Euthanasia, the practice of ending life, is one of the issues that involve ethical dilemmas. This paper explores ethical theories to euthanasia and end of life. Ethics defines a society’s morality in terms of what is approved to be good and what is approved to be bad. Acts, either of omission or of commission, are therefore ethical when they meet a society’s approved behavior and unethical when they are contradictory. Such is the basis of the issue of euthanasia that faces conflicting opinions from different ethical perspectives and affected parties. A person in great pain without hope for improvements and is waiting to die, may for example desire assistance to facilitate his or her death while such an act may not be acceptable to care personnel or the patient’s close relatives. Legal professions that supplement professional ethics and patients’ rights also play a significant role. These factors therefore induces dilemma on care ethics approach that provides for a positive relationship between caregivers and patients (Bube n.p.). While both parties are supposed to derive utility from the relationship between patients and care personnel, conflicting interest between the parties over application of euthanasia calls for application of other ethical principles. A consideration of third party interest, such as those of relatives and legal provisions, intensifies the dilemma over whose interest should be supreme. Ethical theories of teleology, deontology, and virtue ethics however offer guidelines to determining morality of euthanasia and end of life issues (Bube n.p.). The general teleological approach to ethics involves evaluation of consequences of an action on the society in terms of benefits and harms that are accrued from an act. Acts that lead to net benefits, more benefits than harm, are therefore considered ethical while acts that yield net harm to the largest section of the society are considered unethical. Utilitarian ethics has a dual approach to euthanasia and assisted deaths with some interpretations identifying lack of ethics in the practice while others argue that the act is ethical. Among opinions that argue for utilitarian ethics are three benefits of ending lives of terminal patients who are going through pain as they await their death. One of the beneficial consequences of euthanasia is its recognition of a patient’s autonomy in decisions about his or her last days. This is because prolonging a person’s life against his or her desire breaches the ethical principle of autonomy and may not yield utility to the suffering patient. It therefore allows patients to decide what will benefit them more. The practice also has the benefits of eliminating suffering, in a patient and among relatives, in cases where such sufferings cannot be managed and the patient condition deteriorates towards death. Euthanasia also comforts patients with the hope that it permanently relieves them of their pain (Bube n.p.). Utilitarian opinions against euthanasia however argue that a patient may make decision to use the process but under duress from either care providers or family and the process would therefore not benefit the patient. A utilitarian approach to euthanasia should therefore consider each isolated case to determine possible benefits and harms to each stakeholder, especially the patient (Bube n.p.). Deontological perspective of euthanasia however involves consideration of established moral rules in practice. In euthanasia, for example, deontological ethics correspond to established ethical codes of conduct in the care profession. The fundamental that guides deontological ethics in euthanasia is protecting patient autonomy. The patient must however be terminally ill, is informed of the
One of the most common dilemmas involves conflict in moral values because morality is deeply rooted in personal conviction and a breach is critical, not only to consequences from the society such as rebuke and isolation…
The author asserts that death only comes once, hence, dignity in death must be observed or discussed with family and patients. He points out that discussions of issues like end of life care must take place between specialists, patients and family so they can make decisions based on informed choices.
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 Euthanasia is recognized as the act of voluntarily taking one’s life. While in pure technical terms the act of euthanasia is a form of suicide, in practice it is generally associated with individuals facing end of life issues that choose euthanasia as a means of escaping pain and suffering associated with their condition.
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.
The idea of euthanasia is also not chosen by people because it is considered morally and ethically wrong by different religions. But euthanasia needs to be a personal choice of the individuals or the family members of someone who is in constant pain and has little hope of leading a life of quality.
Voluntary euthanasia is the process of ending the patient’s life to end pain and suffering but such a decision is made by the patient. Involuntary euthanasia involves performing euthanasia on a patient, who is able to provide informed
(Seamus Cavan Sean Dolan, 2000) suggested that Euthanasia means easy death or death without any pain.
In other words, it is the process whereby somebody is intentionally killed just to save him or her from one form of agony to another. The fact that the person
However, certain exceptions to such rules also exist around the world (Cooney & et. al., 2012). As apparent, the practice of euthanasia presents a pessimistic moral view to the care-giving obligations when treating
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