EuthanasiaEuthos (easy)+ Thanos (dying)
What is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia is a broad term for mercy killing taking the life of a hopelessly ill or injured individual in order to end his or her suffering.
Euthanasia can be considered a form of suicide, if the person afflicted with the problem actively does it. The person volunteering to commit the act to that person can also consider it a form of murder.
Different Types of Euthanasia
Physician Assisted Death
-refers to the action taken by the physician and the patient, who both agree(with informed consent) to end the patient's life.
Physician Assisted Suicide
-refers to a third party taking a patient's life without the informed consent of the patient.
providing treatment (usually to reduce pain) that has the foreseeable side effect of causing the patient to die sooner
Involves withdrawing or withholding lifeprolonging medical treatment with the intention to hasten death in the patient's interests because of their expected negative quality of life.
Leads to this
Non-Voluntary EuthanasiaThis is where the person is unable to ask for euthanasia (perhaps they are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate), or to make a meaningful choice between living and dying and an appropriate person takes the decision on their behalf, perhaps in accordance with their living will, or previously expressed wishes.
Situations in which the person cannot make a decision or cannot make their wishes known, includes cases where:
The person is in a coma. The person is too young (e.g. a very young baby). The person is senile. The person is mentally retarded to a very severe extent. The person is severely brain damaged. The person is mentally disturbed in such a way that they should be protected from themselves.
Terri Schiavos Case
RIGHT TO DIE MOVEMENT?
Terri Schiavo collapsed in her home in 1990, suffering from heart failure that led to severe brain damage because of lack of oxygen and already diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) for several years and after 15 years of sufferings shed been disconnected from her life-sustaining feeding tube, which subsequently resulted in her death by dehydration.
The arguments against the legalization of voluntary active euthanasia
The argument of autonomy does not justify the legalization of voluntary active euthanasia. Autonomy requires that the individual lives according to rationally conceived decisions, and the free conditions by which these decisions or plans are made are compromised by the act of euthanasia. Individuals cannot voluntarily and irreversibly surrender the conditions necessary for autonomy. Euthanasia requires a lethal act by another individual to end the patients life, so the argument of autonomy does not justify the legalization of euthanasia.
The argument of beneficence is also often used as a justification for the legalization of euthanasia. It is argued that even with the best palliative care, and the best pain management, that there will still be a small group of patients for whom there is no relief from their suffering, and so for whom the most humane option is to end their life Euthanasia may be a compassionate act in a handful of extreme cases, this does not mean it should be legalized under the guise of promoting the wellbeing of patients in general.
The ethical difference between killing and the shortening of life as a side-effect or letting die
The crux of the argument that there is a difference between actively killing (E.g. in euthanasia) and knowingly shortening a patients life as a side effect of treating their suffering (E.g. double effect) is intention.
The erosion of the doctor-patient relationship, and the adverse effects on the practice of medicine
If euthanasia were legalized, any reported abuse of the protocol would lead all patients to question their physicians motives and care. To guarantee that there is no abuse would require anything short of monitoring all patient visits with a physician. This would mean the intrusion of courts, prosecutors, and the police into medical practice, and the erosion of the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship.
The slippery slopeSlippery slope arguments claim that an apparently innocuous small step can act as the thin edge of the wedge to bring about undesirable major changes further in that direction.
Positive side of Euthanasia
It ends a persons suffering in this world.
Euthanasia may even bring about happiness in that it is what the person desires and wants, in order to no longer to be a burden to his/her family
Depression, family conflict, feelings of abandonment, and hopelessness, are emotional burdens on family members seeing a person suffer. Committing euthanasia may be the humane act to do for the afflicted family member in this case.
The euthanized person may even be of use to society in a utilitarian manner, if his/her bodily organs are to promote the welfare of others, one life saves the lives of others.
Negative side of Euthanasia
It goes against natural law ethicsTHOU SHALL NOT KILL!
Euthanasia goes against the six prima facie duties.
Suicide is a tragic, individual act. Euthanasia is not about a private act.
It is God who remains the sovereign master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of."