Euthanasia: Perspective From Theory Of Personality Virtue

896 words - 4 pages

Theory of personality virtue or, more commonly known as virtue ethics, is a moral school of thought which emphasises the personality attributes towards attaining a good life. Alternatively, it emphasises the role of one’s character and the virtues that one’s character embodies for determining or evaluating ethical behaviour. Aristotle has made a significant contribution in developing this theory through his book Nichomacheaen Ethics. The theory does not deal with neither the behaviour itself nor the consequence resulting from the behaviour, in order to decide whether something is regarded as right or wrong, as what concerned in consequentialism and deontology. Rather, it teaches to define ...view middle of the document...

Theory of personality virtue does not in favour of euthanasia, nor totally rejects the notion of euthanasia. The judgements of euthanasia using theory of personality virtue are largely subjected to different interpretations of the theory. There is no clear-cut point of view on the issue of euthanasia by theory of personality virtue. However, it is worthy to consider some of the conflicting interpretations in order to have a better understanding on the applications of the theory of personality of virtue to euthanasia.

To some parties, they argue that it would not be presumptuous to say that people suffering from great illness and pain would not be living the eudemonia life. To them, euthanasia is right since eudemonia (genuine happiness) is the human’s ultimate purpose of life. Furthermore, a patient contemplating euthanasia could consider the implication of Aristotle’s virtue of courage. It is prevailing that courage is the ‘golden mean’ between foolhardiness and cowardice. Having courage to choose euthanasia is an exemplification of achieving the idea of virtue ethics. This is because euthanasia could be seen as a courageous act by facing death and having the strength to free loved ones from the emotional, heartbreaking burden of looking after a terminally ill or pain-wracked relative. Hence, it is not wrong to claim that theory of personality virtue, to a certain extent, supports the idea of euthanasia.

However, in the same context, it can be argued that euthanasia does not showcase the quality of courage. Instead, euthanasia could be seen as an act of cowardice, of lacking courage and endurance and violating the sanctity of life. It is conceivable to perceive the action of euthanasia as a rash action taken...


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