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.
In this essay I will be analysing the morality of voluntary active euthanasia (VAE). I will focus on the argument that if such an act is considered morally acceptable, it can only lead down a slippery slope in which society becomes grossly unrecognizable in terms of the value of life. This essay will examine the strengths and weaknesses of this argument and the moral principles which underpin it to determine whether or not it remains a convincing argument to VAE.
Over the course of this paper, I will give a brief history, background, and address many of the arguments that are opposed to and for euthanasia. These arguments include causation, omission, legal issues, the physicians involved, the slippery slope that might potentially be created, autonomy rights, and Christianity.
* Passive, indirect or negative euthanasia: ambiguous. Can be the decision by patient, parent or guardian and physician to withhold or withdraw extraordinary means of sustaining or prolonging life, such as deciding against high-risk surgery for a patient dying of cancer or kidney failure. When the intent is not to cause death but rather to reject extraordinary treatment, this results in the acceptance of death or continued life, whichever occurs, but it is not true euthanasia. The terms "passive," "indirect" or "negative euthanasia" should not be used since they play into the hands of euthanasia advocates by confusing legitimate actions with euthanasia, thereby desensitizing people to the fact that euthanasia is killing. More importantly, passive euthanasia is sometimes defined by others as the withholding of lifesaving treatment with the intention and result of causing the patient's death. This is the equivalent to active, direct euthanasia.
There are two main types of euthanasia- passive and active. Although both are illegal in all states but Oregon, passive euthanasia is easier for people to accept. Passive involves taking a person off of their life support, and letting them die naturally, while active is ending a suffering persons life prematurely, by helping them die, with an overdose of medication (A Euthanasia Glossary). Although Euthanasia is not widely accepted, nor legal, there are people who try to break the rules.
The ethical debate regarding euthanasia dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. It was the Hippocratic School (c. 400B.C.) that eliminated the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide from medical practice. Euthanasia in itself raises many ethical dilemmas – such as, is it ethical for a doctor to assist a terminally ill patient in ending his life? Under what circumstances, if any, is euthanasia considered ethically appropriate for a doctor? More so, euthanasia raises the argument of the different ideas that people have about the value of the human experience.
Death. This is not a topic that many people are comfortable discussing. It is such an uncomfortable topic to discuss because regardless if death is brought upon through natural death, murder, suicide, or even euthanasia, it brings upon such a wide variety of emotions to those affected that I believe no one can grow accustomed to. Stemming from this, we get into the debate of euthanasia vs. murder vs. suicide, and the ethics behind the three. Before considering the differences between the them, we should first be able to define ethics and morals. Nowadays, these two terms can be considered very similar, and are said to be the sort of principles that decide a person’s behavior and actions. Ethics and morals play a big role when discussing these topics, as people are quick to argue that euthanasia and murder can be considered the same. Through this paper, I will argue their differences, and how most aspects of euthanasia can be considered morally different and better than murder. Additionally, my perspective of how suicide compares and differs to these two will also be introduced.
Mary Shelley’s horrific tale of Frankenstein brings to surface many ethical dilemmas that society deals with every day. The themes Mary Shelley uses throughout the movie, ranging from the power of science to Utilitarianism, underlies the core questions that we as a society have yet to answer. Ethics raises difficult, yet important questions demanded to be confronted by the people. By watching the movie Frankenstein, and looking at it in a critical/ analytical view, it has helped uncover the ethical problems we deal with in an evolving social and technological environment. This movie also exemplifies the dangerous potential of the pursuit of knowledge without human control or ethical boundaries.
Throughout Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein the question of morality is often demonstrated through the knowledge of existence. The knowledge of existence has a major effect on the monster in his attempts to discover who he is through approval and acceptance. In today’s world our morality and values system is very prevalent, and as shown through Shelley’s writing these morals and values are a result of our religious perceptions and humanistic relationships. It can be concluded that Frankenstein depicts the ability to develop spiritually and morally by eliminating a deity in order to reach a sense of self realization.
Before defining and discussing the three major categories of euthanasia, it is important to understand the meaning of their subtypes known as active euthanasia and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia is performing a direct action to take someone’s life, such as administering a lethal drug to a patient. Passive euthanasia is allowing someone to die by not performing some life-sustaining action or ending life-sustaining treatment (Pojman). Examples of passive euthanasia would be removing a patient’s respirator or withholding nutrients and fluids. Active euthanasia is easily the more controversial of the two.
Active euthanasia is where someone kills another person out of concern for that person’s well-being. However, passive euthanasia is where one passes by opportunities to prevent the death of another out of concern for that person. There are also three subcategories of each these two categories: voluntary, non-voluntary, and involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is where a person asks you to allow them to succumb to death under adverse conditions, non-voluntary euthanasia would be where a person did not give advance directives on how to handle adverse situations so another person has to make the difficult decision, and involuntary euthanasia is where a person expresses a desire not to die under any circumstance and is then killed. Each of these three subcategories can apply to either active or passive euthanasia. In Grey’s Anatomy, one would categorize this situation as voluntary, active euthanasia because the patient requested assistance in dying and it requires the physician to actively aid in the patient’s death (Hooker 1,
Imagine being debilitated and in crippling amounts of pain for years on end Although this topic represents a difficult moral and ethical minefield, if proper safeguards are in place, where people must select their preferences regarding euthanasia before the occurrence of an incapacitating disease and extremely severe consequences for people who try to abuse the system of euthanasia, then we can eliminate all the relevant arguments presented by the opposition. This means that there are no logical reasons as to why we shouldn’t respect a person’s right to their own life, and to do with it what they please.
The different types of Euthanasia are active or passive euthanasia and voluntary or involuntary euthanasia. Passive Euthanasia generally refers to the ending of a persons life by removing the person from a life-sustaining machine, such as a respirator. This form of euthanasia is endorsed by the American Medical Association and is less controversial than active euthanasia. Active euthanasia refers to ending a persons life by a competent medical authority giving the person a lethal injection of a muscle relaxant or pain killer medication. The terms voluntary or involuntary refer to whether or not a patient requests euthanasia or whether the patient is not able to make such a request and euthanasia is carried out by a competent medical authority at the request of another family member, or by a competent medical authority’s decision. Involuntary euthanasia usually occurs when a patient is comatose.
More than likely, a good majority of people have heard about euthanasia at least once in their existence. For those out there who have been living under a rock their entire lives, euthanasia “is generally understood to mean the bringing about of a good death – ‘mercy killing’, where one person, ‘A’, ends the life of another person, ‘B’, for the sake of ‘B’.” (Kuhse 294). There are people who believe this is a completely logical scenario that should be allowed, and there are others that oppose this view. For the purpose of this essay, I will be defending those who are for euthanasia. My thesis, just by looking at this issue from a logical standpoint, is that if someone is suffering, I believe they should be allowed the right to end their lives, either by their own consent or by someone with the proper authority to make the decision. No living being should leave this world in suffering. To go about obtaining my thesis, I will first present my opponents view on the issue. I will then provide a Utilitarian argument for euthanasia, and a Kantian argument for euthanasia. Both arguments will have an objection from my opponent, which will be followed by a counter-objection from my standpoint.
In the following essay, I argue that euthanasia is not morally acceptable because it always involves killing, and undermines intrinsic value of human being. The moral basis on which euthanasia defends its position is contradictory and arbitrary in that its moral values represented in such terms as ‘mercy killing’, ‘dying with dignity’, ‘good death’ and ‘right for self-determination’ fail to justify taking one’s life.