Editorial - Essay Example

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Euthanasia, an act that has several controversies, may be defined as “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals” in a manner that would not give any pain to the individual (person or animal) (Cavan & Dolan, 12). Although…
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Editorial Euthanasia, an act that has several controversies, may be defined as “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals” in a manner that would not give any pain to the individual (person or animal) (Cavan & Dolan, 12). Although this act may seem to be a murder, yet there are certain situations and certain conditions in life particularly with respect to one’s health, encountered in lives when deaths may be chosen as a better alternative to relieve oneself of pain. The reported case of Diane Pretty is one such instance.
Certain situations like the case of Diane Pretty of Luton reflect that life may at times be in such a condition that death would seem to be a solution to their pains. Diane whose body had become paralyzed from the neck had to be fed through a pipe. The pain and sufferings of the woman made her wish that she died peacefully and with dignity before the disease killed her (Right-to-die case dismissed). Although courts did not allow her to take the step, but situations like these support the act of euthanasia where an individual may require the need to get ultimate relief.
Several arguments point in support of the practice. A change in the outlook has been observed that reflects that doctors and professionals in countries like the United States are becoming supportive of the act if it is made legal (Otlowski, 326-327). Several organizations in Washington also support the act including National Association of Social Work, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, and many others (Cundiff, 84). The support mainly arises from the fact that an individual who would never recover may choose to die since the process would relieve the person from his pains.
Others viewers believe that euthanasia should be a punishable offence. Since it is a completely private preference, no one from outside should perform such an act on another individual (Somerville, 77). The practice of euthanasia has also been opposed on ethical grounds as well that can be reflected through theories like Divine Command Theory and Kant’s Moral Theory. The Divine Command Theory opposes all sorts of activities related to euthanasia supporting normal death of an individual. Kant’s Moral Theory focuses on the main objectives of undertaking euthanasia and determines the consequences before deciding on supporting or not supporting the act (Stewart, 81-89). The main reason for majority of people not supporting the act of euthanasia is because they believe that “life is the most precious thing that we have”, hence killing of lives is not an acceptable act and can never be supported by the legal system in any country (Shephard, 267).
Although the act might seem to be an act of murder, yet it can be realized that it is undertaken to relieve someone of tremendous pain and on someone who himself wants the relief through death. Thus, the act needs to come under a supportive legal rule that would judge the condition of a person in particular and if needed allow the act of euthanasia to occur.
1) Cavan, Seamus & Shean Dolan. Euthanasia: the debate over the right to die, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2000
2) Cundiff, David. Euthanasia is not the answer: a hospice physician’s view, New Jersey: Humana Press, 1992
3) Otlowski, Margaret. Voluntary Euthanasia and the Common Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000
4) Right-to-die case dismissed, BBC News, (2001), September 25, 2011 from:
5) Shephard, Mark. Mastering the National Admissions Test for Law, London: Routledge, 2005
6) Somerville, Margaret A. Death talk: the case against euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, Canada: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2001
7) Stewart, Noel. Ethics, Polity: Polity, 2009 Read More
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