Ethical Issues - Euthanasia

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  • Ethical Issues Euthanaisia
    • What’s the difference between killing someone and letting them die?
      • Peter Singer
        • No moral difference
          • Watching a boy drown in a canal isn't murder but it's not morally right either
      • Active - Killing Passive - Watching
      • James Rachels
        • Doctors that 'let them die' is still killing them
        • Bath Tub example
          • Smith killed the      child      Jones 'merely' letting the child die
            • No difference as they both had the same intention
    • Should the duty of causing death be imposed on any human being?
      • Assisted Dying Bill
        • Helps to allow terminally ill adults who meet strict upfront safeguards
        • Official Medical Bodies apposed this law change
        • Two doctors would be required to agree
      • If continued life holds nothing for the patient but the negative things of pain and suffering, then death is a good thing, and there is no need to use the doctrine of double effect
      • If it is for the Quality of  Life
    • Slippery slope argument
      • May result in non-voluntary or even involuntary euthanasia
      • Present in the euthanasia debate since at least the 1930s
      • Lawyer Eugene Volokh argued in his article The Mechanism of the Slippery Slope that judicial logic could eventually lead to a gradual break in the legal restrictions for euthanasia
      • May lead to the acceptance or practice of concepts which are currently deemed unacceptable
      • it is argued, in order to prevent these undesirable practices from occurring, we need to resist taking the first step
      • This argument says that if we allow something relatively harmless today, we may start a trend that results in something currently unthinkable becoming accepted.
    • If a person’s quality of life is so low does that justify euthanasia?
      • Tony Nicklinson
        • Locked-in syndrome
        • Paralysed from neck down and couldn't speak
        • Described his life as a 'living nightmare'
        • Dependent on others
    • Would the impact on the doctor/patient relationship resulting from the legalisation of euthanasia make it impossible to justify?
      • Doctors may feel that they are unable to give a patient euthanasia if they are close to them
      • trust could be lost and the doctor–patient relationship damaged
      • One of the fears is that it will undermine the doctor patient relationship and corrupt the character of doctors
      • Doctors enter medicine out of a desire to save lives and relieve suffering, not to have to kill their patients
      • Doctors may feel pressured to agree to a patient's wish for euthanasia even when they know they can alleviate pain or treat depression


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