400 word essay

Positive Arguments for Euthanasia: Touching on ethical views and the views of terminally ill patients

Ashford 2: – Week 1 – Assignment

Instructions
The exercise must be at least 400 words in length (excluding title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Be sure to including a title page and reference page as necessary. Your exercise must be organized to address each of the five parts below. Number each part accordingly.

  1. Part One: Thesis Statement
    Use the Thesis Generator in the Ashford Writing Center to construct a thesis statement that articulates your position on the question as you have defined it. This will likely be the last thing you do in this exercise, but your thesis should be placed at the top of the first page after the title page.

    Your thesis should clearly state your position and provide a concise statement of the primary reason(s) drawn from the three issues you raise in Part Two. For example, having identified three important issues that need to be considered, you may find that two of them support your view, and while one may present a challenge to it, that challenge can be overcome.
     

  2. Part Two: Provide a Brief Introduction to the Topic
    Your introduction must make clear to the reader exactly what ethical issue or question you are addressing within this topic, and what you consider to be the boundaries of the question.

    For example, a paper on criminal punishment might consider whether capital punishment should be used as punishment for certain types of crime, or it might consider the broader question of whether the criminal justice system should favor retribution over rehabilitation. If you were writing on this topic, you would need to specify which of these (or some other) specific question you intend to discuss. (Note: You may not write on criminal punishment, this is just an example.) You should aim to focus your question as narrowly as possible.

    The final sentence of this paragraph should provide a brief summary of the three ethically significant issues pertaining to this question that you intend to address.
     

  3. Parts Three, Four, and Five: Explain Three Ethically Significant Issues Pertaining to This Question
    An “ethically significant issue” is a feature of the topic and circumstances that must be taken into account when reasoning about the question. For example, if you were writing on criminal punishment and focusing on the question of whether drug users should be imprisoned, ethically significant issues might include the monetary costs, the social costs, the impact on the person, the effect on the drug trade, and so on. And each of these, in turn, would have sub-issues, negative and positive sides, etc. Your task is to be as specific as you can in explaining the ethically significant issue.

    The first sentence of each paragraph must be a topic sentence that clearly states what issue you will be considering. The remainder of the paragraph should address the relevance and import of the ethically significant feature of the situation. Each paragraph should be focused on a distinct issue.


 
issues to be addressed
 

 

End of life medical issues
•
Do people have a right to end their lives whenever they choose to?
•
Can people be mistaken about whether their life has value and ought to be ended?
•
Does the answer to this question affect the answer to the first question?
•
Can we set polices that determine in each case what the value of a human life is and when it
should or should not be ended?
•
Does the answer to this question affect the answer to the first question?
•
Does it make a difference whether a person’s life is
ended by an act of active killing, or whether
it is simply allowed to expire?
•
Does it make a difference whether the agent (i.e., the person causing the death), in either case, is
the person himself or herself or someone else (such as a doctor)?
•
Is there
a limit to the amount of resources we should allocate toward the preservation of a life in
the face of limited resources for other healthcare needs?
•
Considering lives that are on the brink of death, under what circumstances (if any) would it be
ethically wrong to prolong that life

 
example paper to guide you
 

Positive Arguments for Euthanasia: Touching on ethical views and the views of terminally ill patients

Euthanasia: The merciful alternative

“There is a time to be born and a time to die… a time to kill and a time to heal… a time to search and a time to give up.”(Ecclesiastes 3:2a, 3a, 6a) Euthanasia enthusiasts would agree with this quote. Euthanasia is a word that can be defined as the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies. (Webster’s dictionary) The purpose of this essay is to fortify the positive role of euthanasia by explaining why it is that terminally ill patients consider euthanasia an option and what the ethical views concerning this issue are.

The main reason for which people consider ending their life through euthanasia is because they are terminally ill. Terminally ill patients are those who have been diagnosed with a progressive degenerative disease for which there is not a known cure. These diseases include those such as Multiple Sclerosis, AIDS, Huntington’s Disease, or Alzheimer’s Disease. There are three things that motivate terminally ill patients to end their life. The first reason being that they do not want to diminish their assets by incurring large medical expenses as their death approaches, and as an act of generosity they would rather die sooner, leaving their beneficiaries their assets. The second reason that one may consider euthanasia is that when they realize death is near, they wish to have total control over the process. In addition when a person relies on continuous care from another person, they feel that they have lost their independence, which can be considered as a loss of personal dignity. (www.religioustolerance.org)

There are two interesting ethical issues pertaining to euthanasia. The first issue examined is the Physician’s Oath, which states, “Follow that system of regimen which, according to [his] ability and judgment, [he] consider[s] for the benefit of [his] patients.”(Hippocrates) Which translated to the idea that if a patient feels the need to end their life due to a degenerative disease, then the physician, with the consent of the patient, may do so without the intervention of the law telling him or her what they are allowed to do. According to this oath, if euthanasia is a rational method for their patient to consider, the law should not intervene. The second ethical issue to be looked at is religion. Many religious groups believe that God gave life and therefore God is the only one who can take life away. When applied to this belief, euthanasia is a sin. Many faith groups such as Christian, Muslim or Jewish, believe that these degenerative diseases and incurable pains are a divinely appointed opportunity for learning and purification. To challenge these beliefs with euthanasia would be to go against their faith in God.

Euthanasia will be debated for many years to come. With the information set forth hopefully the beneficial aspects of euthanasia have been made clear. It is important to remember that treatments of physical symptoms are only part of the problem. Mental, social, and spiritual pains all add to the load that a terminally ill patient carries.

Should terminally ill patients have the right to die?

Euthanasia refers to ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. Terminal illness means any illness which ends in death and there is no possibility of recovery. So is it fair for terminally ill patients to suffer pain for longer than they need? And should they have the right to end their own life?

People are usually eager to avoid death because they value being alive, because they have many things they wish to do, and experiences they wish to have. Obviously, this is not the case with a terminally ill patient who wishes to die. Euthanasia provides a way for terminally ill patients to relieve pain; it is unfair on them to endure unbearable pain. Also it can help to shorten the grief and suffering of the patient’s loved ones, as it’s not just the patients suffering but their loved ones are too. Many people think that each person has the right to control his or her body and life and so should be able to determine at what time, in what way and by whose hand he or she will die. Most people would have their pets put down if they were suffering – this would be regarded as kindness. Why can’t the same kindness be given to humans? Patients should also have the right to decide the value of life and death for themselves and have the freedom of choice, but it is not always the case.

Tony Nicklinson, 58, suffered from locked-in syndrome (paralysed from the neck down and unable to speak.) summed up his existence as ‘dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable’. He took his ‘right-to-die’ case to the High Court however was unsuccessful, later that month died naturally. Patients shouldn’t be forced to stay alive; it’s unfair on them and their family. Tony Nicklinson was living a life he didn’t wish to live and his daughter described it was ‘pure torture’ for him.

A survey found that 47 per cent of people said they were prepared to help a loved one to die, even if it meant breaking the law. Euthanasia would allow patients to die quickly and painlessly. Euthanasia could also free up scarce health resources and vital organs could be saved so doctors can save the lives of others. Illness can take away autonomy (the ability to make choices) and dignity, leaving you with no quality of life; euthanasia allows you to take back control in deciding to die, so it gives patients their dignity back. Many times we don’t have enough money to pay for the needed medical care not knowing if the patient is going to get any better. In a way, we are just wasting time and money on a situation that won’t get better. If the patient wants euthanasia, why not do it if we cannot end the huge amount of money wasted on a treatment that won’t help.

On the other hand, allowing Euthanasia could lead to less good care for the terminally ill. It undermines the commitment of doctors and nurses to saving lives. Doctors have a moral responsibility to keep their patients alive. It could also discourage the search for new cures and treatments for the terminally ill. Euthanasia exposes vulnerable people to pressure to end their lives. There could be moral pressure on elderly relatives by selfish families or moral pressure to free up medical resources. Those patients who are abandoned by their families may feel euthanasia is the only solution.

It’s also impossible to measure suffering in any way, and it’s hard to come up with any objective idea of what constitutes unbearable suffering, since each individual will react to the same physical and mental conditions in a different way. So how would we measure what ‘terminally ill’ is? If everyone reacts differently, we cannot say one patient is worse than the other, nor can we say one is better than the other. Adding to that, how would we establish when the right time is to perform the procedure? Sometimes miracles can happen, and patients make a great recovery, but we never know what can happen and it would mean taking a massive risk.

Religious people believe Euthanasia is against the word and will of God. They believe to kill oneself, or to get someone else to do it for us, is to deny God, and to deny God’s rights over our lives and his right to choose the length of our lives and the way our lives end. Christianity teaches that suffering can have a place in God’s plan, in that it allows the sufferer to share in Christ’s agony and his redeeming sacrifice. They believe that Christ will be present to share in the suffering of the believer.

There are many reasons why people think we shouldn’t kill human beings; all human beings are to be valued, irrespective of age, sex, race, religion, social status or their potential for achievement. Human life is sacred because it’s a gift from God. Euthanasia devalues human life, and accepting euthanasia accepts that some lives (those of the disabled or sick) are worth less than others, which is unfair as we are all equal.

Overall I believe terminally ill patients should have the right to die, as I’ve already said they have their own freedom of choice and should be able to decide when and how to end their life. It stops them from all the unnecessary suffering and pain and also stops their families from suffering with them. However there would need to be some fair tests to measure and establish if the patient is eligible for the procedure. Adding to that, Doctors should have no influence on the patient’s decision, it should just be decided by the patient, unless they are physically unable to, then by their direct family or relatives. There should be very specific and strict rules leading up to the procedure.

Should terminally ill patients have the right to die?

Euthanasia refers to ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. Terminal illness means any illness which ends in death and there is no possibility of recovery. So is it fair for terminally ill patients to suffer pain for longer than they need? And should they have the right to end their own life?

People are usually eager to avoid death because they value being alive, because they have many things they wish to do, and experiences they wish to have. Obviously, this is not the case with a terminally ill patient who wishes to die. Euthanasia provides a way for terminally ill patients to relieve pain; it is unfair on them to endure unbearable pain. Also it can help to shorten the grief and suffering of the patient’s loved ones, as it’s not just the patients suffering but their loved ones are too. Many people think that each person has the right to control his or her body and life and so should be able to determine at what time, in what way and by whose hand he or she will die. Most people would have their pets put down if they were suffering – this would be regarded as kindness. Why can’t the same kindness be given to humans? Patients should also have the right to decide the value of life and death for themselves and have the freedom of choice, but it is not always the case.

Tony Nicklinson, 58, suffered from locked-in syndrome (paralysed from the neck down and unable to speak.) summed up his existence as ‘dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable’. He took his ‘right-to-die’ case to the High Court however was unsuccessful, later that month died naturally. Patients shouldn’t be forced to stay alive; it’s unfair on them and their family. Tony Nicklinson was living a life he didn’t wish to live and his daughter described it was ‘pure torture’ for him.

A survey found that 47 per cent of people said they were prepared to help a loved one to die, even if it meant breaking the law. Euthanasia would allow patients to die quickly and painlessly. Euthanasia could also free up scarce health resources and vital organs could be saved so doctors can save the lives of others. Illness can take away autonomy (the ability to make choices) and dignity, leaving you with no quality of life; euthanasia allows you to take back control in deciding to die, so it gives patients their dignity back. Many times we don’t have enough money to pay for the needed medical care not knowing if the patient is going to get any better. In a way, we are just wasting time and money on a situation that won’t get better. If the patient wants euthanasia, why not do it if we cannot end the huge amount of money wasted on a treatment that won’t help.

On the other hand, allowing Euthanasia could lead to less good care for the terminally ill. It undermines the commitment of doctors and nurses to saving lives. Doctors have a moral responsibility to keep their patients alive. It could also discourage the search for new cures and treatments for the terminally ill. Euthanasia exposes vulnerable people to pressure to end their lives. There could be moral pressure on elderly relatives by selfish families or moral pressure to free up medical resources. Those patients who are abandoned by their families may feel euthanasia is the only solution.

It’s also impossible to measure suffering in any way, and it’s hard to come up with any objective idea of what constitutes unbearable suffering, since each individual will react to the same physical and mental conditions in a different way. So how would we measure what ‘terminally ill’ is? If everyone reacts differently, we cannot say one patient is worse than the other, nor can we say one is better than the other. Adding to that, how would we establish when the right time is to perform the procedure? Sometimes miracles can happen, and patients make a great recovery, but we never know what can happen and it would mean taking a massive risk.

Religious people believe Euthanasia is against the word and will of God. They believe to kill oneself, or to get someone else to do it for us, is to deny God, and to deny God’s rights over our lives and his right to choose the length of our lives and the way our lives end. Christianity teaches that suffering can have a place in God’s plan, in that it allows the sufferer to share in Christ’s agony and his redeeming sacrifice. They believe that Christ will be present to share in the suffering of the believer.

There are many reasons why people think we shouldn’t kill human beings; all human beings are to be valued, irrespective of age, sex, race, religion, social status or their potential for achievement. Human life is sacred because it’s a gift from God. Euthanasia devalues human life, and accepting euthanasia accepts that some lives (those of the disabled or sick) are worth less than others, which is unfair as we are all equal.

Overall I believe terminally ill patients should have the right to die, as I’ve already said they have their own freedom of choice and should be able to decide when and how to end their life. It stops them from all the unnecessary suffering and pain and also stops their families from suffering with them. However there would need to be some fair tests to measure and establish if the patient is eligible for the procedure. Adding to that, Doctors should have no influence on the patient’s decision, it should just be decided by the patient, unless they are physically unable to, then by their direct family or relatives. There should be very specific and strict rules leading up to the procedure

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