The Right To Die An Ethical Argument For The Civil Right Of One To Die Either By Suicide Or Physician Assisted Mercy Killing

2335 words - 9 pages

The Right to DieIt is a given in our society that individuals have the right to life. They have the right to fill their lives with opportunities to prosper, to love and to seek happiness. It is a right that is taken for granted and unquestioned because its ideal is one that does not require a person to dig deep into a pool of ethics. It is not a question marred with unpleasant factors such as pain, or finance, nor is it muddled with religious implications. The right to life is man's most fundamental civil right. Should it not follow, if man is free to pursue happiness and a life free of pain, that he should also be free to seek his own death on those same terms: free of pain, free of despair, and free of burdening loved ones with a financial nightmare?Euthanasia is one of the most divisive social-ethical concerns faced in the United States today. Given the valid arguments from both the proponents and the opponents' points of view, it is often difficult to conclude which position one should take. Deliberately killing another person is presumed by most rational people as a fundamental evil act. However, when that person gives his or her consent to do so, this seems to give rise to an exceptional case.There is an assortment of positions, based on various ethical theories that one can take to resolve this issue of euthanasia. With the intention of keeping this paper short, the positions explored will be based on "Utilitarianism" ethical theory and the "Categorical Imperative" ethical theory as espoused by Immanuel Kant. The paper will then be summed up with a personal point of view using reasonable logic unfettered by extreme applications.Utilitarianism Ethical TheoryThe Utilitarianism view holds that euthanasia is morally justifiable. According to Utilitarianism, ethics is basically an observable science, one in which a moral standard must be based on human experiences, not impractical abstract principles. Utilitarianism proposes that the ultimate end of every human action is the maximization of pleasure and the minimization of pain. This essential idea forms the basis for Utilitarianism's Greatest Happiness Principle which states, "Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness; by happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure" (Mill, 1984).Likewise, Utilitarianism holds that actions are judged to be moral or immoral based solely on their consequences, not on their motives. If a person acts out of good intentions, but does not produce beneficial results, then his action does not qualify as a moral action. Finally, Utilitarianism asserts that an action is good only if it promotes the greatest happiness for the greatest amount of people. Therefore, an action that slightly increases your own pleasure, but in turn, dramatically decreases the pleasure of others is not a moral action.Consider this scenario: A person...

Find Another Essay On The Right to Die - An ethical argument for the civil right of one to die either by suicide or physician assisted mercy killing

The Right to Die Essay

2226 words - 9 pages The Right to Die Is the phrase “right to die” applicable as a right? Leon R. Kass believes that the claim of a “right to die” is insubstantial because of the precursors pertaining to the meaning of rights. Leon R. Kass believes that the right to die is an ineffectual statement and unprecedented, that it is portrayed as a civil duty to which all should be in unison because Euthanasia is after all “Mercy Killing”. Right!? This case delves

the right to die Essay

1481 words - 6 pages , whilst life and freedom was gained through His death. One woman endured for her soon to be husband, whilst the other endured because of her husband. Through trials we become stronger and true love comes from recognition of truth. The question is where is that love located, in life or death? As Christians we know" to live is to die in Christ" (Philippians 1:24). To have a full life we must live in Christ, death is gaining freedom from this life full

Physician Assisted Suicide: The Right To Choose

2596 words - 10 pages way to die. Should it be the right of terminally ill patients to decide if they want to seek out physician assisted suicide to end their intolerable pain, or should it be up to the courts?      Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patient’s death by providing the necessary means and/or information to enable the patient to perform the life-ending act (AMA).Each and every human being knows

The Right to Physician Assisted Suicide

2036 words - 8 pages The right to assisted suicide is a significant topic that concerns people all over the United States. The debates go back and forth about whether a dying patient has the right to die with the assistance of a physician. Some are against it because of religious and moral reasons. Others are for it because of their compassion and respect for the dying. Physicians are also divided on the issue. They differ where they place the line that

Physician Assisted Suicide: The Right to Choose

2507 words - 10 pages guidelines for ingestion as well as disposal. “Followed by pentobarbital, secobarbital is the medication most commonly prescribed for physician assisted suicide” (Fass and Fass 846). Secobarbital is typically taken in nine gram capsules at one time. In contrast, pentobarbital is taken in a liquid form of ten grams at one time. The medication should be stored somewhere high or out of the reach of children. Also, to prevent unintentional overdose or abuse

The Right to Live or Die

1939 words - 8 pages excruciating pain. In 85% of the cases death is inevitable. Armed with this fact, the afflicted are torn between the decision to allow the disease to consume their existence or opt for euthanasia.In this paper, I will examine the legal and ethics conflict that surrounds the Physician Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. The act of Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS) is an example of the fine line between a Physicians legal obligation and ethical responsibilities

Euthanasia, the right to die

909 words - 4 pages Euthanasia is a very controversial topic. People argue as to whether or not a person who is terminally ill, or handicap, should have the right or not to ask their doctor, or relatives to die by euthanasia. People say that dying by euthanasia is to die with dignity, instead of living an artificial life on respirators and other life support machines. My personal feelings on this topic is one of the minority. If a person is terminally ill, and

Euthanasia: The Right for the Right to Die

1681 words - 7 pages battle is still being fought. Euthanasia or the assisted suicide of an individual is essentially murder, giving someone access to drugs to kill themselves, knowing that is why they want the drugs, is just the same as actually killing them. Euthanasia is barbarianism and should be outlawed through the world. No one should ever have the legal right to help take someone's life, no matter how bad the health of that individual is, and even if the

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 increase intrusivenessinto the doctor-patient relationship." (Lund, 42)"The Lethal Drug Abuse Prevention Act would ban prescribing of lethalnarcotics for the purpose of physician assisted suicide." (Coburn, 126) Ifpassed, this law would override Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. In passingthis act, voters legally gave physicians the freedom to give certainpatients deadly doses of drugs with the clear intention to end thepatient's life. "Ordinarily

The Right to Assisted Suicide

2280 words - 9 pages ?    Many people think the act of assisted suicide and euthanasia are the same, but they are different.  Euthanasia, either voluntary or involuntary, is the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. The key word here is "intentional". If death is not intended, it is not an act of euthanasia.   When the person who is killed has requested to be killed, this is an act of voluntary

Right to Die

1585 words - 6 pages perspectives of people who could possibility sway his/her choice. In doing so, patients religion, values, and traditions come into play. The main reason behind the argument is , what is suicide? "suicide is death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior"(CDC). Conversely the option of death should be granted to a patient who is suffering from severe injuries or a situation involving a predicted death

Similar Essays

Suicide The Right To Die Essay

1512 words - 6 pages By: WD E-mail: The Right to Die, Physician-Assisted Suicide 6/3/99 History " I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect" -- The Hippocratic Oath Physician-Assisted suicide is one of the most controversial issues in our society today. During the 1990's, assisted suicide has become the subject of public debate and legislative action across the nation. Even the U.S

The Right To Die Essay

2398 words - 10 pages only three states allowing physician assisted suicide for the terminally ill, many cannot get the support they need or access to a painless way to commit suicide. Terminal illness can create a burden on the family both emotionally by watching the loved one suffer and financially with the cost of care. If allowed to die, these burdens can be alleviated. And finally, physicians should have the legal freedom to treat their patients to the end

The Right To Die Essay

1121 words - 4 pages option would be there is a comfort (Jaret 46). For those who will encounter the situation of loved ones on medication, being treated by physicians, sometimes relying on technical means to stay alive arises a great moral conflict. I wish to explore this topic on ethical, not legal issues. Do people have a right to choose death? More in particular, are euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide morally legitimate? Euthanasia involves a death

The Right To Die Essay

1215 words - 5 pages freedom they have no right to deny any human being under any circumstances. For these reasons, physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia should be legalized on a federal level because of the advantages they constitute: such as the salvaging of organs, lower healthcare costs, and cessation of pain. Furthermore, individuals have a right to die and should be able to depart with dignity and peace. As previously stated, a primary benefit of these