Euthanasia is a word derived from Greek that has the etymological meaning of an easy death through the alleviation of pain (Moreno, 1995). Through the course of history, the signification of the term has changed and evolved in many different definitions. A useful definition of euthanasia on which we will base this essay, is named ‘mercy killing’, which signifies deliberately putting an end to someone’s life to avoid further suffering, as stated by Michael Manning in 1998. The euthanasia debate possesses a strong significance in our modern society. A discussion conducted by both scholars and politicians is going on whether physicians have the right to hasten the death of an individual by the administration of poison. In this essay we will try to analyze arguments of both proponents and opponents of euthanasia with the purpose of creating a strong argument against the legalization of physician assisted suicide. We will start by showing the weaknesses of legalizing euthanasia by using logic and the application of the slippery slope argument. After that we will consider the present ethical value of the Hippocratic Oath and this paper will be concluded by analyzing the difference between intended and foreseen life-shortening.
The Slippery Slope
If voluntary euthanasia is legalized, it is a first step down the slippery slope to involuntary euthanasia. R1 When applying pure logics on the euthanasia debate, one main argument opposing voluntary euthanasia stands out clearly, this argument is named the slippery slope. EV1 The slippery slope is used to disallow the claim of an exception to a rule on the grounds of the negative impact it may have; hence the rejection is not solely directed to the proposal an sich, but to the un...
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...g even under threat” (Keown, 2002). IC Hence, the objection of intentional euthanasia is evidenced by its recognition by international conventions on human rights (Keown, 2002). CCR3 Being recognised by international conventions, the main relevance of the Oath lies in the protection of the welfare of the patient by making the doctor swear that they will never do harm. This is not about the vitalistic sanctity of life, but the core of this doctrine is the principle which forbids intentional killing by physicians, EV3 it states that the right not to be killed is enjoyed regardless of ability or inability (Keown, 2002). C We can conclude that the modern modification of the Hippocratic Oath, reaffirmed in the Declaration of Geneva, still possesses a significant relevance in medical ethics and that it is always morally wrong for a doctor to intentionally kill a patient.
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