‘Voluntary Euthanasia is always morally acceptable’ Asses

  • Created by: 15ras
  • Created on: 22-03-21 20:47

‘Voluntary Euthanasia is always morally acceptable’ Asses


  • Firstly, in the introduction, state briefly what voluntary euthanasia is and lay out key ideas of sanctity of life vs quality of life.
  • The Doctrine of Double Effect- the aim is to alleviate the suffering of the individual at their own request, to limit the amount of pain which they experience, the knock on effect is the ending of life, and seeing as we cannot possibly know the knock on effects of every action which we do, the intention and the first act are what matter.
  • Situation Ethics: Relativism (2nd of 4 working principles)- absolutes don’t always apply, they depend on the situation so to say that an action is right or wrong out right is simply incorrect. Personalism (4th of 4 working principles)- Situation Ethics puts people first over rules, and using the principle of Agape, surely the most loving thing to do is allow someone to choose to end their own suffering. 5th Proposition- Love justifies the means.
  • The quality of life must be taken into account, voluntary euthanasia allows a patient with an incurable or terminal illness to end their life at their request or with their consent which is not morally wrong, whereas voluntary euthanasia for other reasons such as poor quality of life is morally wrong


  • Sanctity of life means human life is made in God’s image and is therefore sacred in value - it cannot be ended by voluntary euthanasia
  • The four tiers of Aquinas’s natural law include Divine Law – the law of God revealed in the Ten Commandments – voluntary euthanasia involves killing and therefore breaks Divine Law
  • The significant concept in natural law of telos can be applied to human life- voluntary euthanasia prevents this being reached
  • The precepts of Aquinas’s natural law include preservation of life – therefore voluntary euthanasia as a secondary precept goes against this primary precept
  • Can euthanasia ever really be reconciled with the idea of Agape?- Can it ever be the most loving thing to do to end a life? Is some semblance of life not greater than none at all?
  • Where do we draw the line? At what point is someone deemed to be badly effected enough by an illness to be permitted to end their own life via voluntary euthanasia? (Slippery Slope)
  • Kant- not universalisable (not everyone who suffers can end their own life to end the suffering or society would simply not function.)


Whilst in some situations, it can be argued that Voluntary Euthanasia could be morally acceptable, to say that it always is is an example of gross negligence. We cannot say that the ending of a life is always morally acceptable in any manner and that includes voluntary euthanasia.


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