Euthanasia and Morals
Research Papers on euthanasia and the morality of the issue can examine the complex philosophical quandary from many different angles.
Euthanasia, sometimes referred to as mercy killing, is an act by a third party that causes a patients death. Such acts include administering a lethal dose of medication by way of injection or mask, usually to a seriously ill patient who is dying slowly and in severe pain. The morality of euthanasia is being debated in the following ways:
- Is is morally right for the Courts to make euthanasia legal?
- Should the medical community be held morally responsible for determining if euthanasia is right?
- How does society in other parts of the world view euthanasia?
This debate is engaged upon within the philosophical, ethical and biological levels of the issue. While philosophy concerns itself with the meaning and justification of beliefs, the ethical stance includes the concept of right and wrong in an action such as euthanasia. The biological perspective includes the basic study of the science of life.
The United States and Euthanasia
In the United States, euthanasia is considered a form of homicide and illegal. The differentiating factor between regular homicide and euthanasia is that with the latter, the motive is usually merciful rather than violent. Two forms of euthanasia exist, voluntary euthanasia and non voluntary euthanasia. When the patient gives consent, euthanasia is considered as voluntary; when the patient is unconscious or incapable of giving consent it is referred to as non voluntary euthanasia.
The Netherlands and Euthanasia
Currently, the Netherlands is the only country in the world that allows euthanasia, although the Colombian Congress is drafting guidelines to allow for mercy killing in that country. The state of Oregon in the United States has laws that allow for assisted-suicide, but not for euthanasia. These two differ in that while a third party causes death with euthanasia directly, in assisted-suicide, the patient actually commits the final act that will take his/her life.
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