Arguments For And Against Euthanasia Essay

2001 words - 8 pages

Euthanasia is the practice of ending an individual's life in order to relieve them from an incurable disease or unbearable suffering. The term euthanasia is derived from the Greek word for "good death" and originally referred to as “intentional killing” ( Patelarou, Vardavas, Fioraki, Alegakis, Dafermou, & Ntzilepi, 2009). Euthanasia is a controversial topic which has raised a great deal of debate globally. Although euthanasia has received great exposure in the professional media, there are some sticky points that lack clarity and need to be addressed. Euthanasia is a divisive topic, and different interpretations of its meaning, depend on whether the person supports it or not. While a few societies have accepted euthanasia, there are many societies and social groups which are against its practice. The Judea Christian's view euthanasia as morally wrong, ethically repulsive and a violation of God's gift of life. Those who oppose euthanasia feel that the advancement in pharmaceutical, technology and the increase in therapeutic measures can be embraced to prolong life at all costs (Patelarou et, al. 2009). Euthanasia is referred to as either passive or active. Passive euthanasia is, "letting a person die", and active euthanasia, also known as physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is giving a patient a lethal injection (medication) to expedite the dying process. This paper is going to explore how euthanasia is viewed from religious and ethical points. Arguments for and against euthanasia will be presented using published research articles.
In the United States, euthanasia is illegal in all states except in the states of Oregon, Washington, and Montana. In 1998 the issue of euthanasia was triggered in America when Dr Jack Kevorkian, a pathologist from Michigan showed a videotape of himself administering a deadly injection to a patient with a debilitating disease. The patient voluntarily wanted to end his life because he was suffering from Lou Gehrigs’s disease (Siu, 2008). Since then, the controversy over active euthanasia has remained an ethical dilemma for healthcare providers, patients and their family members in America and the rest of the world. The general public’s belief is that, health-care providers have professional obligations to save the lives of their patients regardless of their health status. The majority of the public feels that, healthcare workers’ involvement in the euthanasia practice is a betrayal of the “do no harm” oath. When a healthcare worker is involved in either active or passive euthanasia, it can be viewed as a disregard to this value. However, the proponents for euthanasia claim that a physician turning down a suffering patient’s request to end their life is also a violation to the “do no harm” oath (Siu, 2008). The right to die falls under patient’s autonomy and the basic question is whether individuals should be allowed to end their lives if they choose to do so (Sanders & Chaloner 2007). Those in the healthcare...

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