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The Moral And Social Implications Of Euthanasia Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 880 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Euthanasia is a open term for mercy killing representing a serious moral dilemma, taking the life of a hopelessly ill or injured individual to end his or her life. The term euthanasia is inventive from ancient Greek, and means good death. Some difficulty cause people to suffer through intense physical pain in their last days and choosing to die rather than to live may seem like a selfless way of ending this pain. Other patients may request other means of death to avoid the weakness and loss of mental faculties that some diseases cause. The moral and ethical concerns over euthanasia don’t take into account the dignity of the one dying. It also does not take into account the emotional strain of a long illness on those who watch a loved one suffer and die.

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There are three main types of aid-in-dying, the first being active euthanasia, which involves painlessly putting one to death for sympathetic reasons. There is passive and active euthanasia meaning you either help in the dying of a patient or you don¿½t help and just let the patient pass by with-holding treatment. There is voluntary and in-voluntary euthanasia meaning either a patient asks to die or the patient does not have knowledge or consent to die. Last there is assisted suicide meaning someone gets the means to help you commit suicide because a doctor cannot help you.

Voluntary euthanasia, a person asks to die, or that life support treatment is stopped, with full knowledge that this will lead to death. Involuntary euthanasia refers to a patient’s life being ended without the patient’s knowledge and consent, meaning the patient is unable to make decisions on their own, unconscious, or is too sick and weak to be aware of what is happening or to take any action on his own behalf. Family recipients who would mistreat th rights for wealth, heritance does not hold true meaning, but relatives can withdraw the life support systems that could lead to the death of the said individual who wished to be let go (taken off life support, not being treated for pain, etc.). A family member influences the patient¿½s decision to commit suicide for personal gains like wealth inheritance. There is no way you can be really be sure if the decision towards suicide is voluntary/ involuntary or forced by others. (Dr. M, Maisie)

Assisted suicide is when the patient is being assisted in suicide. The patient brings it upon his/her self and/or actually causes his/her death with the assistance of another person, a friend, family member, but usually a physician. The term ¿½the right to die¿½ refers to the idea that a person with a terminal illness that is in serious condition should be allowed to chose if they want to commit suicide or wait for the prolong process of dying from their illness. A state’s definite ban on physician assistance to suicide has applied to the terminally ill patients who wish to avoid excruciating pain and hasten to expect death considerably interferes with this protected liberty concern and cannot be continual. The history of the law’s treatment of assisted suicide has been in rejection of nearly all efforts to allow it. Decisions lead to conclude that the asserted right to assistance in committing suicide is not a fundamental right protected by the Due Process Clause. Due process is the principle that the government must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person according to the law. Due process holds the government obedient to the law of the land, protecting individual persons from the state. (Vacco v. Quill)

Passive euthanasia, a doctor simply accepts the condition that he cannot help the patient to recover. Active euthanasia, the doctor successfully causes the death of the patient. A patient may also refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a insecure and troublesome resolution of life. At the center of the difference between killing and allowing death is physical causality and moral responsibility. To bring the life of another to an end by an injection is the same as directly killing the other. To allow someone to die from a disease we cannot cure is to allow the disease to act as the cause of death. If one simply withholds treatment, knowing it will take longer to die, and suffer more than he/she would if deciding not to with hold treatment. Once the initial decision not to prolong his/her pain has been made active euthanasia is actually preferable to passive euthanasia. (Callahan)

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There are strong opinions on both sides of the debate for and against euthanasia. Some people are for euthanasia mainly because they have been on the bed sides of their loved ones dying. They also believe that if you can make the chose of living then why they can¿½t make their chose to die. Other people are against euthanasia for many different reasons. One reason is because they look more at the legal and ethical points. Human freedom is to live, and die, according to one’s own desires and beliefs. The most common desire among those with a terminal illness is to die with dignity. Euthanasia can fulfill his/her wishes to help lighten the suffering of those who no longer want to live. At one time, death meant the killing of breathing and heartbeat.


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