For many years the topic of euthanasia caused a mixed reaction in society and it still does. Attention to the issue of euthanasia has increased with the development of social progress, and in particular with the technology to sustain seriously ill people. Relevance of this topic is difficult to overestimate, first, because it is associated with the most expensive a person has - his life, and secondly - because of poor knowledge of the euthanasia problem, lack of underlining it in the writings of scholars-lawyers. Doctors, psychologists, lawyers, religious figures and politicians constantly lead numerous debates upon this issue. However, euthanasia’s practice still has not found a clear common answer to the question of its justification.
The main objective of this paper is to understand what euthanasia is, analyzing the problem from the standpoints of humanistic ethics, considering the arguments for and against upon euthanasia issue. However, the author further provides the facts, own thoughts and considerations to let the reader know what exactly proves euthanasia’s existence and why the author goes with it.
The concept and methods of euthanasia
Events of the past years only emphasize the urgency of the euthanasia problem. In early 2005 debates around the death of American Terri Schiavo heated in the United States, who for 15 years was in a coma induced clinical death and subsequent irreversible changes in the brain (the effects of a severe stroke). By decision of the Court of the State of Florida that received the Michael’s, Schiavo's husband, suit, Terry was disconnected from the artificial feeding, which meant a fortnight delayed death of the patient. Following this the court’s decision all America actually split into two camps of supporters and opponents of this a kind of soft euthanasia.
This example reflects the real attitude towards euthanasia in the international community, which has split into its irreconcilable supporters and opponents. Both camps lead fairly strong arguments that do not allow reaching any particular compromise. Numerous historical examples cited by opponents of euthanasia and supporting arguments "against" highlight the danger posed by the insufficient knowledge of the phenomenon.
Hence, euthanasia can be defined as follows: it is the intentional acts or omissions of the medical worker, which are in line with clearly and unequivocally patient’s will and are expressed to inform the patient, medically in life-threatening condition, or his/her legal representative to end the physical and mental suffering, which should result in death. The problem of euthanasia did not come today, and not suddenly. Moreover, since the time of Hippocrates to the present day traditional medical ethics includes a ban: "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan" (tr. North, 2002). More recently, however, doctors increasingly show willingness to resort to this practice, at least...