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Moral argument - Essay Example

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Areum Son Mrs. Woodard EH102-QMQ 4/29/13 Final Draft: Moral Evaluation on Euthanasia Over two decades ago in Britain, Dr. Nigel Cox administered a lethal dose of potassium chloride to Lillian Boyes, killing her within minutes. Mrs. Boyes had been was terminally ill, and in the weeks before she died, her pain worsened that even extremely high doses of diamorphine or heroin do little to alleviate her pain…
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Moral argument

Dr. Cox did active euthanasia and it is considered a sin and a crime. Passive euthanasia is legal and is done by withholding life-sustaining assistance, while active euthanasia (physician-assisted) involves acts that will hasten someone’s death (Green 641). Although many people think that active euthanasia, or physician-assisted suicide, is morally wrong and is a total disregard for the sanctity of life, three reasons why physician-assisted suicide is morally right are that it is a respect for the paramount right of an individual to execute sovereignty on matters that concerns only the self, it is the same as passive euthanasia, and it provides dignity in death (Green 640). First, opponents claim that active euthanasia disregards the individual’s right to life. It is claimed that the aim of medicine is always to look for ways to cure an illness, which is rooted in the idea of prolonging a person’s life. It is claimed that there is also a possibility that an ill person may be under pressure to choose euthanasia rather than be a burden to other family members. There is also the possibility of misdiagnosis or miscalculations by doctors, and death can no longer be reversed (Linville 201-2). There is no denying that the logic of these claims have value. However, while people focus on an individual’s right to life, it is forgotten that the individual also has an absolute right over matters that concerns only the person who is involved. This means that to be able to exercise the right to choose life or death is a paramount right for every individual in the event when no intervention or help can be currently applied or given to alleviate the person’s condition. An individual must have the right to decide and choose if the remaining solutions to end the intolerable suffering are merely between miracle and death. Regarding medical misdiagnosis or miscalculations, while it is true that doctors sometimes make mistakes, they are still often correct than wrong. In this matter, the individual is sovereign (Linville 204-5) and that each individual has the right to decide on personal matters. Second, opponents claim that such act goes against the Hippocratic Oath. It is said that doctors are not meant to harm patients, particularly through their profession. Killing them is harming them (Klampfer 7). This claim is understandable. However, there had been so many modifications of the Hippocratic Oath over the years because some of its doctrines are no longer appropriate with the existing society (Klampfer 11). For example, the first paragraph of the oath has been changed because swearing to Greek gods and goddesses may be considered offensive to one’s religion today. Abortion was also prohibited then, but is legal today under certain conditions. The oath also only refers to men, but women today also practice medicine already. Splitting fees with one’s teacher and promising to support their children are also not practiced today (Antoniou et al. 3075-7). Furthermore, such claim puts the legality of passive euthanasia in question. Passive euthanasia, if defined without any refinement, means allowing one to die by not doing anything to save the individual. Yet this action is ... Read More
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