Andersen and Taylor define euthanasia as “the act of killing a severely ill person as an act of mercy.” The said authors further classify euthanasia into passive euthanasia, which involves withholding treatment from the patient knowing that doing so will produce the death of the patient, such as may be stipulated in a living will, and positive euthanasia which involves killing the severely ill person who would otherwise live, though in constant pain, coma, or other extreme conditions, as an act of mercy.
Personally, I don’t think I could ever approve of performing euthanasia on any of my loved ones. My reason is two-fold in taking this position. First, I believe that euthanasia is not a moral act and secondly, I could never be emotionally prepared to cause the termination of the existence of a loved one.
Consequentialists may argue against my first reason. As followers of the theory of consequentialism, consequentialists believe that morality depends on the consequences of any given act or of something related to that act, such as the motive behind the act or a general rule requiring acts of the same kind (Sinnott-Armstrong, 2006). Consequentialists are utilitarian in nature, such that they consider the morality of particular acts based on the pleasure (utility) that can be derived from these acts. However, this cannot possibly count as morality for me.