The Moral Permissibility Of Euthanasia And Physician Assisted Suicide

1435 Words Nov 10th, 2014 null Page
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 the death results from actively intervening or whether the death results from withholding treatment which, had it been administered, would likely have prolonged the life of the patient. The former is considered active euthanasia and the latter is considered passive euthanasia. The mode of consent can be separated into three different cases: voluntary, nonvoluntary, and involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia occurs when the patient has consented to either the active or passive means of euthanization. Nonvoluntary euthanasia occurs when the patient has neither given his consent nor has expressed a view about what others may do if he is unable to give consent. Involuntary euthanasia occurs when the patient explicitly does not give consent to be…

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