Euthanasia: For, Against, or In The Middle

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What is Euthanasia? Euthanasia is derived from the Greeks where Eu means good and Thanatos means death. When these phrases are combined the word euthanasia is created; meaning “good death”. The act of deliberately ending a person’s life to relieve suffering, while leaving life in peace. Have you ever considered what you want when you are dying? If you were terminally ill or disabled with a reliance on life support to keep you alive, would you want a swift, painless, death or would you want pain and suffering? Will you chose life over death? Is it right or is it wrong?

There are four different types of euthanasia. The first type is active euthanasia. It is described as death by a person through direct action. Another person deliberately intervenes to end someone’s life, for example, injecting them with morphine.

The second form is passive euthanasia. Passive euthanasia simply means allowing patients to die when we can no longer ward off that death without inflicting upon them treatment that is either useless or exceedingly burdensome. The act of withholding or withdrawing treatment that is necessary to maintain life, such as, removing a life supporting system such as a feeding tube or respirator resulting in nature taking its course. This would be “letting die”, to allow someone to die with dignity.

The third type of euthanasia is called voluntary euthanasia where a person makes a conscious decision to die and asks someone to help do it, much like assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is the act of deliberately assisting or encouraging another person who commits, or attempts to commit, suicide. If a relative of a terminally ill cancer patient were to obtain sedatives, knowing that the person intended to take...

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...y free which binds us to moral law. He believed that one has a duty/obligation as moral agents to follow this moral law given to us from reason. They feel that good moral action means acting from duty and that acting according to duty is not morally good. One example given is that an employer discloses health hazards to employees. Does he do this because he fears a lawsuit or does he do this because he know he has a moral obligation to do this? Is the physician helping the patient by ending the suffering or is he doing so for his benefit? I do believe that the reason behind the action is most important.

Works Cited

Pinzino, J. M. (1994). Some skeptical thoughts about active euthanasia and assisted suicide. Department of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1-26.

Erb, H., (2014). Ethics in the health care professions. Chapter 2.

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