This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Legally Permitting Euthanasia Essay

2168 words - 9 pages

Legally Permitting Euthanasia

A law permitting euthanasia, which was passed by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory of Australia in 1995 (and which came into force in July last year) was overturned last month by a law passed by the Australian Federal Parliament. The 'Andrews Bill' had been passed by a large majority in the House of Representatives, but the result in the Senate remained uncertain up to the day of voting. In the event it was passed by 38 to 33 votes. The Linacre Centre was gratified to learn that several Senators said they had been influenced to change their minds and oppose the legalization of euthanasia by a talk given in 1995 by Luke Gormally at the John Plunkett Centre in Sydney, which the Centre subsequently published and distributed widely. The article below is an edited version of a Submission made last year by Luke Gormally to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, which reported on the issue of legalization prior to the Senate vote.
Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Seven Reasons Why They Should Not Be Legalized
Luke Gormally [1997]

1. The 'justification' of voluntary euthanasia involves rejection of a tenet fundamental to a just framework of laws in society
Voluntary euthanasia is the killing of a patient at his or her request in the belief that death would be a benefit to the patient and that the killing is for that reason justified. The mere fact that someone says, in an uncoerced fashion, that he or she wants to be killed does not in itself provide a doctor with a reason for thinking death would be a benefit to that patient. No doctor would accede to an apparently naked request to be killed, however seemingly uncoerced, if he thought the patient had prospects of a worthwhile life. A request to be killed appears to be a ground for euthanasiast killing only if the doctor believes that the patient does not have a worthwhile life.

Now, to say that the ongoing life of a person lacks value amounts to denying value or worth to that person, since the reality of a person is not something distinct from his or her ongoing life. What underpins euthanasiast killing are judgements on the overall worth of certain human lives.

It would be contrary to any legal system which purports to protect and enforce a just social order to legalize killing which rests for its justification on the belief that certain lives lack worth. Why? Because justice in society itself requires a non-arbitrary and non-discriminatory way of identifying who are the subjects of justice. But the only way of avoiding arbitrariness in identifying the subjects of justice is to assume that all human beings, simply in virtue of being human, are entitled to be treated justly and are the subjects of certain basic human rights. In other words the basic human dignity and worth which are recognised in respecting human rights must be seen as attaching to our humanity. Basic dignity and worth would not, however, be a title to...

Find Another Essay On Legally Permitting Euthanasia

Euthanasia a view of both sides

1333 words - 5 pages Euthanasia is the merciful permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way, for reasons of mercy. The term comes from the Greek word meaning "good death."There are many different types of pain an ill patient can experience. It is frightening to think that numbers of terminally ill patients may suffer excruciating pain because of fundamentally strict federal and state laws that prohibit citizens from

Euthanasia Essay

1339 words - 5 pages Euthanasia, also known as mercy killing is a practice of ending a life to release an individual from an incurable disease or intolerable suffering. Euthanasia has been accepted both legally and morally in various forms in many societies but not in all. “In ancient Greece and Rome it was permissible in some situations to help others die. For example, the Greek writer Plutarch mentioned that in Sparta infanticide was practiced on children who

Euthanasia: A controversial issue paper dealing with whether or not people have the right to choose to die. This paper is in support of euthanasia/assisted suicide

1257 words - 5 pages thosedecisions." (Brock, 198)When a competent patient decides to refuse all possible life-sustaining treatment, life is no longer considered beneficial to thepatient, but is viewed as a burden. (Brock, 199) There are many potentiallygood consequences of permitting euthanasia. First, if euthanasia wereallowed, it would be possible to respect the self-determination ofcompetent patients who wants it, but cannot get it now because it isillegal. "A second good

Euthanizing a Nation

1742 words - 7 pages suicide in 1997 (McLellan). This situation is one reason why euthanasia should not be legalized in the United States. No one should die in the back of an almost stranger’s rusty old van. Euthanasia should not be legalized in the United States because it is unethical, and impractical. First off, how is euthanasia defined? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, euthanasia is defined as, “ The act or practice of killing or permitting the

Euthanasia: Unethical And Immoral

2098 words - 8 pages up to the individual doctors to write or fill lethal prescriptions and to participate (Ellis). There are other places besides Oregon and Washington that have openly and legally authorized assisted suicide, one such place is the Netherlands. The Netherlands has allowed euthanasia for more than 30 years, supposedly under strict guidelines to protect the vulnerable from abuse. But the list of those “eligible” has steadily lengthened to the point

Euthanasia Patients Should be Fully Educated in the Treatments Available for their Illness Before Making an Irreversible Decision

1083 words - 4 pages any life-sustaining medical procedure, permitting the natural death of the patient. Along with these two terms is one called physician-assisted suicide. This is a way in which a doctor provides the means, such as drugs or other agents, by which a person can take their own life. Dr. Jack Kavorkian, also known as "Dr. Death", brought euthanasia to the attention of the public. He has assisted many, what he called, "subjects" of his, to end their

Working Towards Compassion for Terminally Ill Patients— Legalization of Euthanasia

4111 words - 16 pages patient will be able to die with dignity. There is a belief that humans are only "gene machines" (2), and that when it is time to die, because the expiration date has come, then euthanasia must be performed because it enables the patient to receive a gentle, cheap, and efficient death. By making euthanasia legally permissible, no harm will be done to society because the suffering of the terminally ill patients will be stopped, and the mystery of

Pro Legalization of Euthanasia

1995 words - 8 pages of legal age. The Supreme Court has already specified that living wills are invalid for minors” (Landau, 68). Even though it gives people an option of preventing medical staff from keeping them “alive” when patients are incapable to display any signs of resistance. Yet it still does not solve the problem of permitting active euthanasia. Some people argue that PAS (physician assisted suicide) is not permitted, not because of “immorality” of

William F. May's Rising to the Occasion of Our Death

2114 words - 9 pages his expert opinion on the matter. Moreover, his desire to develop a “judicious, regulated policy” is a certain acknowledgement that he is attempting to legally call for regulations on euthanasia (May 662). The second audience that May is appealing to are conservative Christians, who are distinctively pro-life. As his article was originally published in well-circulated The Christian Century magazine, addressing this audience exposes members of

Argument for Euthanasia

2311 words - 9 pages keep prolonging their lives. We should allow nature to take its course. . People are concerned that legalizing euthanasia will lead to abuse. Some believe that permitting euthanasia will open up floodgates that will lead to a murder-happy world. They believe that death will become easy. But data taken from the Netherlands prove this is not true (M., Morris). Doctors who kill patients or help patients kill themselves aren’t being prosecuted in

Euthanasia as One of Todays Most Prevalent Ethics Issues

2730 words - 11 pages debridement treatments are used, which can provide the patient no gain what so ever and are extremely painful. When dealing with patients who will die with or without treatment, most people consider euthanasia the most appealing procedure.      Legally euthanasia is broken down into those two categories, Active being illegal everywhere but Oregon and the Netherlands. In 1994 Oregon passed its “Death with Dignity Act” which legalized assisted

Similar Essays

Euthanasia: An End To Misery Essay

1462 words - 6 pages killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals,“ while physician-assisted suicide is when a person is giving the tools needed to end his own life by a physician (Suicide, Euthanasia, and Physician-Assisted Suicide). Although involuntary euthanasia should never be viewed as permissible, all other kinds of euthanasia should be legalized with the aid of living wills, giving the suffering patient the deserved right to

Euthanasia Essay

3859 words - 16 pages human right to die with dignity. It should again be noted that the countries where euthanasia is legally permitted must practice only passive euthanasia. It is also important to point out that legislation permitting passive euthanasia contain three fundamental principles: 1) Euthanasia must be voluntary; 2) Only a doctor can assist or perform euthanasia; 3) The patient must be medically unsatisfactory. Conclusion Euthanasia problem still remains

Should Euthanasia Be Legalised? A Moral Perspective

2127 words - 9 pages assist in demonstrating that if the practice becomes legal without control measures and adequate safeguards in place, it will become easy for accidental deaths to occur, thus making euthanasia a legally and morally wrong option. Legalising Euthanasia Ethical Concepts and Legal Definitions Prior to outlining the right or wrong of legalising euthanasia, it is imperative to firstly discuss the concepts and definitions. Euthanasia is largely defined

Argument In Favor Of Euthanasia Essay

2080 words - 8 pages provision for voluntary euthanasia. The word “euthanasia” comes from two Greek words, “eu” meaning good or easy and “thanatos” meaning death (all.org). Traditionally, euthanasia meant painless death or death without suffering. Today, the term has many names, the main one being mercy killing. Assisted suicide has been legally tolerated in Switzerland for many years (Kimsma). In the 1970-1980’s a series of court cases in the Netherlands culminated in