A Defense Of Euthanasia Essay

1482 words - 6 pages

More than likely, a good majority of people have heard about euthanasia at least once in their existence. For those out there who have been living under a rock their entire lives, euthanasia “is generally understood to mean the bringing about of a good death – ‘mercy killing’, where one person, ‘A’, ends the life of another person, ‘B’, for the sake of ‘B’.” (Kuhse 294). There are people who believe this is a completely logical scenario that should be allowed, and there are others that oppose this view. For the purpose of this essay, I will be defending those who are for euthanasia. My thesis, just by looking at this issue from a logical standpoint, is that if someone is suffering, I believe they should be allowed the right to end their lives, either by their own consent or by someone with the proper authority to make the decision. No living being should leave this world in suffering. To go about obtaining my thesis, I will first present my opponents view on the issue. I will then provide a Utilitarian argument for euthanasia, and a Kantian argument for euthanasia. Both arguments will have an objection from my opponent, which will be followed by a counter-objection from my standpoint.
My opponents and their followers “see it as a term of murder, killing those who are sick, infirm, or disabled, young and old alike, with or without their permission.” (Urofsky 22). They could even say that by allowing euthanasia, we could possibly be encouraging people that it is ok to end your own life when you see fit; inadvertently telling people it is okay to commit suicide. My opponent also believes that euthanasia should not be allowed as it allows doctors to play God with the lives of people who are ill.
In presenting a Utilitarian argument for euthanasia, we first have to understand what utilitarianism is. Utilitarianism “tells us that we ought always to do whatever has the best consequences,” (Singer xii). It basically means bring about the greatest amount of good or happiness, to the greatest number of people. A brief example of this would be making a choice to have 10 people receive one-hundred dollars each, rather than just one person receiving one-thousand dollars. With regards to euthanasia, not only would we be allowing millions of people suffering from diseases and viruses like cancer and Ebola to end their lives without pain, but also those who have become legally brain-dead to no longer be a burden to their families, or the state if they have no family.
In contrast to the previous argument, my opponent would provide an objection stating that providing the greatest good for the greatest number of people means more than just thinking about the patient. There would have to be thought given to the doctor who would perform the procedure, and the family of the patient. The doctor, who may think that euthanasia is completely unethical and immoral, may be forced to carry out the procedure by law. The family would suffer emotional stress, possibly...

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