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Euthanasia Philosophy Essay
Pages 5 (1255 words)
Euthanasia Introduction Euthanasia is a Greek word meaning “mercy killing”. Its usage depends on the context in which it occurs. There is no conventional way of defining the term. Hence, there are three levels of understanding of euthanasia: voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia.
However, if the medical practitioner suggests and the patient agrees, it will be termed as voluntary euthanasia. All the definitions share common characteristics in that they all involve shortening the life of a patient with the belief that it’s better if he/she is dead. Then the act is carried out by doctors and not relatives (Keown 9). Activists of the ordeal suggest that doctors should be given the mandate to do it by not just relieving the pain but by killing the patient in particular circumstances. It is believed that termination of the patient’s life will relieve the relatives, close friends or loved ones the burden and the expenses, as well as the time they spend in taking care of the sick. The key word here is to reduce suffering for the patient (Keown 11). According to John Hardwig, there is always a duty to die. There are circumstances that increase the likelihood of the duty to die; one’s illness, history and age. He gives several considerations that clarify the definition of the duty to die. First, if prolonging life will pose more burdens to relatives including loss jobs, financial challenges and emotional stress to the caregivers, there is a very high degree of the likelihood to die. Age increases the likelihood since, as we advance in age, our contribution to the society decreases. ...
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