Euthanasia: Choice and Death – Medical Ethics Example

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"Euthanasia: Choice and Death" is a delightful example of a paper on medical ethics. The concept of euthanasia has led to a myriad of debates in the contemporary world. According to Veatch (2002), the concept of euthanasia is indeed one that will endlessly lead to circular debates on its validity relating to human life and existence. In relation to euthanasia, concepts such as respect to humanity, and justification of the topic in relation to the end of problems in human existence are points of concern. Human life is usually regarded as the most sacred in-thing on earth.

However, people believe that having a quality life is the best way to celebrate life. Leading unusual and very miserable lives is usually the least preferable to death. Due to this, euthanasia is an option for people who do not have lives worth living. Euthanasia is usually common to people suffering from long-term health conditions. Some health conditions are incurable and very tormenting. They make the patients question the worthiness of their lives. People who suffer from such diseases opt for taking their own lives than to live in suffering and pity to themselves.

The decision is usually made by the patients themselves if they are of the right mind and on their behalf if they are not in the position and condition to make the decisions. Close family members are usually part of the decision-making team. However, at times the decisions are usually medical based and not by will. If the medical staffs are in the position to make lasting recovery results, it would be a crime if euthanasia is carried out. This is because some people may feel the urge of death anxiety and use medical reasons for their justifications.

Additionally, euthanasia can only be carried out if the medical condition is permanent and the slightest chances of survival are very minimal. The subject’ s decisions are usually the last considered decision. As much as it is the patient’ s decision to take their own life, medical professions stand in their way. Medical professions’ decisions can take a man’ s life and equally save the same man’ s life. Not only a career but their ethical grounds are on the line.

With existing medical ethical requirements, the medical professions have time in making the right decisions. Sometimes the patients may be too willing to take their own life but it the duty of doctors to save their lives if there is even the minimal possibility of survival. However, there is a good feeling and consciousness if a doctor takes a patient’ s life due to logical circumstances. In some instances there is no possibility of survival of a patient and the medical staff may go for euthanasia. In this case, the patient is spared suffering his family spared the emotional distress.

Additionally, financial constraints are also spared. In some scenarios, a patient may undergo unbearable pain. According to Tulloch (2005), this is usually the most concrete decision for most cases of euthanasia. If there is a possibility of finding a solution to this pain, there could be a 70% decrease in euthanasia cases. This is the most logical cause of euthanasia. It is past the human heart to experience a fellow human in unbearable pain. It is not only for the patient’ s sake but also for the people around him. The other most common pro-euthanasia cause is the ‘ right to kill’ .

This right is not given to the person being exterminated. It is given to the person who commits the murder. Critics feel this is the most inhumane euthanasia cause. It goes against the public and ethics policy. It usually achieved by changing the law to serve the interest of relatives. This cause justifies the definition of euthanasia which is the right to kill but not the right to die.

If a subject’ s family finds it impossible to deal with a medical condition, they have the right to gain a doctor's right to take the subject’ s life. As much as this is a possible cause, it may be misused to serve and achieve personal interest (Veach, 2002). Apart from the two extraordinary causes, there is an ordinary cause of euthanasia. This is the obvious and expected death of a person. It may be due to a medical condition. In this case, neither the law nor the medical practice has an alternative.

The patient’ s remaining time to live is usually directed to ease his pain and his relatives. This also eases financial burdens as well as provides time for people to face the reality of death. The final decision, in this case, lies with the subject. He chooses the day he wishes his life to end. This cause also does not have the guilt consequences to a medic who takes the life away. There are some reasons against euthanasia. One of the reasons is that some people may use euthanasia as a tool to relieve themselves from medical expenses.

Illnesses that have the capability of leading to euthanasia usually require lots of money to get medication. This may be a major problem for some people. They can easily force a situation where euthanasia is the only possible option. This is usually criminalized as murder especially if the decision is made by the patient’ s family. Due to this reason, euthanasia is still illegal in a great number of countries. If depressed and dependent people are fed with the option of euthanasia, they will feel guilty if they take the option of medical care and treatment.

This feeling can be caused by financial constraints. This is usually a psychological effect that makes euthanasia voluntary. Critics argue that, if these kinds of patients are given charge-free medical care, they will not opt for euthanasia. Consequently, this means that if euthanasia is taken as the way out, it will be more of murder than assistance since there was a chance of survival. Euthanasia is the topmost level of disregard for human life. This is the ethical reason against euthanasia.

Human life is the most important value on earth. The ability to breathe should not be taken for granted. This is the reason why religious bodies will forever be opposed to euthanasia. Human life should be valued till the last breathe which will naturally end. Taking someone’ s life because of a condition is termed as disrespect to the creator by religious bodies. Religious organizations and groups believe that a person should die a natural death and not with the help of another person. Devettere (2009) indicates that, other than the natural and inevitable death, the rest is murder. In many instances, patients have been talked out of euthanasia options.

This is mostly done on the grounds of responsibilities and the value of life. Researchers say that patients who have many responsibilities do not go for euthanasia as an option. Religious affiliations also hinder many people from accepting euthanasia as an option. However, this is usually done if there is the slightest probability of survival. If there is no chance for survival it proves impossible to convince a patient not to consider euthanasia. Some medical institutions, especially of the western world, find it honorable to have consent from the patients prior to carrying out euthanasia, though at times it becomes extremely difficult for the patients to decide on which road to take regarding matters of life and death.

This, nevertheless, is an advantage that many health practitioners have taken advantage of, elating euthanasia. Euthanasia should be only considered in cases of unbearable medical conditions. If euthanasia should be legalized, how many cases of voluntary deaths would the world have on a daily basis?

This will be the worst way of valuation to human life.


Devettere, R. (2009). Practical Decision Making in Health Care Ethics: Cases and Concepts. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.

Tulloch, G. (2005). Euthanasia, Choice and death. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.

Veatch, R. (2002).2nd Edition. Basics of Bioethics. New York: Prentice-Hall.

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