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Ethics -- Moral Theory and Moral Issue - Essay Example

Proponents of the practice argue that people should be as free to choose the way they die in the same way they choose the way they lived. In addition, people deserve to die with as little pain and as much dignity as is possible. Those against legalizing euthanasia say that it could open the door to abuses such as people opting to die earlier than needed for economic reasons and being pressured by relatives who have a financial concern. Callous as may sound, children of the terminally ill may not want their parents to spend their inheritance on life extending techniques, a sad scenario that should certainly be considered. Still others say that euthanasia is “playing God” which is not acceptable under any circumstances. Euthanasia is a sensitive subject about a painful prospect but must be addressed because it will likely involve everyone as some point in their lives. The word “euthanasia” is of Greek origin meaning “good death.” 18th Century England scholars referred to euthanasia as a means of “dying well.” (Belanger, 2010). Euthanasia is a medical procedure where a doctor supplies a lethal cocktail of drugs to a terminally ill patient who is in serve pain. The patient administers the dosage, not the doctor. The drugs could be administered either intravenously or orally but the decision is the patients, not the doctor or family members. Because of this, euthanasia is termed “doctor assisted” and not “doctor administered” suicide. Other methods include removing the patient from a life-support machine or simply not resuscitating them after they expire, allowing them to pass on naturally without the aid of “heroic measures.” In the three states and few countries that have legalized euthanasia, the patient must be terminally ill, as decided by three doctors and be fully mentally cognizant. Though it is unfortunate, most people will die a bad death instead of a good death. Euthanasia proponents are motivated not by personal autonomy issues, though that is extremely concerning in a free society, but by human suffering and the lack of a dignified death most people endure. Many, if not most, paths to death involve diseases that slowly eat away at bodily organs causing a torturous ending both for the person dying and their loved ones who watch then die following months of agony. Family members and close fiends watch as the dying person becomes progressively gaunt and thin while either unconscious due to pain medications or experiencing constant pain. Everyone can imagine themselves in that scenario and most, ostensibly, would not want to die in that way and would rather spare themselves and their family the agony. Further, the person dying considers themselves a burden and not a positive in anyone’s life anymore. No person wants to be in that situation. However, this scenario occurs in homes, hospices and hospitals thousand of times every day of the year. It’s a horrific scene that serves no purpose and cannot be assigned a rationale other than to pacify the “morals” of those who think it acceptable to dictate their wishes from outside the actual situation, uninvolved in the daily trauma. It’s easy to imagine a grandmother, the matriarch of the family, a gentle lady who has dedicated her entire adult life to care for the needs of others now spending her last weeks lying feebly in a sterile, foreign environment. She is not able to use the restroom or feed herself without ...Show more


Name Instructor Class Date Euthanasia, a Moral Issue The subject of euthanasia has not been discussed on the national stage very often, not mentioned once during the year-long primary and presidential debates, yet is very important to thousands of Americans…
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Ethics -- Moral Theory and Moral Issue essay example
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