EUTHANASIA

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  • EUTHANASIA
    • Types of euthanasia
      • Physician aided suicide: dies AAR of their own voluntary action but with the help of a physician
      • Physician aided dying: knowingly and intentionally providing a person with the knowledge and/or means required to end his or her life, but not directly causing it
      • Voluntary euthanasia: dying AAR of their own voluntary action
      • Non-voluntary euthanasia: ended without their consent but the consent of someone representing their interests
      • Passive euthanasia: withdrawing life sustaining treatment which indirectly causes their death
      • Active euthanasia: deliberately acting to bring about the death of a person
      • Involuntary euthanasia: performed on a person who would be able to provide informed consent, but does not
        • Do not want to be euthanised
        • Weren't asked
        • Usually amounts to murder
    • The Law on Euthansia
      • 1961 Suicide Act
        • No longer a crime to commit suicide
        • Those assisting another's suicide may be subject to 14 years in prison
      • Legal in Switzerland, Germany etc and some US states
        • Switzerland = only country to allow you to travel there to die
        • California's End of Life Options Act (AB13)
          • Allows phsyicians to prescribe life ending medication to those with
            • Less than 6 months to live
            • Sound mind
            • Strong enough to administer their own lethal dose
        • Netherlands: no influence of a slippery slope since legalised
          • Argued by Helga Kuhse
            • Argues the **A to be a scaremonger to support a complete ban on all forms of euthanasia
              • Claims they use extreme examples of Nazism too often to support their case
            • Lack of empirical evidence for the **A
          • ** Argument itself
            • May use a fear of dying to grant euthanasia
            • Could be extended to non-voluntary euthanasia
              • Evidence that in the Netherlands some die against their wishes
        • 8 million people across America have access to assisted dying
          • Statistic fromDignity in Dying
    • Case studies on euthanasia
      • Diane Pretty (2002)
        • Rejected a right to euthanasia at court
          • Could've been prevented
        • Died a painful death of choking due to her disease
          • Could've been prevented
      • David Goodall
        • No life threatening illness, but felt humiliated by his diminishing independence
      • Tony Bland (Hillsborough)
        • PVS
        • Court decided non voluntary passive
        • No QOL
    • John Stuart Mill
      • Autonomy
        • Should only be restricted if causing harm to others
          • Known as his Liberty Principle
        • Applicable to voluntary euthanasia
        • Essential for the development of individuality
          • Allows one to reach their potential (Aristotilean)
      • "Independence is sovereign"
    • Quality of life and sanctity of life
      • Utilitarians on QOL
        • A good QOL is one in which the good outweighs the bad
        • If your QOL starts to decline and it is no longer worth living, then it can be ended
      • Essential for the development of individuality
        • Allows one to reach their potential (Aristotilean)
      • Jonathan Glover
        • Being alive in itself is not a sufficient condition for life being valuable
          • For life to be worthwhile, it must also be conscious
            • Promotes euthanasia when unconscious; non-voluntary e,g, PVS
            • Taking a life is not in itself wrong; it's only wrong if the life is conscious
      • Sanctity of life
        • Only God can give or take a life
          • Life is sacred and holy
            • Therefore to euthanize is a sin/test of faith
        • Foundations in the Bible
          • "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away" Job 1:21
      • Quality of life comes down to personhood
        • Mary Anne Warren
          • Criteria for personhood
            • Consciousness
            • Reasoning
            • Self motivated activity
            • Capacity to communicate by whatever means
              • Some of these are not available to some subjects e.g. those in PVS
                • Case study of Tony Bland
            • Presence of self concepts and self awareness
        • JS Mill: to have autonomy
      • Argument against E: can QOL include mental state e.g. depressison
        • Should we promote suicide as well as E?
          • Chochinov et al: occasional thoughts of a desire for death = common in the terminally ill, but few patients expressed a genuine desire for death
      • Walter and Shannon (1990): whether we can achieve transcendent life goals
      • Patient centred focus
        • Judegement about their own life/fate
    • Hans Kung
      • God has left dying people the responsibility to make conscientious decisions about theeir deaths
        • Free will
      • Can decide own QOL
      • Taking the right to die away may lead to etreme events
        • Jumping  out of windows etc
      • We have prolonged death, so why can't we hasten it too
        • Life expectancy
      • The God of the Bible is benevolent; doesn't wishus to suffer
    • Dignity in Dying
      • Campaign for greater choice, control and access to medical and palliative services at the end-of life
        • Work with doctors
          • Want assisted death, subject to strict rules and safeguards
        • Use key statistics to get thier message across
          • 300 dying people end their own lives in England every year
          • 82% of the public support assisted dying for the terminally ill
            • 79% of RE people support an assisted dying law
            • 86% of people with a disability support a change to the law
          • 44% of people would break the law to help a loved one die
            • Risking 14 years in prison
          • Every 8 days someone from England travels to Switzerland for help to die
    • Voluntary and non voluntary euthanasia
      • Voluntary euthanasia
        • Jonathan Glover
          • Better to die in safe methods than dangerous ones
          • Allows them to enjoy life until they can no longer live
          • Easier legally for family and friends
        • Gregory Pence
          • The dying are already dying
            • It's not wrong to assist their journey
            • Counter argument: everyone is already dying anyway
              • Suggests we can kill everyone: slippery slope
        • Thomas More
          • VE is merciful; compassionate and withholding pain/suffering
            • Help in the only way you can
        • Should be an offer emong many others e.g. palliative care
        • Happens already
          • 1994: British Medical Journal - some doctors already help their patients to die
          • Jack Kevorkian "death counselling"
        • Reasons against
          • How can you be sure of motives?
            • Sound mind?
            • Family pressure e.g. finances
              • Feeling a burden
            • Depression
            • Must get informed consent
          • Mistakes
            • Misdiagnosis
          • Abuse of the system
            • Vulnerability of the elderly
            • Scheming relatives
            • Murder cases
              • Harold Shipman
                • Found guilty of 15 murders; 218 later confirmed
          • Impact on the community
            • Damages established care movement that's been created
            • Slipery slope
            • Affects doctors; may discourage medicine careers
            • Fears of hospitals
      • Non voluntary euthanasia
        • Key question: who makes the decisions?
          • Family members
          • Doctors
          • The courts
        • Cases often involve severe brain damage, brain death or PVS
  • NATURAL LAW
    • Telos: do good, avoid evil
      • Evil is to sin, for to take a life is murder, against the 10 Commandments
    • Real versus apparent goods
      • Good interior (ending suffering)
        • Euthanasia is an apparent good
          • Bad eterior (ending a life)
      • Bad eterior (ending a life)
    • Absolutist; doesn't make exceptions for different circumstances
      • Doesn't make room for personalism; doesn't prioritise the person like euthanasia does
    • Point for E: dehabilitated higher functions = rules do not apply
    • The Bible promotes the SOL - Divine Law, which reflects God
    • Euthanasia would effect the wider community - affects the ordering of society
    • Preservation of life - do not assist taking one away
    • Worship God: the RCC is against euthanasia

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