Utilitarianism vs. Kantianism Ethics can be defined as "the conscious reflection on our moral beliefs with the aim of improving, extending or refining those beliefs in some way.
But to think that pain and pleasure drives our behavior. Doing so allows an experience of a shared morality, which gives a different tone to both the debate and our disagreements. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss in depth the putative origins of this human moral sense. For religious people, it is to be found in their religious beliefs. Perhaps it is a result of Darwinian natural selection and has come to be written in our genetic code and reflected in our common neurobiological apparatus.
Perhaps it is a product of the powerful reasoning capabilities of Homo sapiens, culminating in a rationalization process that recognizes the survival and other advantages of cultivating virtues such as altruism and fairness over greed and injustice. Perhaps its origins will forever elude us and we must be content with describing it through concepts such as moral intuition. Perhaps it is some combination of all of these factors and others. As a consequence, we endorse the view that the practice of medicine is necessarily constrained by moral absolutes.
In other words, we categorically reject moral relativism, the utilitarian view that what is right or wrong depends just on weighing whether benefits outweigh risks and harms, and in particular, that this is only a matter of personal judgment.
Some things ought never to be done to patients by their physicians. We believe that future generations looking back on the twenty-first century euthanasia debate which is taking place in most Western democracies will see it as the major values debate of the century and determinative of the most important foundational values of the world they will have inherited. Death is inherent to the human body, vulnerable and inexorably aging; death can be accelerated or temporarily delayed, but never thwarted.
The inevitability of death is an explicit, necessary, noncontingent, and universalizable phenomenon true for all living beings. Pro-euthanasia advocates rely heavily on this line of logic and have used it to impose responsibility for carrying out euthanasia onto the medical profession.
A recent case from British Columbia, Carter v. Canada Attorney General , 12 illustrates the arguments that emerge between those arguing for a right to die legalized euthanasia and those opposing it.
Gloria Taylor, a woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis who was one of the plaintiffs, challenged the constitutional validity of the prohibition on assisted suicide in the Canadian Criminal Code. However, the crime of assisting suicide was not repealed. The trial judge in the Carter case, Justice Lynn Smith, considered the reasons for that repeal. It was hoped that if society removed the threat of possibly being charged with a criminal offence, they and their families would be more likely to seek medical assistance.
In coming to her conclusions that PAS can be ethically acceptable and ought to be legally allowed in certain circumstances, Justice Smith relied heavily on the fact that it is no longer a crime to commit or attempt to commit suicide and asked, why, then, is it a crime to assist it? As explained earlier, intentions are often central in deciding what is and is not ethical.
Society tries to prevent suicide. Notwithstanding the influence of pro-euthanasia advocates, the preponderant societal view is that suicide, at least outside the context of terminal illness, must not be tolerated. Suicide is generally considered a failure of sorts: the manifestation of inadequately treated depression, a lapse in community support, a personal shortcoming, societal disgrace, or a combination thereof.
Even if in certain societies in ancient times suicide was not illegal, it was generally frowned upon. Furthermore, if there were such a right, we would have a duty not to treat people who attempt suicide. In other words, if there were a right to choose suicide, it would mean that we have correlative obligations perhaps subject to certain conditions such as ensuring the absence of coercion not to prevent people from making that choice.
Hospital emergency rooms and health care professionals faced with a patient who has attempted suicide do not, at present, act on that basis. Psychiatrists who fail to take reasonable care that their patients do not commit suicide, including by failing to order their involuntary hospitalization to prevent them committing suicide, when a reasonably careful psychiatrist would not have failed to do so, can be liable for medical malpractice, unprofessional conduct, and even, in extreme cases, criminal negligence.
Another distinguishing feature between suicide and assisted suicide must be underlined. Suicide is a solitary act carried out by an individual usually in despair. PAS is a social act in which medical personnel licensed and compensated by society are involved in the termination of the life of a person.
We are indebted to Canadian bioethicist Dr Tom Koch for this particular formulation of the issue. The autonomous personal self is seen to rule supreme. It washes over the relational self, the self that is in connection with others in the family and community. It renders moot many obligations, commitments, and considerations beyond the risks, harms, and benefits to the individual involved. But rather, some actions are morally wrong or good by itself.
The latter follows an opposite view in which the consequences of an action are what it makes an action moral. Specially, if that action produce the greatest happiness over unhappiness. In this essay I will focus on two Utilitarianism ramifications, act utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Euthanasia simplu means bringing the death of another for the benefit of that person and also known as mercy killing. We should always aim to maximize net happiness and Actions are right in proportion to their benefit.
Non — voluntary means a family member making the decision for the patient. In a passive euthanasia which is legal, it is allowing someone to die by not performing some life sustaining action. What does euthanasia has to do with morality? My morality behind euthanasia is that euthanasia should be the right to die for patients who are intensely ill.
Euthanasia is natural in a way because in real life, there is a matter of life and death. It is natural for people to live but death is also part of nature. No one can live forever, and since euthanasia is performed on people facing serious illness and facing death.
By his own admission, Kevorkian administered euthanasia to multiple patients and did so without pangs of conscience. In the highly publicized interview of , Dr She made that comment after visiting someone dying from cancer, so I understand why she made that remark.
The reasons cited for voluntary euthanasia is to end the suffering and stop being a burden to everyone around you and is asking for health professionals to assist in ending your life Young,
Imagining ones body slowly and painfully breaking down by the hidden and uncontrollable disease. The language we use not only reflects reality but constructs reality. It was hoped that if society removed the threat of possibly being charged with a criminal offence, they and their families would be more likely to seek medical assistance. In a series of episodes in early , Hayley was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and subsequently resorted to suicide in the presence of her husband, Roy Cropper. Order now There are two forms of euthanasia; voluntary and non-voluntary. We should not think of ourselves but think of the whole group and what we can do to maximize happiness.
In a spirit of reflexivity, we have considered and analyzed the phenomenon of euthanasia. It is natural for people to live but death is also part of nature.
Further information Readers who require more detailed information concerning the reference list and cited texts should contact the corresponding author by email. Where does one get the idea that we are ever in control?
Euthanasia simplu means bringing the death of another for the benefit of that person and also known as mercy killing. Notwithstanding the influence of pro-euthanasia advocates, the preponderant societal view is that suicide, at least outside the context of terminal illness, must not be tolerated. The main arguments in favor of and in opposition to euthanasia are presented in Table 2.
We question whether these conditions can be fulfilled, at least with respect to many terminally ill patients.
Thankfully, modern medicine is, with few exceptions, effective at relieving physical symptoms, particularly pain. Euthanasia should not be legalized because it is unnatural, it violates the Hippocratic Oath, and laws are to extensive. Consequentialism is a thesis which claims we should evaluate the morality of an act based on outcome not intentions. That resistance is understandable to some extent. The philosophical assumptions guiding our perspectives are laid out. No one can live forever, and since euthanasia is performed on people facing serious illness and facing death.
As explained earlier, intentions are often central in deciding what is and is not ethical. Both are self-willed deaths. Moral rules should apply equally to everyone. In other words, if there were a right to choose suicide, it would mean that we have correlative obligations perhaps subject to certain conditions such as ensuring the absence of coercion not to prevent people from making that choice. The provision of high-quality care by individuals who share in this belief and are able to act to address the full range of human suffering is the most important goal with respect to terminally ill patients. We should always aim to maximize net happiness and Actions are right in proportion to their benefit.
The distinction resides in how that end is achieved.
He also inspects how consequentialism is going to hurt the theory of utilitarianism. Our goal is to provide a vade mecum useful in end-of-life care and ethical decision-making in that context. However, it is unacceptable that conversations of a professional nature would proceed in the absence of agreement on relevant first principles and without a shared knowledge base. If euthanasia is involved, how one person dies affects more than just that person; it affects how we all will die. We belong to the first group. Being wounded is situated at the opposite pole and represents an experience of suffering and anguish.
One JDB , a specialist physician, has developed his practical knowledge from years of accompanying patients throughout the trajectory of illness, including at the end of life. In other words, we categorically reject moral relativism, the utilitarian view that what is right or wrong depends just on weighing whether benefits outweigh risks and harms, and in particular, that this is only a matter of personal judgment. Introduction When a patient is in immense amounts of pain from a terminal illness, one of the options to relieve a person from the pain is euthanasia. Death is inherent to the human body, vulnerable and inexorably aging; death can be accelerated or temporarily delayed, but never thwarted. Although it is beyond the scope of this article to consider the full breadth of healing as a human phenomenon, a few additional points are in order.