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Euthanasia Essay

819 words - 4 pages

a) Explain the moral issues surrounding euthanasia.
Euthanasia is a painless, peaceful and lucid death who some agree to be moral while others consider the complex issues surrounding the procedure. These issues include religious perspectives such as the sanctity of life argument and concern for quality of life, autonomy and personhood.
The sanctity of life proposal stands strong for those who adopt Judaeo-Christian values because they believe that God is the only one who can take or give life because he has created all humans imago dei (Genesis 1:27). It builds on this idea that life is sacred and holy and that “everything that happens in this world happens at the times God chooses” ...view middle of the document...

Whether someone’s life is fulfilling is dependant on how they feel themselves and the likes of Stephen Hawking prove you can still lead a fulfilled life, even with a serious illness. So this begs the question whether someone who requires euthanasia must also have poor quality of life and be unable to engage in “higher order pleasures”.
The concept of personhood has caused controversy amongst those for and against because it considers whether one person in a handicapped state is of less importance and therefore eligible for euthanasia. Peter Singer regarded those in a PVS are unable to make rational decisions and are of less importance than a rat because they cannot engage in pleasurable activities. Singer also valued preference over human life an can argue that if one lacks personhood they can be euthanised. This is in contrast to other utilitarian’s such as John Stuart Mill who believes in human autonomy and ones right to make their own decisions. In his book On Liberty he encourages people to depict their own destiny.

b) To what extent is the quality of life the least important factor when considering euthanasia?
When examining the euthanasia argument its evident that this issue of quality of life is a dominant factor when depicting whether euthanizing someone is moral. The quality of life ideology examines whether someone is independent, able to make rational decisions and can engage in...

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