The Fallacies of O'Shea's Argument against Euthanasia

Best Essays
Assisted Suicide
The concept of assisted suicide for the terminally ill, as it is now, is subjected to tremendous controversy. Many people believe that it is morally wrong to commit suicide. As such, in a response to an article in The Seattle Times on euthanasia, Reverend Susan J. O’Shea argues that we should not have euthanasia because it is murder. Reverend O’Shea’s argument starts off with her own personal reasons on why she does not support euthanasia. Then, she focuses on the idea that many of the reasons why people would want to commit assisted suicide are solely cultural, not medical. On the contrary, her argument is logically wrong, in a sense. The problem with this is that her argument is comprised of several fallacies, where some do not exactly support or relate to her conclusion. Another hole in her argument is that, though she some qualifications to speak on the matter, her claims contradicted her knowledge on the subject itself. Not only that, O’Shea’s argument ignores the psychological issues and the laws that are in place to regulate euthanasia.
O’Shea (1996) argues that euthanasia, or assisted suicide is morally wrong as it is similar to murder in the following way:
I do not want people who do not have the coping skills to manage disability and discomfort to make life-and-death decisions for me.
Thinking of suicide is part of adjusting to being disabled.
Assisted suicide has more to do with the survivor’s inability to manage misery than with compassion.
If pain is the issue, consider that heroin is a perfectly good drug.
If loss of control, consider that it is rooted in distrust of other people and that we would rather die than rely on those around us.
If despair is the issue, consider that it is an interpersonal...

... middle of paper ...

...when they make the decision to have euthanasia. In contrast, opponents may argue that the physicians are violating the Hippocratic Oath, a set of medical ethics for physicians. The problem with that is that the choice ultimately lies in the patient’s hands, and the physician must have done everything they can to have treated the patient’s illness. And it is for these reasons as to why I believe that O’Shea argument fails to properly defend her position on the matter.
Word Count: 2, 586

"Euthanasia." ProConorg Headlines., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. .
O'Shea, Susan J.. "Euthanasia -- Nurses Who Assist Patients In Suicides Use Doublespeak To Describe Their Actions." The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times, 31 May 1996. Web. 26 Mar. 2014. .
Get Access