Religion and Bioethics: Physician Assisted Suicide, a Religious Perspective

2203 Words Apr 14th, 2013 9 Pages
The article I read examined the link between bioethics and religion in regards to Physician-Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia. Specifically, it made an obvious point of defining the distinction between killing and letting one die. In addition, it focused on the link between Faith and Reason, the development of tradition throughout history, modern statements on this ethical dilemma, and then drew conclusions based upon these analyses. These are all significant points to consider when attempting to determine the morality of physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia.
In order to fully understand the “euthanasia debate,” it is crucial to look at our two main theoretical camps: deontological or “Kantian” ethics, and teleological or “utilitarian”
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This illustration attempts to justify Kant’s theory that moral imperatives or moral oughts are unconditional and universal. Furthermore, he makes this assumption under the derivation that people are rational, and therefore subject to morality. Overall, the murderer at the door example depicts Kant’s ideal of absolution – that actions can be deemed moral or immoral without exception. This is a stark contrast to the Utilitarian view which would hold that: lying could be justified if the consequences indeed supported the initial act of lying.
Another important thing to remember when evaluating deontological ethics is that followers of this rationale believe that we must act out of duty, and also in accordance with duty. This means that: not only should one perform actions because it is their duty according to moral law, they should perform those actions without acting out of inclination (hoping to gain something out of the action in question.) This again supports deontological theories’ prime assertion that motives are the only aspect which is important for moral action.
The significance placed upon motives by Kant is the root of most differences between his theory and teleological theories – which instead maintain that the morality of an action depends solely on that action’s consequences. Those in concurrence with these Utilitarian perspectives would firmly proclaim that in any situation, the

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