Voluntary Euthanasia

St Peter’s Catholic College, Tuggerah Task: Catholic Ethical Teaching Ethan Fortis 1. Name the Issue (I mark) Euthanasia| 2. Outline the ethical issue (5 marks) Euthanasia, also sometimes known as mercy killing, is the act of painlessly allowing death. This is especially used to relieve the pain of an animal or person suffering incurable and/or severely painful disease. There are 4 different types of euthanasia; these include voluntary, non-voluntary, involuntary, and passive & active euthanasia.

Voluntary euthanasia is conducted with the consent of the patient, non-voluntary occurs when the patient is unable to give or deny consent, and involuntary happens when euthanasia is performed without the patient’s consent. All of the above varieties of euthanasia can be divided into passive & active euthanasia. Passive euthanasia refers to the withdrawal of medical treatment with the deliberate intention of hurrying along a terminally ill patient. Active euthanasia occurs when a lethal dose of medication is given to the patient to deliberately take their life. | 3.

Provide and briefly explain the main arguments for and against the issue (6marks) There are a number of arguments supporting the use of euthanasia in society. An example of these includes that euthanasia quickly and humanely ends a patient’s life who’s suffering severe and unbearable pain, allowing them to die in dignity. People that are terminally ill don’t deserve to endure the immense pain they go through if they have personally chose to undergo euthanasia. Another argument for euthanasia is the fact that it shortens the grief and suffering the patient’s loved ones go through day after day of the inevitable death dragging on.

Loved ones and family of someone who is terminally ill go through a huge amount of psychological issues knowing they aren’t able do to anything about it while a person in their life is slowly and painfully dying. Euthanasia allows these people to rest easy, knowing that their loved one will leave them in a peaceful manor instead of suffering. Also, death is a very private matter and no one else should be allowed to stop you making decisions for yourself, as it is not their life but yours.

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Euthanasia should be a personal option that should be respected and in cases where the patient is incapable to make the decision for themselves and is suffering greatly, the option should be left to the spouse/close loved one to decide. Although the arguments supporting the act of euthanasia are strong, there are a number of reasons against the issue. An example of this is that allowing euthanasia will lead to less good care for the terminally ill that do not chose it. The Hippocratic Oath is an oath all physicians and other health care professionals swear upon to practise medicine ethically and honestly.

Is allowing euthanasia violating this verbal contract? Doctors should do everything they can possibly do to keep patients alive and practising euthanasia is going against this. Allowing euthanasia may lead to doctors and nurses becoming less determined to save the lives of the terminally ill, thus disregarding the Hippocratic Oath completely. Also, some people think that implementing euthanasia may send the message across to society that it’s better to be dead than sick/disabled. This suggests that some lives aren’t worth living and this is wrong.

Every life is equal, even if the life is of a person who is terminally ill or disabled, mentally or physically. Allowing euthanasia may weaken society’s respect for the value of life. All humans, whether they are disabled, terminally ill, or just different, should be valued no matter what. Human life is sacred and should be lived to the full potential until the natural end of someone’s life. It’s better to be alive than dead, right? | 4. Clearly outline and articulate Catholic Teaching on your issue (making sure you explain the Catholic Church’s stance on the issue and reasons for its stance).

Make sure you use at least one biblical reference and one reference from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (10 marks) The Catholic Church believes that God gave us both death and life; in return for this we should respect these processes. Conflict arises when there are disagreements of the boundaries. In regards to the act of euthanasia, Pope John Paul II stated in 1995 ‘Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, Since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person. ’ The Catholic Church has always been strong in its teaching of euthanasia and how they view it as morally wrong.

The Church believes that any law allowing euthanasia to be practiced is an intrinsically unjust law. Emphasis has been put on the absolute and unchanging value of the bible commandment ‘You shall not kill’. The Catholic Church does not accept the notion that people have the right to die and should be able to choose whether to accept death or to live, suffering or not. An excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church 2277 reads ‘Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded’. A number of biblical verses can relate to the views on euthanasia. One of these includes 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ‘Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?

You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body’. It is believed that each human life is a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory. This in mind, a person whom is insisting on death is breaking their relationship with God. | 5. Clearly explain why your issue is an ethical issue for our society. (6 marks) Euthanasia is a debatable issue that questions the very core of morality. It can’t be dealt with by a simple answer, as ‘what is ethical’ is viewed in a variety of different views and opinions amongst society and law.

More knowledge and resources are available today than there was back in biblical times. People are entitled to their own opinions and beliefs in the world today, so the issue can be discussed and voiced more regularly. Many questions are asked such as ‘is it wrong to kill? ’, ‘is killing the same as letting die? And the most important one, ‘do we have the right to die? ’ It all comes down to personal views. An atheist’s views on whether we have the right to die or not will be different to a Roman Catholic’s views and vice versa.

As there will be ethically right answer to any of these questions, the act of euthanasia should ultimately come down to the individual preference. If a atheist patient who is terminally ill with cancer would like euthanasia to be practised, what right does a Catholic doctor have to say no? | 6. Present an accurately constructed bibliography of all resources used (2 marks) http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Euthanasia 20/2/13 | http://www. ndtv. com/article/india/what-is-passive-euthanasia-89964 20/2/13| http://medical-dictionary. thefreedictionary. com/Active+Euthanasia 20/2/13| http://www. rsrevision. om/GCSE/christian_perspectives/life/euthanasia/for. htm 21/2/13| http://euthanasia. procon. org/view. answers. php? questionID=000198 22/2/13| http://www. catholicnewsagency. com/resources/life-and-family/euthanasia-and-assisted-suicide/euthanasia-catechism-of-the-catholic-church/ 15/3/13| http://www. openbible. info/topics/euthanasia 15/3/13| http://www. bbc. co. uk/religion/religions/christianity/christianethics/euthanasia_1. shtml 15/3/13| http://www. bbc. co. uk/ethics/euthanasia/against/against_1. shtml#h3 16/3/13| http://www. rsrevision. com/Alevel/ethics/euthanasia/index. htm 17/3/13| | | | |

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