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Today’s Moral Issues: Euthanasia Essay

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Updated: Mar 25th, 2021

Explain two arguments made by the Court concerning assisted suicide in the Glucksberg case. Are you convinced?

The court clearly stated that it is a criminal offense to attempt or commit suicide. This law was formulated to protect and preserve human life (Bosselman 113). To ensure that the right to life is respect, the law was amended to include assisted or aided suicide as a criminal offense. Thus is an individual knowingly administered drugs or supplied weapons that will be used for murder, and then he is equally guilty. Further amendments were made to protect the dignity and independence of professionals. The amendments stated that withdrawal or withholding treatment that sustains the life of an individual by his/her request does not amount to assisted suicide. This law however ruled out physician-assisted suicide. The arguments are convincing enough since they aim at protecting and preserving the life of individuals.

What are Rachel’s criteria for allowable euthanasia; do you agree?

According to Rachel, euthanasia is only allowed if and only if the victim is suffering from unbearable pain. This exception should be administered to patients who are suffering from terminal illnesses, their chances of survival are slim and they are undergoing a lot of pain. He thus stated that euthanasia should be administered if the morals behind the action were justifiable and would result in happiness and killing a patient who is suffering from a terminal illness and undergoing a lot of pain by his/her request. Personally, I think that these criteria are justifiable as they will lead to more good than bad.

Explain William’s nature-based argument concerning euthanasia. What might be an objection?

The article that was presented by William clearly states that our bodies have a natural instinct of continuing to live. That is why in our everyday life we take many precautions to ensure that we are free from danger so that we can continue living. In our everyday lives, we take a lot of care to minimize the chances of us falling into danger or compromising situations that might compromise our health. That is why we dodge trucks, take medicine, eat, drink, work out, and ensure that we live healthy lives.

Our internal body organs also work hard to ensure our well being. When we bleed, the capillaries automatically close up and fibrinogen is released to speed up the blood clotting process to prevent further bleeding. Our cells also have antibodies that kill any foreign material which may have caused harm to our body. Therefore, it is a natural instinct that we are alive and struggles by all means to survive

Euthanasia on the other hand denies us this chance by intentionally taking away our life. This can only be objected to when an individual is suffering and the chances of recovery are low. It makes all the work which our bodies have worked hard to ensure that we continue to live. As a result, euthanasia goes against the laws of nature which ensure our continued living on earth.

How does the argument concerning utility apply to the case of “Jack”? Do you think that Jack would agree?

Jack was suffering from a rare type of cancer. In the course of his treatment, he had undergone numerous surgeries but the disease kept on spreading. Most of the time he was undergoing so much pain that he would growl. The painkillers which were administered to him were not of much assistance and he could not wait to get another shot that would at least relieve his pain. Under such circumstances, the argument of utility applies in Jacks case and he should have been given the option to end his life since he was undergoing unbearable pain and the chances of recovery were slim. If he had that option, I think that he would have taken it.

What is Rachel’s’ critique of the “unexpected cures” argument? Is he right?

According to Rachel, there have been some instances where a patient has miraculously recovered from a terminal illness that was believed would result in his/her death. Thus, if euthanasia was done such a patient would have been denied more time on earth. This is because it is impossible for people to determine when the right time to administer euthanasia is. A patient can recover suddenly because the doctor made a mistake while diagnosing his/her condition or a cure for the illness was found just when people were about to give up.

I, however, disagree with this fact since this argument is based on chance rather than facts, and in most times terminal patients suffer so much pain that can only be controlled by euthanasia.

How does the story of the petrol driver illustrate the golden rule notion as applied to euthanasia according to Rachel’s?

In the story, the driver was trapped inside a lorry that was about to explode. Since he had no way out, he requested the bystanders to kill him by stoning his head so that his death could be less painful. Although this is difficult to accept, it was a moral thing to do and if the bystanders or anyone else would have been in the same situation as the driver then he/she would have expected the same thing done to him/her. In such a situation, if the driver was one of the bystanders, he would have stoned the individual who was trapped inside the truck so as to reduce the pain which such an individual has to go through before he/she dies. That is how the golden rule applies. People who follow this principle do things that they would also want to be done to them under such situations.

Will voluntary euthanasia be legal in the U.S. in, say, ten years?

Although euthanasia aims at easing the pain and suffering which an individual suffers, I do not think that it will become legal in the United States. This is because it is the sole purpose of the state to protect the life of its citizens and by allowing euthanasia; they would have gone against their will.

Explain two arguments made by the Court concerning assisted suicide in the Glucksberg case. Are you convinced?

In this case, the court clearly spelled out that assisted or aided suicide is a criminal offense. This is because it leads to the destruction of the life of an individual thus going against one of the principal duties of the government which is to protect and preserve the right of an individual. However, further amendments were made to the law to legalize assisted death as a result of withholding or withdrawal of treatment from the request of a terminal patient who is undergoing unbearable pain. To prevent any mischief, the law went ahead to prohibit physician-assisted suicide.

What are Rachel’s criteria for allowable euthanasia; do you agree?

Rachel stated that euthanasia is morally right when it is administered to terminal patients who are undergoing unbearable pain. It should thus be administered when it will result in more happiness in the world and take away sorrow. It can also be administered when a patient is in a lot of pain and there is no chance of recovery. According to him, this will be morally right as it would ease the pain of the patient.

Explain William’s nature-based argument concerning euthanasia. What might be an objection?

William presented a good argument about the natural want of life by humans. In his article, he explained the human nature of protecting themselves from harm and ensuring that one so as to increase the chances of survival and the length of time one has to live on earth. That is why in our everyday life, we are cautious not to get injured or fall sick. We evade trucks, have regular medical checkups to ensure that we are healthy and eat, drink, and keep our bodies clean. Our internal morphology also works in a similar manner. The cells in our bodies have antibodies that fight any foreign material inside our bodies. When we bleed, our capillaries quickly seal to stop further bleeding, and fibrinogen is produced to make a clot. All these natural factors are at work to ensure that we are alive in this world.

Euthanasia on the other hand goes against all these. While our bodies work hard to increase our chances of living, euthanasia easily takes it away. It goes against all the measures that nature has taken to ensure that we stay alive. Although the needs and ethics of life have changed, it is essential to ensure that we stay alive. Thus, by encouraging euthanasia, we would be going against the laws of nature.

How does the argument concerning utility apply to the case of “Jack”? Do you think that Jack would agree?

Jack was a patient who was suffering from cancer. His infections begun from his stomach but with time it had spread to several parts of his body, including his stomach. Although he used to receive comfort from his wife, he used to undergo a lot of pain at night when his wife was no longer there to comfort him. This is because it was against the policy of the hospital to have a family of friends over at night. During this time, Jack would suffer from severe pain which caused him a lot of discomforts. The doctor could administer painkillers to him to reduce the pain but this only worked for a few hours and most of the time, he had to rely on the painkillers which he was given by the nurses to relieve his pain.

As such, Jack would have benefited from the concept of utility. The pain and suffering which he and his family were undergoing could have been solved by euthanasia. Through euthanasia, all the pain and suffering which Jack was undergoing could have been solved. Furthermore, he was the right candidate for such treatment since he was suffering from and the chances of his recovery were slim. I personally believe that if Jack was offered the option to end his life, he would have chosen it.

What is Rachel’s’ critique of the “unexpected cures” argument? Is he right?

The argument raised by Rachel about unexpected cures is something that many people hope for when they are sick or have a loved one who is terminally ill. According to this argument, it is difficult to determine when the right time to administer euthanasia is. This is because there are chances that a patient can recover from conditions that were thought to lead to his/her death. In such instances therefore it will be morally wrong to administer euthanasia as it would deny the patient more time on earth which he or she deserves. Such instances occur when a wrong diagnosis was made by a doctor or there was a mistake in the interpretation of the patients condition by a doctor or a cure of the condition is found through research.

However, looking at this point critically, the probability that such recoveries can occur is very low. Thus, making decisions bases on such beliefs will only result in more harm than good. Many patients have suffered while they believed that they might get better or a cure for their condition will be found. It is therefore wise to make decisions based on facts. That is why euthanasia should be used to control such pains and sufferings.

How does the story of the petrol driver illustrate the golden rule notion as applied to euthanasia according to Rachel’s?

The story of the petro driver states clearly shows the golden rule in practice. It was about a driver who was trapped inside a petrol truck that had just rolled over as a result of an accident. In the process of trying to escape, the driver noticed that he was trapped and could not get out in time. He also understood that there was little which the people who stood close by could do. He thus requested them to hit him on his head so that he can die quickly and avoid the agony of roasting to death.

If the same driver had a chance to do the same thing to another person under similar circumstances, he would have done it. This is how the golden rule applies to euthanasia. It aims at the pain of death which an individual may suffer from by making his/her death to be quick and brief.

Will voluntary euthanasia be legal in the U.S. in, say, ten years?

Voluntary euthanasia will not be legal in the U.S for a very long time. This is because it goes against all morals of life. The state has an obligation to protect and preserve the life of its citizens. That is why it has formulated many rules, laws, and procedures which ensure that the right to life is respected and adhered to by everyone including the individual who wants to commit suicide. Therefore, the state will be going against its ethics by legalizing voluntary euthanasia. At the same time, if euthanasia is legalized, people will not have respect to live.

Work Cited

Bosselman, Klaus. The principle of sustainability: transforming law and governance. New York: Ashgate Publishing, 2008.

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