Euthanasia: We Have the Right to Die Essay

Euthanasia: We Have the Right to Die Essay

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What is euthanasia? The dictionary defines euthanasia as the act of putting to death or allowing to die painlessly, a person or animal from a painful incurable disease. Euthanasia is also known as mercy killing. The word euthanasia comes from the Greek word eu- meaning good and the Greek word thanatos which means death. There are two types of euthanasia: active euthanasia and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia is the practice of ending the life of a person painlessly. While passive euthanasia is the practice of a patient refusing treatment or allowing a patient to die. Many believe that it passive euthanasia is morally acceptable, but active euthanasia is not. They believe it is acceptable to stop treatment and allow the person to act, but that it is not acceptable to purposefully kill a person.
What’s the difference? If a patient has lung cancer and they are at a stage where a ventilator is needed. They patient has the option of accepting or refusing the treatment. The patient could say to take off the ventilator and will eventually die, but it would take longer and would be more painful. It would have been better to have active euthanasia, where the death would have been quicker and painless. The patient wouldn’t have to suffer in agony for so long. The doctor is still taking an action that will cause the patient to die; either it be by stopping the treatment or by a lethal injection. Is there really a difference between action and omission?
However, James Rachels (1975), American philosopher argues that there is no difference between action and omission if the end result is the death of the patient. He shows this by explaining two different situations. In the first situation, Smith will inherit money if his six year old ...


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...y over their bodies, and should be able to have the choice to decide how and when they want to die. Euthanasia should not be taken lightly and must always be voluntary. Before undergoing the procedure, patients must be evaluated to determine their state of mind and if it euthanasia is their choice. If a legislation is passed to make euthanasia legal it must be carefully drafted, so that it is not abused. If euthanasia is not properly regulated or controlled it may lead to legalized murder.



Resources
Campaign Life Coalition - Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide. (n.d.). Campaign Life Coalition. Retrieved March 24, 2014, from http://www.campaignlifecoalition.com/index.php?p=Euthanasia
Rachels, J. (1975). Active And Passive Euthanasia. New England Journal of Medicine, 292(2), 78-80.
Snyder, C. L. (2006). Euthanasia: opposing viewpoints. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

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