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Definition Of Death

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The prohibition against taking human life is based on fundamental and deeply held ethical and religious convictions. In this essay I will discuss the options available for the doctors, and whether they are able to stop the treatment of Sadia, and if so, the ethical issues will arise as a result of this. "Dying is an integral part of living... the right to die with dignity should be as well protected as is any other aspect of the right to life. State prohibitions that would force a dreadful, painful death on a rational but incapacitated terminally ill patient are an affront to human dignity." In addition to this, choosing the manner of death could be included as an aspect of right to life but interests of the state and society will justify interference with it, as seen in the case of Pretty v UK. To suggest to produce a single definition of death with medical intervention is impossible and perhaps undesirable given that there is appropriate justification for all of the approaches advocated. The legal definition of death comes from the case of Airedale NHS Trust v Bland which established that brain stem death was the definition of death for the purposes of medical law. Ford argues that the right to die embodies a critical paradox of personhood, which consists of consciousness, self awareness and the ability to engage with others. Harris, however, argues that there is no personhood paradox because the criteria is set out from capacities which make it possible for the person to value their own existence. People have different views about the right to die depending on their own ethical rationale, thus this is why it is difficult to determine when somebody has the right to die or not as everybody has conflicting views in society.... ... middle of paper ... ...o decide. They will have to consider Sadia's welfare as paramount but with consideration to the ethical issues mentioned above. It is unlikely that Sadia will develop and become better with the support provided but the judge could decide that they should maintain her life but being required to provide this support may be an endorsement of the status quo. So, in order to maintain the doctors' integrity the decision could allow the doctors to refuse treatment if doctors feel that they cannot conscientiously administer treatment because of the quality of life of the infant. Their views, therefore, deserve respect, but should not necessarily be conclusive. Where the child's future is utterly bleak and the doctors conclude that there is no benefit in continuing treatment, then the treatment can be withheld, even if the consequence of doing so is that the child will die.
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