The Case for Euthanasia

2340 Words5 Pages

In order to provide a framework for my thesis statement on the morality of euthanasia, it is first necessary to define what euthanasia is and the different types of euthanasia. The term Euthanasia originates from the Greek term “eu”, meaning happy or good and “thanatos”, which means death, so the literal definition of the word Euthanasia can be translated to mean “good or happy death”. 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. Because passive euthanasia is accepted by the American Medical Association in cases where it is clear the patient has no reasonable hope of living without the aid of a machine, passive euthanasia is not as controversial as active euthanasia. This paper will focus on the controversial morality issues regarding active voluntary or involuntary euthanasia, the ending of a persons life by lethal injection with or without the patients consent. Unless oth... ... middle of paper ... ... greater pain and anguish for longer periods of time than my father did, I believe euthanasia is the only compassionate form of relief we can provide. I believe it is morally important to allow an individual to die with respect for his or her dignity, while respecting his or her autonomy. Because of these reasons, euthanasia is morally justified when administered under strict controls. Works Cited Kamm, F.L. (1998) Physician-Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia, and Intending Death. Physician-Assisted Suicide: Expanding the Debate Kass, L. (1989, Winter). Neither for Love nor Money: Why Doctors Must Not Kill Quaghebeur, T., Dierckx de Casterlé, B.,& Gastmans, C. (2009). Nursing and Euthanasia: a review of argument-based ethics literature, Nursing Ethics, 2009 16 (4). Shafer-Landau, R., (2010), The Fundamentals of Ethics. Oxford University Press.

Open Document