The Pros And Cons Of Euthanasia

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Today, unresolved issues on genetically modified organisms, animal rights, abortion and human experimentation generate lots of conflicts. Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) is yet another contentious issue because of the ethical and moral dilemmas it provokes and partly because it implicates issues of life and death (McCormack). For a very long time, euthanasia has been a prohibited medical practice in most countries. Currently, only a handful of nations such as Netherlands and Belgium and states such as Washington, Vermont, and Oregon ascribe to it. In other countries such as Australia, Britain, Singapore, and Switzerland serious discussions are ongoing. However, the outcome is far from clear (James). Euthanasia, by designation…show more content…
Under this model Mill’s advances the ethical legality of practicing euthanasia firstly because the procedure progresses the conception of beneficence. It is said that by relieving the patient and by extension heir family, friends, and relatives pain and suffering by performing PAS, euthanasia does more good than harm. Moreover, under moral values of human society, compassion and mercy dictate that no person should be allowed to suffer unbearably. PAS is, therefore, permissible under such circumstances that warrant the input of such acts of kindness. Secondly, the value of happiness advanced by Mill’s utilitarian theory holds that all actions are right only in proportion to their ability to promote happiness. On the other hand, actions are wrong if they tend to produce the reverse of happiness (Mill 226). Happiness is defined by the absence of pain and the attainment of the intended pleasure (Kant, Wood, and Schneewing 11). In practice, euthanasia is the medical procedure meant to relieve pain and end suffering and unhappiness. Therefore, incurably ill patients in constant intractable pain, and who experience an intolerably poor quality of life have every right to end their life. Therefore, from a utilitarian point of view, the justification for euthanasia is letting patients have a good death, with the help of PAS, and at a time of their choosing makes them happier. This kind of happiness is more than the agony of their illness, the distress from the painful and slow anticipation of their death, and the perceived loss of their dignity. Consequently, the compassion of euthanasia is an act of kindness that maximizes the utility of all parties involved (Cholbi, Michael, and Chukka
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