The Moral And Ethical Complications Of Euthanasia

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Euthanasia or mercy killing as some may call it, has always been a controversial topic. The word euthanasia is derived from the Greek word eu meaning ‘good’ and thana meaning ‘death’ and the most commonly used definition is a ‘gentle and easy death’ (Draper & Slowther, 2008, p.113).The right to die from a painful incurable disease and the right to kill to alleviate that person’s suffering have always caused a major ethical dilemma throughout our society. Despite the considerable advancement in our medical knowledge and tools, euthanasia still proves to be a morally distressing subject to address. Some have argued that it should be legalized, to be accepted as an alternative for providing a person a dignified death, but many as well recognize …show more content…
Passive euthanasia is when the patient’s death is caused by stopping the necessary aids to keep the patient alive such as removing the respirator, discontinuation of medications, food and water, and resuscitation will no longer be performed. Active euthanasia is when the patient’s death is caused by a direct action such as administering an overdose of pain-killers. Currently, it is only medically accepted and legal in Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg (Diaconescu, 2012, p.475). Of the two types, passive euthanasia is the most ethical and natural way to die, whereas active euthanasia is considered to be murder. Unlike Utopian’s enforcement of strictly voluntary euthanasia, consent in the present day is divided into three categories: voluntary, non-voluntary, and involuntary. Voluntary means that the patient explicitly gave the physician the consent to perform euthanasia. Non-voluntary means that the patient is not able to give their consent to the physician (Diaconescu, 2012, p.475). This is mostly because the patient is in vegetative state or in a coma. Involuntary means that the euthanasia was performed without the consent of the

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