Euthanasia and Frankenstein

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There have been numerous debates all around the globe as to whether or not the practice of euthanasia is ethical or unethical. People who are in pain and suffering are more likely to be pro-euthanasia. Those who never have to feel that level of pain and suffering that would drive a person to want to end their lives could never understand a person’s reason for considering this option. Fictional characters are used to express human suffering such as those found in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. There are several modern themes such as genetic engineering, cloning, the treatment of outcast and playing God highlighted in Shelley’s book, however the focus of this paper is on the less common theme of euthanasia involving the main character Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Euthanasia comes from the Greek word that means “good death” (“Euthanasia” Literary). In general, euthanasia refers to causing the death of someone to end their pain and suffering oftentimes in cases of terminal illness. Some people call this “mercy killings.” There are two types of euthanasia: passive and active. Passive or voluntary euthanasia refers to withholding life saving treatments or medical technology to prolong life. For example, a patient has the right to refuse medical treatment. They also have the right to refuse resuscitation if they are in need to be placed on life support. Active or involuntary euthanasia refers to providing the means for someone to take their life or assisting with taking their life (“Euthanasia” Discovering). There are several important ethical issues related to euthanasia. One is allowing people who are terminally ill and suffering the right to choose death. Should these people continue to suffer even though they really are ba... ... middle of paper ... ...ow point drives him to consider death as an alternative to suffering. This chapter helps to highlight some present day themes about the ethical issues of euthanasia such as the difference between active and passive euthanasia. Also whether or not a medical professional should assist in the process and under what circumstances. Discussion about euthanasia will probably continue in the future. This character brings some of the issues to light. Works Cited “Euthanasia.” Discovering Collection. Web. 2 May 2011. “Euthanasia.” Literary Reference Center. Web. 2 May 2011. Kiliff, Sarah. “The Compassionate Killers.” Newsweek. Web. 2May 2011. Rayner, Claire. “You Say Murder, I Say Euthanasia.” Literary Reference Center. Web. 2May 2011. Shelley, Mary. “Frankenstein.” Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1916. “What the Doctor Did.” Newsweek. Web. 2 May 2011.

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