Types of Euthanasia
- Euthanasia - the painless killing of someones dying from a painful disease.
- Voluntary euthanasia - a person's life is ended deliberately and painlessly at their request.
- Assisted suicide - providing a seriously ill person with the means to commit suicide.
- Non-voluntary euthanasia - ending someones life painlessly when they are unable to ask, but you have a good reason for thinking they would want you to do so.
Euthanasia in the UK
- All forms of Euthanasia are against the law
- Switching off a life support machine for a patient who is 'brain dead' is not comsidered euthanasia and is allowed
- In 1993, the House of Lords rejected a proposal to legalise euthanasia
Ways that euthanasia can be carried out
- Active euthanasia - carried out by a doctor performing a deliberate action such as a lethal injection
- Passive euthanasia - when medical treatment or life support is withdrawn or when a severley ill person is given treatment to help them survive
Arguments FOR euthanasia
- Allows the patient to die a gentle, pain free death
- The patient dies with dignity
- Euthanasia saves medical costs
- Medical staff can focus on patients with more chance of recovery
- It relieves the family burden
Arguments AGAINST euthanasia
- Sanctity of life - life is sacred and special
- Slippery slope - if euthanasia were legalised, it would lead to other things being made legal which would lessen the value of life
- Some people may be pressurised into choosing euthanasia
- Hospices provide alternative palliative care for patients so euthanasia is not needed
- Doctors can be wrong about a diagnosis
- Helping someone to commit suicide means living with what you have done for the rest of your life
CHRISTIAN - Why some believe euthanasia is wrong
- It goes against the sactity of life argument
- Life should be valued even when someone is in pain
- Doctors or relatives may make the decision wihtout involving the patient
- No one should be able to make a judgment about the value of another person's life
- No person should value themselves as so worthless that it would be better to die
- Euthanasia could be used for evil purposes
- Only God has the right to take away a life
- It is seen as murder because it takes away the life of a human
CHRISTIAN - Is euthanasia ever right?
Some Christians are more accepting of euthanasia. They support the view that God intends people to have a good quality of life, which people considering euthanasia often do not have. Some might argue that euthanasia in this case is the lesser of two evils\
Hospices are also seen by some Christians as an alternative to euthanasia
MUSLIM - Euthanasia is always wrong
- Human life is sacred because it is given by Allah
- All human life is valuable even if a person is suffering
- Euthanasia is seen as suicide which is not permitted
- No one knows Allah's plans for his creation and humans should not interfere
- Suffering is a test of faith and part of life
- It is part of a Muslim's duty to care for the sick and the elderly
- Allah chooses how long each person lifes
MUSLIMS - Why is euthanasia wrong?
It is like murder and suicide.
Muslims believe they should trust their lives to Allah and life is a test which determines their afterlife.
If they try to end their life, they may end up in Hell rather than paradise
MUSLIMS - Is euthanasia ever right?
SOME Muslims allow terminal patients to choose not to continue with medical treatment if it is causing hardship or family distress.
Some Muslims would agree with turning off a life-support machine if nothing further can be done
Matters of life and death in the media
its important that issues such as abortion are discussed in the media because:
- they affect everyone
- people hold strong opinions and it is important to be aware of different views
- they are controversial with many different views
- there are developments and the law may change which people need to know about
Should the media criticise religious views on thes
- A variety of views are held and no veiw should be exempt
- Religious views may be wrong or seen as out of date
- It is important to debate views because they are constantly changing
- Religious views should be respected as they have been around for a long time
- They are based on traditional teachings such as those in the Bible
- The media should present a range of ideas but not criticise them.
What does the media use to present issues to the p
- Newspaper: shows opinions and highlight changes in law
- Internet: makes news and views avaliable but is not checked for accuracy
- Radio: features discussions on life and death issues
- Television: informs people on issues
- Television documentaries: factual focus on life and death issues
- Soap operas: storylines deal with difficult issues, which viewers can relate to
- Television dramas: Similar to soap operas
- Situation comedies: use everyday situations for comedy but also deal with issues
- Cartoons: deal with issues in a more light-hearted way
- Films: many look at life and death issues in depth