Euthanasia And Religon Essay

2362 words - 10 pages

Euthanasia and the Quality of Life

Euthanasia, also known as mercy killing, is the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person suffering from an incurable, especially a painful disease or condition. It has become a great topic for debate, which sides are often very divided on the issue. There have been many arguments for and against euthanasia, both making cases for why their train of thought is the right way to go. It is agree upon that euthanasia involves decisions which have the effect of shortening life. This is also limited to a medical context in that euthanasia is only the shortening of life by doctors and not ...view middle of the document...

On the other hand, active euthanasia is an intervention by someone else to end the suffering person’s life. Active Euthanasia can be either voluntary or involuntary. It is voluntary when a terminally ill patient is suffering and makes a persistent request for assistance in dying. Involuntary active euthanasia is when there is an intervention to kill someone who has a terminal illness and is incapable of making his or her own request to die. This happens in the case of babies, young children, mentally incompetent people or someone whose consciousness is impaired and not able to give this request.
Even though euthanasia is sometimes thought to be the best situation for the patient who may be suffering or incoherent, it is still a crime classified as murder in many countries such as the United States. However this only applies to active euthanasia as opposed to passive. Since in active euthanasia there is active termination of life, this is considered to be murder because they are intentionally shortening the life of the patient. But in passive euthanasia there is not active termination of the patient’s life. Because passive euthanasia is an omission such as removing the feeding tube of a patient, it is not considered murder, the doctor would not be killing the patient but allowing the patient to die because of a pre-existing medical condition. In order for an offence to be considered homicide there must be an act not an omission. There may be other reasons why a doctor might remove a treatment other then with the intent to shorten the patient’s life. One reason why a treatment might be stopped is because it is burdensome to the caregivers or to the doctor. The advocates of active euthanasia argue that there is no moral distinction between active and passive and both should be allowed. However those against active euthanasia but support passive, argue that when life support is taken away the patient dies form the underlying disease and not action by the physician.
Physician-assisted suicide is however different from euthanasia. Since the doctor is only providing the patient with the necessities needed to end his or her life, but that patient is performing the lethal act on him or herself. Most of the time the physician is not aware of when and where the patient will commit the act. Even though there is the same moral dilemma faced in physician-assisted suicide as there is in euthanasia, many physicians believe that there is a difference and more physicians are willing cooperate in their patients suicide rather then performing active euthanasia on the patient. However the moral issue is the same in that the life of the patient is shortened.
One of the major moral concerns in the debate of euthanasia is the value of human life. The Catholic Church Declaration on Euthanasia defines, “Human Life is the basis of all goods, and is the necessary source and condition of every human activity and of all society.” The Catholic Church and many...

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