Moral Permissibility Of Euthanasia Essay

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The Moral Permissibility of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
Prior to investigating the moral implications of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, the definitions of both must be established in order to wholly understand exactly why euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are morally acceptable in some cases. For our purposes, euthanasia is the act or practice of killing or allowing someone to die on grounds of mercy. Physician-assisted suicide in this paper will be defined as a physician being involved in some degree in assisting an individual to commit suicide. It is important to consider both the mode of death and the mode of consent when discussing the moral permissibility of euthanasia, the mode of death being whether
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This particular case, though the patient himself does not give his personal consent and his family must make the decision for him since he is no longer able to, can be morally permissible in particular circumstances. For euthanasia in this case to be moral, the patient must be terminally ill without any hope for an outcome with a positive net value. Note that if passively euthanizing the patient does not have a positive net outcome, then it is not morally permissible. A specific example of this case that illustrates the moral permissibility of the situation would be when the patient is comatose and requires life support via machines and intravenous fluid drips. Here the patient cannot specify what action he would want to take due to his condition, so it is up to the family to decide whether to keep him alive, knowing that if he even wakes, he will never be the same person he once was. Passive euthanasia in this case is morally permissible because allowing the patient to be hooked up to machines does not relieve his suffering and is merely taking up a bed in the hospital. Time, money and other resources must be spent prolonging the life of an unresponsive person when it could be spent on an individual who desperately needs health care who is unable to be treated due to lack of room in the hospital. There would be a more positive net outcome if care for the unresponsive patient was given to an individual that is …show more content…
If the patient is unable to consent but is able to clearly indicate that he is in extreme pain as well as the patient’s death being irrefutably imminent, the patient’s family can make the decision to euthanize their family member in order to relieve his terrible suffering. By using euthanization as a means only to relieve suffering and not to kill someone, euthanasia in this case can be morally permissible. As stated previously, the situation must result in a net positive outcome in order for the situation to be considered morally permissible. If these specific circumstances are not met, such as if the patient’s death is not imminent or the net value of the outcome is not positive, then euthanasia is, in fact, immoral in this

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