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Euthanasia Case Study

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Both Brittany Maynard and Craig Ewert ultimately did not want to die, but they were aware they were dying. They both suffered from a terminal illness that would eventually take their life. Their worst fear was to spend their last days, in a state of stress and pain. At the same time, they would inflict suffering on their loved ones as their family witnessed their painful death. Brittany and Craig believed in the notion of dying with dignity. The states where they both resided did not allow “active voluntary euthanasia or mercy killing at the patient’s request” (Vaughn 269). As a result, they both had to leave their homes to a place that allowed them to get aid in dying. Brittany and Craig were able to die with dignity and peace. Both avoiding…show more content…
Utilitarianism argues that, we need to consider how much overall happiness of the action could bring, considering everyone involved. For example, how will Brittany’s choice for euthanasia affect her husband, friend, and parents? In Craig’s case, how will his choice for euthanasia affect his wife, son, and daughter? In both of their cases, that devastation that they will die is already difficult for them, and their families. Craig’ wife and his two children were sad that he was making the decision to die before his illness consumed him. Her daughter speaks on how hard it was for her, and in a sense relieved, she was not present when her father took his own life. Brittany was a newlywed, it was extremely sad for her husband and brother in law to know she was taking her life beforehand. To make a choice an act-utilitarian would need to balance out the overall happiness compared to the suffering. Both Brittany and Craig will eventually die. If they both let their terminal illness progress they would inflict extreme suffering on themselves and their family as they witnessed their pain. In Craig’s case, his illness will get worst it will cause paralysis. His major concern was on how would he be able to let…show more content…
Brittany and Craig would benefit from a utilitarian point of view. The theory asks to act upon a calculation of which action would produce more happiness. First calculation would entail Brittany to lose her human dignity, suffer great pain, causing her family suffering as they see her in agony. For Craig it would entail him losing his human dignity, probably suffer great pain and not being able to express his pain due to immobility, and cause his family suffering and struggle to care for him. The second calculation can be calculated by considering that either way, they will both die. They can choose to die peacefully conserving their human dignity, avoiding their family witness their pain. As a result, they would both die relieved that they did not suffer a tragic and painful death and inflicted suffering on their families. Being able to make their own choice on how they wanted to die was extremely important for
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