Application of ethical theories to euthanasia

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  • Created by: mermaids_
  • Created on: 14-04-14 16:34

Christian ethics

  • Linked to suicide- it is intrinsically wrong and rejecting God's gift of life
  • Euthanasia is against God;s will and plan
  • The sancitity of life should be preserved
  • Situation ethics may consider euthanasia to be the most loving thing in circumstance.This does not consider the quality of life but stresses the need for agape.
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Natural law

  • Euthanasia goes against the primary precept of the preservation of life.
  • Taking life is intrinsically wrong
  • Nature should be allowed to take its own course without human intervention, against what nature.
  • Natural law does not allow a patient to refuse treatment- extraordinary means 
  • The doctrine of double effect can be applied
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Utilitarianism

  • Utilitarianism would look for the best consequences for the greatest number.
  • It rejects the sanctity of life argument
  • Focuses on the Quality of life argument-pleasure Vs pain.
  • Patients interests are the minority and this means no protection for the minority.
  • Mill would stress autonomy and says that people should have full autonomy so long as it does not harm others.
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Kantain ethics

  • People should be treated as ends not means
  • The person has a moral duty to others such as family and doctors.Doctors have a duty of care to the patient which means that euthanasia is wrong as it would go against these duties.
  • Any decisions should be made using reason and should be objective unemotional decisions.
  • Euthanasia is difficult to universalise, as Kant also thought that personal autonomy and freedom were important.
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