The Ethics Surrounding Euthanasia Analytical Essay by Shaad

The Ethics Surrounding Euthanasia
A study of the standard arguments for and against euthanasia, using the criteria of utilitarianism, Kantianism and the doctrine of rights.
# 128782 | 2,958 words | 6 sources | APA | 2009 | BD
Published by on Aug 08, 2010 in Philosophy (Ethics) , Hot Topics (Euthanasia) , Ethics (General)

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This paper engages in an in-depth discussion on the issue of euthanasia. It presents all the standard arguments based on utilitarianism and the doctrine of rights. It also shows how both proponents and opponents use the utilitarian argument, and thus it demonstrates how this particular argument does not relieve the dilemma. The same is shown to be the case for the argument based on the doctrine of rights, and it is shown how it is impossible for a terminally ill patient to exercise such rights. The next resort is to morality, and it is shown how the classic moral arguments fail to deal with euthanasia. Even the Kantian test of duty is seen to produce no result. Finally, Kantianism is embraced in the broader sense to propose that the only answer lies in resisting the advance of medicalization. It is shown that medicalization lies at the root of the dilemma, and that there is no resolution without stepping outside its orbit.

From the Paper:

"Most other pro-euthanasia arguments are mere technical ways of getting around the fact that the patient is in no position to make the crucial decision. The decision of the patient is central, because the argument is purely based on self-determination. A further proposal is to introduce an 'advance directory', where the patient, while fully fit and able, signs to a document that outlines how he wishes to be treated in the contingency that he becomes incapacitated and in the control of medical staff. But so far those lobbying for this innovation have met little success, and it is not difficult to see why. A fit and able person would not like to discuss his future illness, and even less will he be willing to sign away the rights of his person to an anonymous doctor. If such directories must exist, the prescriptions must be universally applied, and this is tantamount to legalising euthanasia. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Adams, R., et. al. (1992). "Physician assisted suicide and the right to die with assistance". Harvard Law Review, Vol. 105, pp. 2021-2040.
  • Engelhart, H. (1989). "Fashioning an ethic for life and death in a post-modern society". Hastings Center Report, January/February, p. 7-9.
  • Fairfield, P. (2000). Moral Selfhood in the Liberal Tradition: The Politics of Individuality. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • McClelland, J. S. (1996). A History of Western Political Thought. New York: Routledge.
  • Newman, S. (1991). "Euthanasia: Orchestrating 'the last syllable of . . .time'". Pittsburgh Law Review, Vol. 53, pp. 153-191.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Ethics Surrounding Euthanasia (2010, August 08) Retrieved November 26, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Ethics Surrounding Euthanasia" 08 August 2010. Web. 26 November. 2020. <>