Good introduction euthanasia essay

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Good introduction euthanasia essay

Philosophical approaches to the dilemma of death with dignity Elizabeth Telfer Dr Elizabeth Telfer is a senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, where she lectures on contemporary moral issues, including euthanasia.

She is co- author of "Respect for Persons" and has recently written "Food for Thought". Her approach to death with dignity demonstrates how this issue can be approached philosophically by means of several different schools of thought. Introduction This paper tries to set the issue of voluntary euthanasia in a philosophical framework by showing how some of the main philosophical theories about morality would deal with the topic.

Philosophers have not discussed euthanasia as such until recently, although it is now a popular topic. What has always been discussed, however, is suicide, which raises much the same moral problems as voluntary euthanasia.

The moral similarity between voluntary euthanasia and suicide enables us to make a reasonable guess about what some of the great philosophers would say about voluntary euthanasia. In this country patients have a legal right to refuse treatment even if death will be the result, though doctors may make it difficult for them to exercise this right.

But it is illegal for a doctor actively to bring about the death of his patient at the patient's request, in the way that is now decriminalised in the Netherlands. In this paper I shall concentrate on the controversial issues: My title mentions "death with dignity". But dignity is a very complex concept.

I shall not attempt to give a definition of dignity here. Instead I shall list aspects of dignity which seem Good introduction euthanasia essay be important when death with dignity is discussed, recognising that some of these aspects will be more important to some people, others to others.

A death with dignity is a death which enables the dying person to retain the elements of dignity which he or she values. We can divide such theories into two groups: Theories of the first kind are called Consequentialist theories; theories of the second kind are called Deontological theories, from the Greek words 'deonto' meaning 'to do with obligation' and 'logos' meaning roughly 'body of knowledge'.

Consequentialist theories can be further subdivided: I shall return to Egoism at the end of my paper. I shall begin with Universalistic Consequentialism, because this view which still has many philosophical adherents may strike one at first as the obvious common-sense, rational, secular approach to moral questions.

The first question that arises about Universal Consequentialism is: One popular answer is the one given by John Stuart Mill in his famous essay, Utilitarianism good consequences are simply happiness, and happiness is pleasure and freedom from pain - not only physical pain but also distress of other kinds.

According to this view, then, the right action is that which produces the most pleasure and least pain for all those affected. Another kind of answer is also found in the works of Mill, notably in his Essay on Liberty but also in Utilitarianism: According to this second conception of good consequences, the right action is that which promotes in oneself and others what we may call a higher happiness, one which stresses self-development and the fostering of the distinctively rational nature of human beings.

Terminology is a problem here. Others use the term 'Utilitarianism' for Universal Consequentialism in general, since all versions of this view judge actions by their results - their usefulness or utility. I shall adopt this terminology, which distinguishes different forms of the theory as 'Hedonistic' pleasure-based Utilitarianism and 'Ideal' Utilitarianism.

I think that both the Hedonistic and the Ideal Utilitarian would argue that voluntary euthanasia is often right.

Good introduction euthanasia essay

The Hedonistic Utilitarian would say that situations often arise in which a person's continued existence brings more pain than pleasure both to them and to all those who are distressed by their suffering - not to speak of the resources which are being spent on keeping them alive and which would produce more happiness if used in other ways.

The Ideal version of Utilitarianism is even more in tune with the views of those who advocate the possibility of death with dignity through voluntary euthanasia.

For Ideal Utilitarians can counter the familiar objection to euthanasia - that no one who receives proper expert care need die in pain and distress - by saying that the good that they seek is not mere absence of pain, physical or mental, but the preservation of dignity and the exercise of the human endowment of autonomy.

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However, there are severe problems for the Utilitarian approach to the defence of voluntary euthanasia. The first is that it seems to justify too much: If sufficient numbers of people would gain in happiness and quality of life from the death of one person, the Utilitarian has to agree that such an action would be justified, provided it could be carried out without causing a general panic which would outweigh the hoped-for gain in happiness.

This problem is one example of a general difficulty with Utilitarianism of any kind. If the rightness of an action is to be measured in overall consequences, there is no protection for the individual against the majority: We might put this point by saying that Utilitarianism does not safeguard the individual's rights.

And it is just this inability to safeguard individuals' rights that leads many to reject the Utilitarian approach, as yielding results which are too much at variance with our moral intuitions.

A second problem is the line that the Utilitarian has to take on changing the law.EU Module (Theory) EU Module ; Information on the principles of the humane killing of laboratory animals, and is undertaken as part of the core modular training of new research staff.

The term Euthanasia originates from the Greek term “eu”, meaning happy or good and “thanatos”, which means death, so the literal definition of the word Euthanasia can be translated to mean “good or happy death”.

Free Euthanasia Essay] Free Essays words ( pages).

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Philosophical approaches to the dilemma of death with dignity Elizabeth Telfer Dr Elizabeth Telfer is a senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, where she lectures on contemporary moral issues, including euthanasia.

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Sep 11,  · Islam began in Arabia and was revealed to humanity by the Prophet Muhammad. Those who follow Islam are called Muslims.

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Muslims believe that there is only one God. Introduction “A good death” – from the Greek “eu” meaning good, and “thanatos” meaning death.

Euthanasia is related to suicide because people choose how and when a human life should end, either their own or someone else who is unable to make the choice.

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