The Meaning Of Term Euthanasia And Its Types

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Before Addressing the topic of Euthanasia we must first analyze the meaning of the word itself.

The word is a combination of two words of Greek origin, EU and Thanatos, the exact meaning is a good death”. Today this word is otherwise known as mercy killing {‘where a person ends the life of another to relieve one of the continuous and or incurable suffering}

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Christian Ethics are against euthanasia as they argue that Human life is sacred and no one has the right to deliberately end it, more directly they argue that ‘if one is to act morally right he or she ought to obey moral duties ‘and those duties are the commands given to people by God, therefore by practicing euthanasia in the eyes of Christians the commandment ‘though shall not kill’ is breached, it is also seen as a violation of the natural law,

Kantian Ethics holds a counterargument, Although Kant was categorically against suicide and murder he did Strongly Believe in autonomy. Autonomy is the ability of a person to rationalize and make the right decisions on his own, therefore Kantian ethics hold the argument that we should respect a patient’s autonomy and their wish to end their life.

Voluntary Euthanasia is the action of ending one life in a painless way also known as Assisted suicide or mercy killing, when talking about Voluntary Euthanasia it should be in our understanding that the patient who is euthanized has requested it to be so. – one example of this Act is the case of Brittany Maynard, a terminally ill woman who moved to Oregon with her husband because of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law, who requested to end her life after she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, on November 1, 2014, died legally at home from a lethal dose of barbiturates.

In-Voluntary Euthanasia is the action of ending one’s life when the patient can give or reject the act but has not been asked or does not wish to be euthanized. One example is ‘A soldier whose stomach is blown open by a shell burst, and begs the doctor to save his life. The doctor knows that he will die within minutes, and so he injects him with a deadly substance to relieve him from pain sooner’

Non-voluntary Euthanasia is the action of ending one’s life and the patient cannot make a decision or make their wish know. An example of this is when the person is either in a comma or too young, or brain-damaged.

The answer to if a case of voluntary euthanasia could also passive or active?

The answer is yes to both as Active (positive) Euthanasia is when ‘death is brought on by an act” i.e. given a lethal injection, and a case of voluntary euthanasia can be passive if the patient has deliberately asked the medical dept. not to act upon medical condition i.e. patient denies being put on life support, therefore, the patient dies.

Passive(negative) Euthanasia is when ‘death is brought on by omission’ i.e., switching off a life support machine and voluntary active euthanasia is when the patient acts to be euthanized by lethal injection.

In answer to the question – Is a difference between letting someone die or killing them morally important, we should first analyze the argument on the issue.’ If killing and letting die were morally accepted then we would be just as responsible for the deaths of those whom we fail to save as we are for the deaths of those whom we kill, i.e not aiding Africa is morally equivalent to sending poisonous food’ Kushe. H explains that this argument is unreasonable and adds that in the case of involuntary killing the agent is inflicting harm but in euthanasia, the agent is not harming the person but relieving his life from suffering and having in perspective his highest of interests. I strongly agree with the Author, there surely is a difference between killing to harm someone and reliving one of non-ending suffering which will eventually end in death in any case, So to conclude the question above yes there Is a big difference between the two as one is acted on to harm and the other to put the person out of harm. Now let’s look at the second part of the question- Is this argument only in the interest of the law and government. As far as the law and public policy are concerned on this issue it is distinguishing where the line must be drawn to protect people from unjust killings, even though it might seem that this decision is unpredictable and ethical troublesome, it is required to ensure the lives of those who may be at risk of unjust abuse. (patients) . The slippery slope argument is used to argue in favor of not legalizing euthanasia and it states that legalization will lead to misuse of the practice and unjust actions. But in this case, the slippery slope argument which is usually used in arguments like this one to show how easily a situation can fall down a slippery slope of undesired outcomes is not convincing enough as there are no logical premises that support the argument. In other words, the argument to oppose euthanasia is not sound as euthanasia is characterized by the feeling of compassion and the respect for the autonomy of another human being and nothing to do with justifying non-merciful killings which do not respect a person autonomy. To answer the above question No the issue is not only in the interest of the government and the law, but It is also an issue of all society as it could concern us or people who are close to us. Although the government has a very serious duty to handle the issue of euthanasia very delicately as it deals with people’s lives, and if at any point the decision is made to allow euthanasia very serious rules and measures should be laid to protect people from unjust actions.

In light of the above, I firmly believe that Only Voluntary Euthanasia should be accepted, for the time being, I will explain why I only approve of voluntary being legalized and reject involuntary and non-voluntary euthanasia by using the slippery slope argument. Although the author believes that the slippery slope argument is not efficient I seriously believe based on people’s behaviors when it comes to situations that give one power and authority, It could quickly escalate to misuse of this power. An example of this is police officers who in some cases abuse their power of authority along with people in the government. But even though I do reject the two just mentioned I Argue that when it comes to morality and Voluntary Euthanasia (as I am a firm supporter of Kant). A person Autonomy should be respected If indeed the person has his consciousness and his sanity and can make decisions on his or her own then others should respect the decision of a terminally ill patient that is slowly deteriorating and suffering mentally and physically, about whether or not they wish to live or die. With this statement, I conclude on the topic of Euthanasia.  


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