlands and some states of USA, there is emerging demand and mixed reaction among public regarding the legalisation of Euthanasia. Indian judiciary has recently declared a landmark decision declaring active Euthanasia illegal, contrary to constitution and hence punishable. Although passive euthanasia has been legalised keeping it subject to a specific set of regulations....   [tags: Euthanasia, Death, Homicide, Medical ethics]

Powerful Essays
1401 words (4 pages)