Essay on Legalization of Active Voluntary Euthanasia for the Terminally Ill

Essay on Legalization of Active Voluntary Euthanasia for the Terminally Ill

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Euthanasia has been a long debated subject consisting of many opinions and believes. For this paper I will be providing my rationale on why I am for legalization of active voluntary euthanasia for terminally ill clients in Canada. Active voluntary euthanasia should be legalized because it respects the individual’s choice, it allows individuals to flourish in their passing, and reduces the individual from further suffering. These are all important components of bioethics, and are all good reasons why euthanasia is not a negative thing. Active voluntary euthanasia is “the active killing of a dying person” requested by the client themselves (Collier & Haliburton, 2011, p. 226). In the paper I will also be discussing about virtue ethics, the principle of autonomy, and care ethics.
Suffering and Virtue Ethics
Many terminally ill clients are faced with pain and suffering because of illness and treatments. Living life competently should include a minimal amount of suffering. With the illegalization of active voluntary euthanasia, individuals can suffer more and have a lower quality of life (Begley, 2008, p. 435). I believe that suffering does cause a lower quality of life to the individual, and extending life while terminally ill does not have many benefits. I feel that suffering will only diminish the individual psychologically and physically. In virtue ethics, established by Aristotle, it follows the idea everything in life has a purpose, this is called teleology. Things are completed for the sake of something else. It explains that in life there are goals and an ultimate goal. An example for an ultimate goal can be in this case, passing away peacefully. This ultimate goal is something valued for its own sake. It is created from...

... middle of paper ... respect of choice. With over-treatment the individual may experience suffering and pain. This will cause a drop in quality of life and eudemonia. I agree that prolonging life and treatments when terminally ill only decreases flourishing, and living well. Respecting the individual’s decision is part of autonomy, and the way of allowing a person to make choices for themselves. An individual should always have the right to shape their life, this should also include their death.

Begley, A. (2008). Guilty but good: Defending voluntary active euthanasia from a virtue perspective. Nursing Ethics, 15(4), 434-445.
Collier, C., & Haliburton, R. (2011). Bioethics in Canada. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc.
Kimsma, G., & Leeuwen, E. (2007). The role of family in euthanasia decision making. HealthCare Ethics Committee Forum, 19(4), 365-373.

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