Euthanasia Controversy

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General Overview
Euthanasia, defined as “directly or indirectly bringing about the death of another person for that person’s sake.” (Vaughn, 2013, p.292) is often associated with a person that is terminally ill. Euthanasia is a highly controversial topic for obvious reasons, we are dealing with life or death. However, much of the controversy stems from how society views death. Death is inevitable, it is part of the circle of life that we will all have to deal with at one point in our lives. That is why voluntary euthanasia is morally acceptable for terminally ill patients.
The word euthanasia has Greek origins meaning “easy death” (Vaughn, 2013, p292) it is not uncommon for terminally ill patients to face pain, suffering or indignity as death
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Consequently, with longer life expectancy, come a new set of problems where lives change. Recovery from illnesses may leave lasting complications that some people would rather not face: amputations, feeding tubes, oxygen, and continuous pain medication are just a few to name. Patients currently have the right to set limits on their care by having advance directives, limits on what they want medical staff to do, or not do in the event that they are incapacitated or in an emergency situation, this is their choice. I see little distinguishable differences between these choices and choosing to end one’s life before a terminal illness takes away quality or dignity. People have the right to self-determination, even if it is not acceptable for you…show more content…
One argument that an Act-Utilitarian might have is: who decides what causes a person happiness versus unhappiness? Is a life of pain and agony better than no life at all? Since all of these topics are subjective to the person at hand, I am not sure that there is a clear answer. Unanswered questions concerning how government regulation of voluntary euthanasia would or should be implemented to prevent needless deaths is just another. Those opposing act-utilitarianism might say no one has the right to take another’s life. While those in favor of euthanasia will insist they are not taking a life, that the person asking for voluntary euthanasia is the one making the decision to end their life. “For many patients near death, maintaining the quality of one’s life, avoiding great suffering, maintain one’s dignity, and insuring that others remember us as we wish them to become of paramount importance and outweigh merely extending one’s life.” (Vaughn, 2013,
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