Passive Euthanasia In Canada

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Euthanasia, when translated, means “a good death.” It is the speeding up the process of death for an individual suffering from a fatal condition, in order to end their suffering (Collier & Haliburton, 2015, p. 320). Two categories branch off of the concept of euthanasia: active and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia is the direct act of bringing about death, essentially killing the patient (i.e administering a lethal dose of a drug) (Collier & Haliburton, 2015, p. 320). Passive euthanasia is the act of indirectly bringing about death through the withdrawal of life supportive treatment (Collier & Haliburton, 2015, p. 320). I will argue that the legalization of passive euthanasia in Canada is morally justifiable. First, passive euthanasia…show more content…
When an individual suffers from a terminal illness, their quality of life significantly diminishes, as the pain they experience greatly debilitates them from pursuing happiness and a positive state of welfare. Furthermore, passive euthanasia provides an opportunity to experience a peaceful remainder of life free from suffering, which is critical when the individual is at their most compromised and vulnerable stage in life. According to Loredana and Daniel Terec-Vlad (2013), the quality of the life of an individual is subjective; only the individual experiencing the particular way of life can make a judgement about its quality. The two main criteria used to assess the quality of life are happiness and welfare (Terec-Vlad & Terec-Vlad, 2013, p. 14). When one suffers from a terminal illness, this negatively impacts one’s happiness and creates a negative state of welfare, thereby facilitating a low quality of life. Passive euthanasia creates an absence of suffering, improving the state of happiness and welfare for the individual, and as a result, significantly improving the quality of life. In contrast, Deontology states that legalizing passive euthanasia prioritizes something of lesser value, such as pain relief, over something with absolute value, such as life (Sjostrand et al., 2013, p. 229). Passive euthanasia is therefore morally…show more content…
First, passive euthanasia creates the absence of pain and suffering, thereby promoting a high quality of life. Second, it promotes individuals’ right to exercise their autonomy, in order to end the pain and suffering they experience from their terminal illness. Lastly, it ultimately eliminates pain and suffering altogether from an individual experiencing a terminal illness, allowing a peaceful death. Euthanasia is therefore inherently good as its essence and intent is to provide a good
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