Debate euthanasia essay
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Go to order form. Check your total price. Add extra features if your homework needs a special touch. Submit payment details. Choose your favorite among the safest payment options. Get your homework done. Preview and download the paper long before the deadline. Students trust us. Online Homework Help at Its Best Online academic help is a solution many students use to save their time, their place, and their grades. First, her argument fails to controvert the key ethical distinction between trying to shorten life and merely foreseeing the shortening of life, between, for example, trying to kill the patient with potassium chloride and trying to kill the pain with diamorphine , a distinction long recognized by the medical profession including the Dutch medical profession, the pioneers of euthanasia for whom euthanasia requires the purposeful shortening of life; by English criminal law; 43 and by common sense.
Free euthanasia debate Essays and Papers
This is both inaccurate and vague. Second, if she thinks, as she appears to, that the law relating to lethal injections should take its cue from the law permitting the withdrawal of treatment and requiring respect for patient refusals of treatment, then lethal injections should be allowed in a far wider range of cases than patients who request them to end unbearable suffering. The law permits treatment to be withdrawn from patients both competent and incompetent.
Should the law relating to lethal injections? If not, why not? It is true that Bland 46 is authority that tube-feeding may be withdrawn from a patient in PVS on the ground that his life is no longer a benefit. In its muddled, superficial judgment in Carter  SCC 5 the same court left it opaque whether, and if so why, it rejected this key and authoritatively-established distinction. The use of the sweeping language in cases such as Re T was obiter and incautious. It is far from clear that the right to refuse treatment is unlimited.
For example, s 58 of the Mental Health Act allows treatment for mental disorder to be administered even to a competent patient who has refused it. And, in relation to treatment for physical illness, a patient surely has no right to refuse treatment for an illness which, if untreated, will spread throughout, and kill many in, the community.
One may pause to ask why, if. If there were no difference between merely foreseeing the hastening of death and intending to hasten death, there would be no difference whether the patient wanted to die or wanted to live. This argument runs that the ethical case in favour of VAE to relieve suffering is, logically, also a case in favour of NVAE to relieve.
This is not so. It could be based on the view that tube-feeding is a medical treatment, like a ventilator, and that as it can do nothing to restore the patient to an approximation of health and well-functioning, it is therefore futile because it is incapable of meeting the core goal of medicine.
Doctors are under a duty to benefit their patients, both competent and incompetent, by alleviating their suffering. Given the obviously compelling force of this logical argument, few philosophers have attempted to rebut it. Many probably most, perhaps all leading philosopher-advocates of voluntary euthanasia also support non-voluntary euthanasia.
Jackson does, however, attempt to rebut the argument albeit rather half-heartedly. She writes that the logical argument does not work because it treats beneficence and autonomy as if only one would suffice. She continues: Instead, it would be possible for there to have to be both an autonomous choice and unbearable suffering before a doctor could legitimately help a patient to die.
This sort of argument is indeed worthy of consideration, though it could be strengthened if it focused not so much on decisions being temporary as opposed to settled, but on different types of settled decisions. If we think a settled decision to die is justified out of respect for autonomy, to end physical suffering, why not to end desperate loneliness? The logical argument is directed against the case, apparently advanced by Jackson, that voluntary euthanasia is required by respect for autonomy and by the principle of beneficence.
The Euthanasia Debate
The logical argument maintains that beneficence equally justifies euthanasia to end suffering where the patient is not autonomous as, for example, in the case of newborns and where the principle of autonomy is simply redundant. Original emphases. Her attempt to rebut the logical argument is unconvincing. The reason Jackson seems to offer is that euthanasia involves another person, the doctor.
Causation could only be proved, she maintains, if data were available showing that euthanasia without request increased after legalisation. But it need not. It could take a stronger form, less ambitious and much more difficult to rebut. This form of the argument does not depend on proving a statistical increase in euthanasia without request after relaxation of the law though it is perfectly consistent with the view that such an increase will occur, not least because doctors who perform voluntary euthanasia will reasonably wonder, or begin to wonder, why they should deny relief to their incompetent patients.
This form of the argument places the burden not on opponents of relaxation to show a statistical increase, but on the advocates of relaxation to show that their guidelines will ensure effective control over voluntary euthanasia. Keown Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy , above n 45, at The Dutch initially claimed that their guidelines were sufficiently strict to prevent non-voluntary euthanasia. This form of the empirical argument, which does not depend on showing a statistical increase after legalisation, is one which advocates of relaxation need to refute, as much as they need to answer, its logical cousin.
They have yet to do so.
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Jackson mentions a survey in Australia, carried out by Singer, Kuhse and others, which claimed that the rate of non-voluntary euthanasia in that country was higher than the rate in the Netherlands. Different countries may well have different rates of non-voluntary euthanasia for all sorts of cultural reasons.
The fact that the rate in country X, which allows VAE, is lower than in country Y, which does not, has little bearing either on what would happen in country Y if its law were relaxed or, more importantly for present purposes, on whether the law in country X ensures effective control of voluntary euthanasia. The stubborn fact remains that, although the Dutch repeatedly claimed that their safeguards would prevent euthanasia without an explicit request, those safeguards have, since the law was relaxed in , failed to prevent thousands of cases of euthanasia without an explicit request most, but by no means all, involving incompetent patients.
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Finally, if we are taking on board surveys from countries beyond the Netherlands, it is odd that Jackson should have ignored surveys from the UK, surveys which are closer to home, more recent than the Singer-Kuhse survey, and carried out by a leading medical sociologist whose work takes no side in the ethical debate: Professor Clive Seale. Seale found that the incidence of euthanasia in the UK.
Seale went on:. In some cases, for example, this would have involved a mutually shared decision not to continue with a course of antibiotics, or honouring a request from a dying patient not to pursue the option of a hospital admission. Such public statements by authoritative sources damage trust between patients and doctors and distort the true picture. First, as we noted in the Introduction, legalisation has been repeatedly contemplated in the UK.
Secondly, despite her argument that we should try to devise an effective law, Jackson does not, surprisingly, try to do so. The reader might reasonably have expected a concrete proposal for reform, at least in outline. It mentions various considerations for and against certain types of reform, but is reticent about which type of reform the author favours. Where a decision will result in death, it would be inappropriate to allow the doctor to go ahead without some additional safeguard, like a.
See also DE, above n 6, at Original emphasis. It is also unclear, given her moral equation of the intentional and the foreseen hastening of death, whether such requirements would apply to foreseen as well as intentional life-shortening. This is all rather tentative and vague. If the additional safeguard is not to be a second opinion, what would it be? And an investigation by whom, when, and comprising what? The sort of largely pro forma review carried out ex post facto in the Netherlands and Belgium by a review committee? Or reporting without any review committee, as in Oregon?
A segment, however, always argued that assisted suicide or euthanasia, for different reasons, were dangerous and should not be allowed legally. History confirms that civilizations, throughout the world, have addressed these complicated issues in a variety of ways similar to the contemporary communities continued to solve them today.
The advancements in technology have enabled medical professionals to treat patients in ways that were regarded as impossible even a generation earlier. New technology developed through the ages has created unanticipated issues that each society has worked to resolve.
Arguments against euthanasia
There exist several arguments that are presented either in support or against euthanasia. Both sides of the argument present views that make it difficult for someone to pick a side due to the validity of the views. Each side appears to have views that make sense on why euthanasia ought to be allowed and why it should not be allowed. Proponents of euthanasia have taken different moral and ethical positions offering arguments to support the practice. Those advocating for euthanasia argue that ending life could be justified in special circumstances only when there exists conclusive evidence that a continuation of life is more painful or harmful to a person compared with dying.
Opponents, on the other hand, argue that ending life, without the will of God, is unethical in the contemporary society because of insufficient practices allowing for a fair and just practice of euthanasia. The beliefs of opponents is primarily based on two considerations that ending life is unethical as it violates; the basic right of a person not to be killed, and the moral principle that life should not be taken deliberately or intentionally.
People, at the critical moment of making end-of-life decisions, at times depend on religious beliefs to assist them confront their fear or provide strength for dealing with this serious challenge. Even some people who earlier had no religious beliefs sometimes turn to religion hoping they can face the issues surfacing during the dying process and at the end of life. Religions help guiding people and offer laws to those facing end-of-life decisions. Just like abortion, Euthanasia is a controversial topic among Christians.
There is no general consensus in the modern world about the legality of euthanasia. All of the Churches that took an official position to disallow euthanasia have shown varying levels of certainty and for different reasons. The Methodist and Baptist Churches agree that both euthanasia and abortion revolve around the similar issues of who has the right, in the end, to take human life. The Church of England has established two key points regarding euthanasia.