Ethical Euthanasia Case Study

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Critically examine one contemporary ethical issue from the perspective of either Christianity or Judaism.

Annapreet Bhullar

‘I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, not to hate them, but to understand them.’

Brittany Maynard; the heart breaking case whereby she took her own life aged 29, due to suffering from an aggressive malignant brain tumour. She died in Oregon, USA from taking a lethal drug prescribed by a doctor after become globally recognised as an advocator for Compassion & choices, a non-profit organisation that works to improve patients’ rights and choices at the end of life . As a strong believer of personal choice and individualism, I firmly deem we have a ‘right to life’ therefore,
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In Maynard’s case, she took her life through this way by a taking a lethal drug. Passive euthanasia, argued to be a more humane than active, causes death by withholding or withdrawing treatment. However, by starving somebody of vital ingredients to live, i.e. food and water seems to me almost cruel: prolonging suffering.
Voluntary euthanasia is euthanasia carried out at the request of the person killed. For example the 1973 case of George Zygmaniak who was injured in a motorcycle accident near this home in New Jersey. He was taken to hospital where he was found himself to be totally paralysed from the neck down and was in considerable pain. He begged his doctor and brother to kill him; his brother smuggled a gun into the hospital, with consent from George he shot him through the temple . This is a clear instance of voluntary euthanasia however it could have been done with safeguards in place and a less distressing way to die.
Non-voluntary is where a person is unable to give their consent, this may be due to a coma or brain damage, therefore another person takes the decision on their
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Brittany Maynard never harmed nor forced her views onto others. Instead her story went viral and global - euthanasia needs to be considered as an option for people across the world. Many of us don’t want to think of death however euthanasia needs to be recognised as a must in the 21st century. The advancement of medicine has also welcomed the advancement of painkillers.

Sir Terry Pratchett, an award winning science fiction author who is battling with Alzheimer’s said, ‘If I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, them suddenly everyday would be as precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice . Brittany Maynard 's mother Debbie Ziegler responded angrily to criticism from the Vatican days after Brittany’s death. The Vatican 's top bioethics official called her choice "reprehensible" and said physician-assisted suicide should be condemned. However, Maynard’s mother responded with a sharp written response saying that the comments from Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, came as the family was grieving and were "more than a slap in the face.

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