Saturday, August 3, 2019
The right to live, the right to die. Essay -- Euthanasia Essays
Euthanasia, along with all other forms of medical involvement concerning the ending of human life has been a subject of great controversy for some time, dating back to the times of Socrates, and is a topic which has long attracted the attention of both medical and legal professionals, ethicists, and is often brought up in general public debate (Huxtable & Campbell, 2003) The term euthanasia derives from the Greek 'eu', which means 'good', and 'thanatos', meaning 'death' (Ladd, 1979). In a medical context, the Hippocratic Oath popularly believed to be undertook by all practising physicians suggests all medical practitioners will endeavour to ensure all patients' well being, it is all too easy to misinterpret the oaths' meaning in order to manipulate and justify actions that would otherwise be deemed unethical; specifically for the act of euthanasia. This essay will discuss the arguments both for and against euthanasia, with careful consideration given to all aspects related to the debate. Perhaps the most well known arguments in the euthanasia debate are that of the sanctity of life, of which holds palpable religious connotations which will be further discussed; the ending of suffering or 'low quality of life'; and the respect for patient autonomy (Huxtable & Campbell, 2003). In terms of extremities of the euthanasia debate spectrum, the Church of England (2000) have published a document greatly opposing euthanasia, whilst on the other hand, Otlowski (1997) has thoroughly researched and published an analysis of the law with the ultimate aim of ensuring euthanasia as a legal option. In terms of a religious perspective, and for purposes of extended clarity; Christian views, there is much contradiction to be found regarding euth... ...ts will invariably disagree with utilitarianists, and visa-versa, thus deeming all cases as requiring ethical investigation on an individual scale. Seemingly similar cases may have entirely different circumstances altogether, and may or may not have different outcomes. Although religion can play a major role in many cases of euthanasia, it is unlikely witnessing a relative suffering chronic untreatable pain will override any alleged desire to prolong life longer than required; however, certain circumstances often provide members of some religions with no other choice, for example, as in the case of Jehovah's Witnesses, where blood transfusion is not allowed. In conclusion to the available evidence, case studies and theoretical aspects of euthanasia, it can be argued that whilst people have the inherent right to live, they also have the right to die with dignity.