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Argumentative Essay On Voluntary Euthanasia Is Ethics

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Ethical Arguments For and Against Voluntary Euthanasia Essay

2052 Words9 Pages

Euthanasia is defined as an 'act of killing someone painlessly to relieve his or her suffering'[1]. It's etymology is derived from the Greek 'eu thanatos' which means a good death. It is a contentious issue that provokes strong arguments for and against changing UK legislation to permit it. The UK currently prohibits active euthanasia. Active euthanasia is an act where the intention is to end or deliberately shorten someone's life. A doctor will administer a drug such as morphine or potassium chloride. Such an act is considered to be murder and a doctor found guilty of this offence faces a long prison sentence. An extremely significant case which played a part in determining whether voluntary…show more content…

An example of this might be if a patient is in a Persistent Vegetative State.

Passive euthanasia is to withhold treatment. Life-prolonging treatment can be withdrawn or withheld if the doctor believes that it is in the patient's best interest. [2] This is not necessarily illegal, although the doctor can be taken to court if motives are believed to be other than the patient's best interest.[3] A test called the 'Bolam Test' can be used to decide this: 'The case established that a doctor is not negligent if he acts in accordance with a responsible body of medical opinion, even if that opinion is the minority.' The fact that passive euthanasia is already practised can be an argument for voluntary active euthanasia. If it was legalised then it would show consistency. Both would be carried out for the same reason of lessening the amount of pain suffered by the patient. Only the means are different, the intentions are the same.

The type of euthanasia that will be discussed is voluntary euthanasia and there are several areas which must be covered before coming to a conclusion as to whether this should be carried out. The first I'll mention is 'personhood'. This is the essence of someone which makes them a person, distinguishing between us and the animals. There are several other aspects of personhood including the ability to communicate and interact with others and also

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