Euthanasia And Physician Assisted Suicide

1585 Words7 Pages
Today, unresolved issues on genetically modified organisms, animal rights, abortion and human experimentation generate lots of conflicts. Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) is yet another contentious issue because of the ethical and moral dilemmas it provokes and partly because it implicates issues of life and death (McCormack). For a very long time, euthanasia has been a prohibited medical practice in most countries. Currently, only a handful of nations such as Netherlands and Belgium and states such as Washington, Vermont, and Oregon ascribe to it. In other countries such as Australia, Britain, Singapore, and Switzerland serious discussions are ongoing. However, the outcome is far from clear (James). Euthanasia, by designation ‘a happy death’ or mercy killing,’ infers a painless death purposed to end the suffering of the terminally ill individuals. On one side, euthanasia appears to be contradicting the medical Hippocratic Oath while stimulating the debate of legality versus ethics. On the other hand, it implies that everyone has the right to make their own decisions regarding death and that the procedure alleviates suffering and pain. This paper, therefore, argues that legalizing euthanasia brings peace to both the terminally ill patients and their families by relieving the patient from unnecessary suffering and excruciating pain. Specifically, the paper uses the arguments of Mills to argue against the opposing views of Kant in proving the ethicality of the practice. Euthanasia is the act where a medical practitioner intentionally ends the life of a terminally ill patient on grounds of compassion at the patient’s competent and voluntary request (Ebrahimi). In ethical dialogs for euthanasia, the focus po... ... middle of paper ... ...son, as proposed by Kant is not the source of moral freedom. Instead, it is an impediment to free choice (Kant). Furthermore, Kant’s moral arguments lack practicality and are too abstract to be useful. This view is particularly true as we live in particular places at specific periods and are faced with real world issues. It is therefore not necessarily possible for us to separate our shrewdness from other aspects of our personality fully. In consequence, as much as we may reason about practical issues in abstract terms, our point of reference must always be our actual life circumstances. Therefore, in agreement with the proposals of Mill, humanity should act to issues because it is the right thing to do and not due to logic or otherwise. Euthanasia, in this case, is a moral act, focused on establishing good will and happiness and done for the right reasons.
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