Week 7: Euthanasia1

In this excerpt they debate Singer’s utilitarian philosophy which allows for Euthanizing children with severe disability.
How do you feel about this decision? Which theory learned in class back you up in your position? Apply three claims to back you up.
Euthanasia Definitions
Euthanasia: 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)
Voluntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed has requested to be killed.
Non-voluntary: When the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent.
Involuntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed made an expressed wish to the contrary.
Assisted suicide: Someone provides an individual with the information, guidance, and means to take his or her own life with the intention that they will be used for this purpose. When it is a doctor who helps another person to kill themselves it is called “physician assisted suicide.”
Euthanasia By Action: Intentionally causing a person’s death by performing an action such as by giving a lethal injection.
Euthanasia By Omission: Intentionally causing death by not providing necessary and ordinary (usual and customary) care or food and water.
What Euthanasia is NOT: There is no euthanasia unless the death is intentionally caused by what was done or not done. Thus, some medical actions that are often labeled “passive euthanasia” are no form of euthanasia, since the intention to take life is lacking. These acts include not commencing treatment that would not provide a benefit to the patient, withdrawing treatment that has been shown to be ineffective, too burdensome or is unwanted, and the giving of high doses of pain-killers
that may endanger life, when they have been shown to be necessary. All those are part of good medical practice, endorsed by law, when they are properly carried out.
Euthanasia Pros and Cons
Euthanasia: The intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. (If death is not intended, it is not an act of euthanasia)
Arguments For Euthanasia:
It provides a way to relieve extreme pain
It provides a way of relief when a person’s quality of life is low
Frees up medical funds to help other people
It is another case of freedom of choice
Reasons for Euthanasia
Unbearable pain
Right to commit suicide
People should not be forced to stay alive
1. Unbearable pain as the reason for euthanasia
Probably the major argument in favor of euthanasia is that the person involved is in great pain. Today, advances are constantly being made in the treatment of pain and, as they advance, the case for euthanasia/assisted-suicide is proportionally weakened. Euthanasia advocates stress the cases of unbearable pain as reasons for euthanasia, but then they soon include a “drugged” state. I guess that
is in case virtually no uncontrolled pain cases can be found – then they can say those people are drugged into a no-pain state but they need to be euthanasiaed from such a state because it is not dignified. See the opening for the slippery slope? How do you measure “dignity”? No – it will be euthanasia “on demand”. The pro-euthanasia folks have already started down the slope. They are even now not stoping with “unbearable pain” – they are alrady including this “drugged state” and other circumstances.
Nearly all pain can be eliminated and – in those rare cases where it can’t be eliminated – it can still be reduced significantly if proper treatment is provided. It is a national and international scandal that so many people do not get adequate pain control.