top of page

Contemporary Ethical Issues: Euthanasia

According to Oxford English Dictionary, the term Euthanasia is defined as “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma” or people simply translate it as “Mercy Killing”. It can be categorized into Voluntary, Non-voluntary and Involuntary Euthanasia. Euthanasia which has done with the permission of the patient or with the willingness of the patient itself is called Voluntary euthanasia while for non-voluntary euthanasia; the consent of the patient is unavailable. But Involuntary Euthanasia which is against the willingness of the patient is totally different from the above two. There are two major division of it: Active and Passive. Active Euthanasia entails with the use of the lethal substance like lethal injection while Passive Euthanasia entails with the use of common treatments necessary for the continuance of life. The debate of ethicality has been going on for many decades.

The arguments for the proponent of euthanasia, according to Ezekiel Emanuel- an American Bioethicist, are 1) people have a right to self-determination, and thus should be allowed to choose their own fate; 2) assisting a subject to die might be a better choice than requiring that they continue to suffer; 3) the distinction between passive euthanasia, which is often permitted, and active euthanasia, which is not substantive; and 4) permitting euthanasia will not necessarily lead to unacceptable consequences. The counterarguments of the opponent are 1) not all deaths are painful; 2) alternatives, such as cessation of active treatment, combined with the use of effective pain relief, are available; 3) the distinction between active and passive euthanasia is morally significant; and 4) legalizing euthanasia will place society on a slippery slope which will lead to unacceptable consequences.

I am in favor of allowing euthanasia as a legal and ethical freedom. I would not like to live my life suffering from incurable or painful diseases. My existence on the earth would not bring any advantages to both my surrounding and myself. In fact, my existence would be a burden for my family and my surrounding. People ask for euthanasia when they have tried every possible way to get rid of such a painful situation. I believe none of us, exceptional to few, like to die under any circumstances. However, this is the way the patient could end up the chapter of his life without continuing his intractable painful life. Thus, he should have the right to determine and decide his fate. But of course, there are certain unethical scenarios especially in non-voluntary type. People encourage doing it in order to inherit the person belongings. In order to avoid such things, the authority must make sure that they follow certain criteria of the process. Firstly, they must make sure that the death is intended. There must be a second person who will perform the death of the patient. He needs to assure the willingness of the patient. Secondly, there must be a motive. The kind of diseases which the patient is suffering must be eligible to perform such activity. The most important criterion is that it must be a Merciful Death.

However, it is totally unacceptable for act of involuntary euthanasia. The willingness of the patient is being neglected. This act will somehow similar to murder. We should put ourselves in others’ shoes and try to feel the pain of the person. Performing this not only make the burden of the family member reduced but also make the patient freed from suffering. Therefore, this cannot give harm to other beings. Thus, this is ethical for me since I don’t see anything harmful.


0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

My lecture on Ethic is on Tuesday (12/2/13) but since it is a holiday I only have to write what I have learned in the tutorial. As I mentioned before, since there was no lecture due to holidays, so Mr

After Mr. Hamid explained the lecture on Eastern Ethics, I have gained some knowledge of eastern philosophers’ background and their ethical practices and theories. The lecture covered the ethical theo

Today’s lesson was quite an interesting lesson. It is about ethics from different countries and how they apply to their daily lives. The first country to introduce about the ethic is China. The famous

bottom of page