Euthanasia Evaluation Essays

Subject: Psychology
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1411
Topics: Suicide, Social Psychology

Question: What is euthanasia, and why is it considered to be morally different to murder or suicide?

Euthanasia can be described as the act painlessly allowing to die or putting to death through withholding certain medical measures. Its main aim is to relieve someone from suffering or pain. Interestingly, the practice is illegal in most countries as few can make any sense out of it. Active euthanasia occurs when death is brought through an act. A good example would be killing by overdosing someone. On the other hand passive euthanasia is death instigated through omission. A good example would be allowing someone to die. Other forms of euthanasia are voluntary, involuntary and non-voluntary. Voluntary occurs when an individual requests to die, involuntary occurs when the person to be killed had made an express wish to the contrary while non-voluntary occurs when the person killed neither made a request nor gave consent. Murder on the other hand would be taking away another person’s life in a manner that is not recognized by law (Pritchard). As much as there is a common ground on which various people have inclined their opinion, there are others who believe that euthanasia is a good thing as it gives people a dignified death. It is important to note that there are quite some controversial issues in relation euthanasia’s legality, morality and the values that are rarely discussed. All these issues have been inclined toward the morality revolving around euthanasia. For us to have an objective approach when making comparisons with murder, it would be very essential for us to internalize all the aspects that are rarely discussed keenly. Different perceptions have been coined just to internalize what murder is and its driving factors. Murder can be easily considered as a deliberate deadly assault that is premeditated and spontaneous. In addition to that, one may argue that it revolves around taking away an innocent life unlawfully without malice. I will support my conclusion that euthanasia is different to murder from a moral perspective (Young).

Individuals and organizations supporting euthanasia are of the belief that it is kinder to allow people to “die with dignity” than making them continue living a life full of mystery and suffering. In addition to that, others are of a firm opinion that every person has a moral right of controlling what happens in their lives. This directly cuts across the decision on when to give up on life. The act of legislation has not been spared either. Proponents believe that the government can come in strongly to regulate euthanasia, something that is lacking in the current moral set up. On the other hand, there are discerning voices that have been against euthanasia based on both ethical and psychological aspects. There is a claim that alternative methods of treatment are available and it would make little sense if a patient has to die to do away with the symptoms. Strong opposes of euthanasia have stated that “there is no right to be killed and there are real dangers of slippery slopes.” This is a powerful statement that goes against euthanasia basing an argument on the fact that doctors are not allowed at any time to determine when a patient lives or not. A good example that can be used to illustrate this case was the outcry in 1990 in Netherlands where 1000 patients were killed without their consent.

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An objective way of looking at this argument is to take a good example of patients who are never obligated to go through a painful process which is relatively worse than the condition they are in. This kind of euthanasia is vital when it comes to thinking about the practical aspects of moral issues within the society as a whole. It is important to note that without a clear distinction being put across, people are likely to get a wrong perception with many arguing that there is no clear difference between the two. Death and Euthanasia may be two closely related words, but we tend to have a better understanding of the various issues around this space by coming to the realization that there are obvious distinctions that may not be solved by concretely relying on euthanasia alone. 

It is necessary to have an insight in the manner in which applied ethics clarifies euthanasia when the aspect of murder comes into play. Many people’s opinions have been influenced by the fact that they make their judgments from their inner beliefs about what they perceive to be right. For instance, it’s nice to consider people’s reasons for their support of euthanasia. Research has shown that independence is a significant value and one may think that the reason as to why euthanasia is justified while murder does not revolve around the fact that it promotes an individual’s independence by making him/her in charge of various aspects of their lives. Murder, on the other hand, is treated with little or no approval since it is in contrary to the majority’s beliefs. Nobody would want to be subjected to suffering, one of the reasons why people tend to believe that euthanasia is justified in its way (Young).

Unlike murder, euthanasia is considered to be of benefit when looked at in the long term because it eliminates one’s suffering. In addition to that, there is a perception that the things that have the audacity to relieve suffering are good and must be adopted within the societal norms. Lastly, at no any time would someone want to see a third party involved in pain (Pritchard). It must be very distressing to have a loved one in much pain, and the best option, in this case, would be to be of help to them by making crucial and painful decisions about their lives. This type of reasoning is likely to bring in a complete contrast between euthanasia and murder. On the other hand, there is an argument that is likely to come in stressing on the fact that many people are likely to yield to pressure against their wish. In addition to that, it is considered best if someone is not consulted prior to euthanasia bridging the gap between the two. 

The fact remains clear that euthanasia and murder both involve taking away one’s life for one reason or the other. At this point, one must begin to have a clear insight of the differences that exist between murder and euthanasia. A quick insight of the legal framework within any environment puts on a solid stand on the illegalities associated with murder. On the other hand, there is an approval of euthanasia depending on the circumstances on which it is administered. This is subject to debate, but many people are in agreement with this. Research has shown that the approval rate for murder is way below that of euthanasia creating a clear ideological difference between the two. As much as the legal framework may not be robust enough to give clarity on whether the two are different, religious factions have openly criticized euthanasia terming it as not different from murder (Pritchard). This is based on the fact that when life is lost without consent, this becomes a clear case of murder. 

My stand and opinion in regard to this issue move away from using murder and euthanasia. I am convinced that both murder and euthanasia are wrong with many people having different opinions in regards to this case. A clear and more concise explanation as to why there is a difference between the two is arrived at by the circumstances in which euthanasia occurs. When it comes to extreme pain, it is easy to be considerate enough with someone who is in pain regardless of whether you agree with them or not. These situations are far from easy. Murder, on the other hand, is something that is wrong and does not fit into any sane persons’ ideological framework. The moral difference between murder and euthanasia is quite evident. Euthanasia gives one an option to choose on what should be happening in their lives unlike murder. This is morally justifiable and may be accepted by many, something that is responsible for the leniency associated with euthanasia. It, therefore, becomes a subject of the unwanted norms while euthanasia gets into the minds of many for consideration before execution (Young). The two without reasonable doubt have differences when it comes to the ideological perspectives of their subjects. 

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  1. Pritchard, Duncan. “Introduction to Philosophy.” N.P., 2017. Web. 13 July 2017.
  2. Pritchard, Duncan. “Moral Motivation.” N.P., 2017. Web. 13 July 2017.
  3. Pritchard, Duncan. What Is This Thing Called Philosophy? – Ethics. 1st ed. 2015. Print.
  4. Pritchard, Duncan. What Is This Thing Called Philosophy? – The Meaning of Life. 1st ed. 2015. Print.
  5. Pritchard, Duncan. What Is This Thing Called Philosophy? – Philosophy of Mind. 1st ed. 2015. Print.
  6. Young, Mitchell. Euthanasia. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. Print.
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