(Andersen and Taylor, 2007, p.552). The objective of the paper is to explore the historical and philosophical roots related to euthanasia. Included in the topics to be covered are the different approaches that present the reasons for undertaking or employing euthanasia. Historical Roots of Euthanasia The history of euthanasia can be traced back to the reign of the Greeks and Romans when the term originated. Though it is meant to imply a good death, euthanasia is often deemed with negativity since it can be translated as physician-assisted suicide and compared to other ethical and moral social issues such as abortion, capital punishment, and issues related to beginning or ending of human life (McDougall, Gorman and Roberts, 2008, p.2). During the first to firth century, Greeks and Romans are allowed to access poison and choose death. The rise of the influence of Christianity during the Roman Empire had a great impact on the view on euthanasia. Death regardless of what reason was prohibited. During the middle ages, 5th to 15th century, the Catholic Church stressed the religious condemnation of euthanasia and that suffering is a sign of spiritual virtues of martyrdom. Then the Renaissance (14th to 17th century) came and changed the view on euthanasia through the discovery of modern scientific knowledge that are still influential in the present era. Thus, there is diversification of view on euthanasia since the church is still against the issue (McDougall, Gorman and Roberts, 2008, p.3-4). The view on euthanasia continuously changed as the Age of Reason came in during the 18th century. Scientific prowess opened the mind of the people regarding the need of every person to have a choice regarding death. In 1798, six colonies ceased the legal penalties for attempted suicide. The open mindedness of the authorities though made a frightening turn during the pre-WW II and Nazi Germany (1920-45) when the secretly approved government program that killed handicapped, mentally ill and people un asylums became the onset of Hitler’s Euthanasia Programme that even included people of least capability to defend themselves regardless of being healthy such as women and children (p.5). With the foundations of views and beliefs from the previous eras, the perspective toward euthanasia in the present era became divided. This is the main reason why it became a personal issue to decide on whether or not euthanasia should be applied. Law and medical ethics mandate the guidelines for euthanasia while the person himself and the relatives hold the decision to apply it. Philosophical Roots of Euthanasia Euthanasia is one of the main concerns in the field of medicine based on the fact that it is a controversial issue in ethics. The ethical question lies in the death of a person. If the person himself/herself consented for the act, there is a question the person’s right to take his/her own life. If the act is the decision of the relatives or the medical professionals since it may be the only solution left for the patient, there is a question on their right to decide the time when a person should die (Andersen and Taylor, 2007, p.552). The main answer to the questions regarding the need for euthanasia can be explained by Beauchamp and Childress’ four principles of medical ethics namely: respect for
Euthanasia in Terminal Illness Name University Professor Course Date Euthanasia in Terminal Illness Euthanasia is one of the main concerns in the medical practice. It is defined as the ‘act of killing a severely ill person as an act of mercy’ which has 2 forms on the basis actions undertaken namely the negative and positive euthanasia…
Euthanasia is commonly referred as ‘mercy killing’ or a ‘good death’. It entails bringing about the death of a patient in belief that the existence of the patient is so bad that he or she is better off dead than alive.
Euthanasia means taking one’s life with the help of a doctor by giving injected poisonous medicines or otherwise. According to common beliefs, a person has no right to take the life of other at whatever circumstances. And law treats euthanasia as a punishable act as it involves taking one’s life.
Euthanasia means terminating an individual’s life with or without his/her consent. It differs from suicide in which the individual takes his/her life himself/herself without others’ help. In spite of the advancement of technology in all fields including medicine, objective treatment methods for many illnesses have yet not been discovered.
However, active euthanasia is undertaken on an individual only when his or her doctors and family members agree and make the decision to kill actively to end the agony suffered by their loved one. Passive euthanasia, on the other hand, lets the suffering person die by withholding the necessary medical care and allowing the disease to kill the person instead of a fellow human being.
Law and Euthanasia.
Terminal illness or disease is a medical term that found its popularity in the 20th century. Terminal illness is regarded as a disease that cannot be cured; therefore, patients suffering such diseases are bound to die specifically within a very short period (Keown, 2002; Pg.
Very few countries have legalized euthanasia to date and the ones that do allow euthanasia have very strict laws regarding it. It should be mentioned that while guidelines have been set, each case has to be considered on a case-by-case basis and as for the right to die cases are unique in each case.
death free of anxiety and pain brought about through the use of medication or deliberately putting an end to someone’s life in order to spare the individual from suffering”. Euthanasia is therefore believed to be beneficial to the person on whom it is brought about because
James Rachels has argues that under certain circumstances active euthanasia should be morally permissible and this is a very sound argument. Many times we let people die; famine is a classic example of the same. Rachels emphasizes on killing Vs letting die argument and this
Euthanasia refers to the practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or incurable disease by either lethal injection or suspension of the treatment. Euthanasia is intentional killing
spite of the advancement of technology in all fields including medicine, objective treatment methods for many illnesses have yet not been discovered. Thus, some patients suffer from terminal illness that is described as a disease for which there is no treatment or cure, and is
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