Types and Terminology
Arguments Against Euthanasia
Arguments Supporting Euthanasia
The word euthanasia stems from the Greek words “eu thanatos” meaning “good death” and it’s used to describe the act of a certain individual, usually a doctor, to deliberately end the life of someone. It’s important to differentiate between euthanasia and assisted suicide at this point. Assisted suicide is a term used to describe the action of an individual deliberately ending their own life, based on guidance, information, tools, or medication supplied by a third party individual. For example, a doctor could prescribe an overdose of muscle relaxants to a patient suffering from terminal cancer, the patient will die and the doctor is said to have committed euthanasia. However, if a friend of the terminally ill patient obtained powerful sedatives online, knowing that the patient will use these sedatives to overdose and commit suicide, then this is referred to as assisted suicide. Another term that should be explained is the Double Effect, since it is directly related to euthanasia. We determine that a certain case is a case of euthanasia since the doctor intentionally causes a person’s death, intention is the keyword here. If we considered that a doctor prescribed painkillers for a patient suffering from unbearable pain, then the doctor’s intention here is to erase the patient’s suffering. However, in some cases the painkillers could end up killing the patient and this would be considered to fall under the doctrine of double effect, since the treatment used to dull the pain has an additional effect that ends the patient’s life.
A. Types and Terminol...
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...ar in mind the obligation of preserving human life from conception '. They believe that legalizing euthanasia would encourage health professionals to abandon their empathy and compassion, and consider ending patients’ lives as just a routine administrative task. Individuals who use this argument often forget that morality is not originated from law, and to think that a doctor would prefer ‘killing off’ patients rather than saving their lives would imply that doctors only try to save patients because they’re getting paid to do so. Individuals who favor this argument also believe that people with complex health needs or those with disabilities might grow distrusting of their doctors, which is another fallacy since it can only be true if we assumed that a doctor sees other humans as customers or job tasks instead of seeing them as human beings.
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