Voluntaryor intentional euthanasia implies the practice of terminating one’slife in a painless manner. This practice has received heightenedspotlight and controversy in the recent years which has led many toconsider the need of legalizing the practice. Normative ethicaltheories have been used to examine whether euthanasia is worthwhileor not. Through this examination it is possible to determine if thepractice is ethical one or it needs changes. Many philosophers haveproposed several normative ethical theories which include ethicalutilitarianism, rights and egoism theory. They are essential inanalyzing the legitimacy of voluntary euthanasia problem.
Ethicalegoism was advanced in our modern times by Thomas Hobbes, thisethical theory is based on the general rule that if any actionincreases overall good, then it is right (LeBaron, 2015). Hobbesfurther explained that we cannot help but act in our ownself-interest, consequently such practices are ethical (LeBaron,2015). This theory placed in the context of voluntary euthanasiapractice justifies that if a person wants or does not want to endtheir life using euthanasia, the desire is driven by a need forself-benefit and hence it is an ethical action (LeBaron, 2015).
Utilitarianismwas proposed by John Stuart Mill, it is based on the generalprinciple of that if any action increases overall good, then it isright (LeBaron, 2015). It implies that any set moral rule, if actedupon offers an increase in the overall good, then it is a justifieddirect moral rule (LeBaron, 2015). Therefore, in the context ofvoluntary euthanasia, it requires a thorough examination of thepractice to ascertain if it increases the overall good in order todetermine if it is ethical(LeBaron, 2015) .
Rightstheory has a deeply entrenched pedigree in the thinking of Americans.Most of the founders of the United States such as Locke, Kant, andJefferson among others used rights theory as the basis forgovernance. It is envisage rights conceived as natural and are underthe protection of the law and are not created by law (Jackson &Keown, 2012). Consequently the proponents of voluntary euthanasiabased their argument fully on rights theory to justify the practice.From these ethical theories it is apparent that the voluntaryeuthanasia practice is morally correct, this means the practice mightfully be legalized in the future.
Interviewof a Health Care Practitioner
Healthcarepractitioner: Voluntary euthanasia is done because of the believethat the patient in question present existence is so bad that he/shewould be better off dead, in other words the health workerunderstands that failure to intervene, the patient life becomes badwhen alive and therefore would be better off when dead. Theunderlying moral principle of the health workers or personscommitting an act of euthanasia draws on the benefits conferred tothe patient whose death is brought about.
Healthcare Practitioner: It is essential to underline the motive behind thebenefits received by the patient assisted to die mainly becausewell-being is an important value regarding the morality ofeuthanasia. Nonetheless the widely acceptance that somebody should bebetter off dead rather than alive in certain instances has become asubject of protracted philosophical deliberation. Most proponents ofthe practice claim it is morally right to carry out euthanasia in theevent life that remains in prospect for the patient has no positivevalue.
Healthcare practitioner: My worldview supports the establish guidelineswhich permit physicians to undertake intentional euthanasia only inthose instances with which a competent patient has offered aninformed and voluntary request to be helped to die, upon therealization that the patient’s suffering was unbearable, that thereexist no possible way of alleviating that suffering bearable withinthe acceptance of the patient and that the judgment of the physicianwith regard to prognosis and diagnosis are confirmed afterconsultation with another physicians.
YouTube,.(2015). The Terri Schiavo Story. Retrieved 13 October 2015, fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cki55BM42kw.
Jackson,E., and J. Keown, 2012, Debating Euthanasia, Oxford: Hart Publishing.
Rietjens,J., van der Maas, P., Onwuteaka-Philipsen, B., van Delden, J., &van der Heide, A. (2009). Two Decades of Research on Euthanasia fromthe Netherlands. What Have We Learnt and What Questions Remain?.Journal Of Bioethical Inquiry, 6(3), 271-283.http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11673-009-9172-3
LeBaron,G. (2015). The Ethics of Euthanasia. Quantonics.com. Retrieved 14October 2015, fromhttp://www.quantonics.com/The_Ethics_of_Euthanasia_By_Garn_LeBaron.html