Explain how a follower of utilitarianism would approach the issue of euthanasia. There are different solutions to the problem of euthanasia among utilitarians. Most modern utilitarians oppose involuntary euthanasia today because it contradicts the notion of human freedom and autonomy, which are central to Mill’s ideas or beliefs. Mill’s argument of ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ only makes sense if human beings are free and autonomous. Modern utilitarians also oppose involuntary euthanasia because of the slippery slope argument which states that if involuntary euthanasia was to be legal, the sick might fear going to their doctor or to the hospital because they will start to lack trust in the doctors as they will have the power to authorise or conduct involuntary euthanasia.
A follower of Natural Law would object to euthanasia, chiefly for this reason. A follower of Natural Law would argue that the sanctity of life is important, building up on what St. Thomas Aquinas asserted- that all life is sacred. Euthanasia denies a person’s natural course of life and this takes away sacredness of life. Euthanasia, although it could be used to end a person’s suffering is not taking into account that God set people’s lives out to be a certain way and only he can take and give life. A doctor does not have the right to do this because he or she is not God and should not ‘play God’.
Can these kinds of treatment really get patient and their families out of suffering as well as give hope? I do not think so. For passive euthanasia, the patients just refuse to accept any treatment and let their lives continue naturally without any medical or machine. For instance, Julia Quinlan, Karen’s mother, explained the family’s feelings: “We didn’t ask for Karen to die. We just asked for her to be removed from technology and be placed in a natural state.” People who are against euthanasia believe that passive euthanasia is wrong.
They conclude that assisted suicide and voluntary active euthanasia are different and that each has differing implications for medical practice and society. MY CRITCISM In criticising Doeflinger I would agree with the statement of Watts and Howell that the two acts, Assisted Suicide and Volunatry Active Euthansia are two differing acts. Yes, a slippery slope may occur when one of theses are voted into law, but there needs to be a humane way for an informed individual to end their life gracefully. Doeflinger recantor would be to quickly quote the slippery slope argument and the biblical phrase that your body is God's temple made in his image and you must honor and cheerish it until he takes it back. The beginning of acceptance of suicide will begin to erode the trust in the physician's role to help and save lives.
On the other hand opponents of assisted suicide do not believe this is the only way to secure a good health alternative. Opponents believe that it is important to make a patient feel comfortable and help them improve their quality of life not end life just because it is an option or that they may feel they are a burden to loved ones. Assisted suicide can be performed by a physician or a person who is willing to help a patient end their life. This paper will focus on physician assisted suicide (PAS), this has been a controversial issue in many countries and have many different opinions on the ethics behind assisted suicide. To further examine the data the utilitarian ethics approach will be used.
However, there are some patients who give up and opt to end their life by way of active euthanasia. Is active euthanasia an act of simply letting a patient die in peace and with dignity? Or is it unethical and murder? According to Caplan, Arthur and Snyder, Lois (2002) the United States Supreme Court has ruled that there is no constitutional right to assisted suicide. Active euthanasia is wrong, and this paper will explain why the practice should never be a medical option.
If a person is suffering in unbearable pain and cannot enjoy life then euthanasia would be the best option to help that person die a dignified and peaceful death, rather than a period of lost dignity and prolonged suffering. Current laws state that active euthanasia is illegal in most of the country. Patients can refuse medical treatment and receive pain management, even if the patient’s choices hasten their death. Futile or burdensome treatments, such as life support machines, may be withdrawn under specific circumstances. Under federal and some state laws medical facilities need consent from patients or, in the event of incompetency of the patient, informed consent of the legal surrogate.
It is important to note that passive euthanasia is not the same as making a mistake in a patient’s care that leads to his or her death. Rather, passive euthanasia requires that a doctor knowingly refrain from preventing a patient’s death. However, Gay-Williams argues that there is no such thing as passive euthanasia, saying that in these cases, the patient’s death is not the intended consequence, but rather a side-effect. The intention, he claims, is to prevent unnecessary burdens that would accompany any extension on the patient’s life, such as financial and emotional costs on the patient and his or her family. In his paper “The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia,” Gay-Williams makes three main arguments against the practice.
Legalising and allowing euthanasia to happen weakens society’s respect of this sanctity. Religions like Christianity, Islam, etc are against euthanasia because religion teaches people that the death of every individual should be decided by God, that God chooses how long and how a person should live. Suffering is only but a part of life and living. If euthanasia is accepted, it means that the lives of the sick and disabled are worth less than others. Furthermore, euthanasia is unnecessary in the presence of palliated care.
When one withholds the treatment needed for one to survive this is passive euthanasia. This would be keeping respirators away, treatments that are not opposed by the legal system, and procedures. Active euthanasia is purposely bringing death to someone else by certain actions taken (Gorman). In the U.S. individuals have been given the right to make an Advance Directive that gives the person the right as one’s voice when they become unable to make medical decisions. This Directive is assigned to someone they can put trust into so they would be able to know be the persons voice in making decisions (Advance Directives and Medical Power of Attorney).Voluntary euthanasia takes place when a person makes the choice to end one’s life; non-voluntary euthanasia takes place when a person has not asked or consented to death.