Free «Classical Ethical Theories» Essay Sample

Classical Ethical Theories

Euthanasia is from a Greek word meaning “good death” and a way of plummeting intractable pain. It is also known as mercy killing it involves the willful killing of patients on their own request by lethal injection or not giving them food. This is unethical in as much as it is seen as way reducing the pain of patients mostly who suffer from terminal illnesses. This issue has brought about vast arguments between professional on making it a legal thing (Kohl, & Kurtz, 1975). Being in a society where suicide is seen as a crime renders euthanasia to be more or less the same.

Supporters of the practice that the same way one has rights the same should apply to a patient who is obviously going to die to do so with the minimal pain and not wait for a day where they suffer much or have to waste money by having to keep using drugs for their ailments. This debate was first approached in the 80s at a time where the medical field was not as advanced as it is today where the life expectancy has highly increased and even those who are terminally ill get to be properly treated (Beauchamp, & Davidson, 1979).

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It is therefore categorized into various types which include: Voluntary euthanasia which is done with the consent of the patient as is legal in such countries as Belgium and Netherlands. Passive is also where the patient with the help of a physician gets to his death practiced in such US and Switzerland and is done by the withholding of life sustaining medication and even foods leading to death (Draper, 1998).

Utilitarianism and euthanasia can come in handy in that it advocates for the moral worth of every action done, usefulness and consequences of the acts done. One of the great minds of all time describes it as "the greatest happiness or greatest felicity principle". There are two types of utilitarianism:

Act utilitarianism providing for considering the consequences when face by a choice and picking one from which we will obtain optimum pleasure from; One that will not bring about a sense of guilt or anything that will occasion self conviction (Beauchamp, & Davidson, 1979). The rule utilitarian looks at the rules/ laws on the particular act and what provisions are given upon breaking this law.

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It is seen that in many countries, euthanasia is not practiced and is actually grievous crime similar to manslaughter whether or not it is on consent by the patient as they see life as belonging to the government rather than on the individual. This makes it a crime against the state which is punishable by the state.

The utilitarian will support euthanasia as they critically examine it in terms of the satisfaction that the patient wants to achieve in doing a particular thing. While contrasted with the deontological ethics which involves no form of regret or no specific determinant of the specific value of something (Brody, 1975). In my view, this theory will analyze the intensity of the disease, which involves the stage into the disease he patient is at, the possibilities of a longer life span, and the chances that they may actually pull out of the disease or even live longer than expected also putting into consideration that the families effect on the same.

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The duration of the ailment and the expected life span on proper medication for the survival of the patient as one may practice euthanasia on a patient who could recovery with proper medication or even live long. Certainty or uncertainty of the ailment putting into consideration the likelihood of death and survival if the latter are more of a chance, painful or not it should not be exercised. The propinquity of the disease that its treatment or cure is close to impossible should be done (Kohl, & Kurtz, 1975).

The patients’ feelings of pain and the strain of their relatives seeing them in that situation can just make them opt to die. If even upon much counseling and encouragement they are still determined to die, there is nothing much that can be done as healing starts from within and if one does not wish to they can get depressed and actually slow down the process (Wreen, 1988). If upon death the patient will be more at peace, then why not. The family members are much to consider as this way, they are will also lose a close and loved one having them to be ready is not always easy. If the patient is conscious, then they should be the ones to give their wishes and if in a comma, say one that has extended to years, then it is important for them to make a sound decision.

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Utilitarian’s believe in higher pleasure not occasioned by pain so making it best to have death than a life time in a coma or in the last stages of cancer that is occasioned by intense pain and suffering. The patients should also be encouraged spiritually to make it better for them to be at peace with their God or other believes (Beauchamp, & Davidson, 1979).

It is in my view that if this practice were practiced, there would be problems as there are people who would practice it in order to be malicious or to take others property on the death so it is best to have proper rules which actually give the exact time at which this should be done. Or better yet find other ways of handle and accepting terminal illnesses to ensure that people live longer with their loved ones.