Someone's essay simplified


Ought Euthanasia be legalised


  • Euthanasia means a good or happy death and comes from the Greek, ‘eu’ and ‘thanatos’ which mean good death.

  •  It can be seen as mercy killing or murder depending on which view is taken on it. 

  • There are different types of euthanasia which include:

    • active euthanasia, which is purposely ending the life of a patient with something specific e.g. by lethal injection. 

    • Passive euthanasia, which is taking away any treatment that is prolonging the patients life e.g. switching off a life support machine.

    •  Voluntary euthanasia is when the patient asks to terminate their life. Involuntary euthanasia is when the decision to end the life is taken for the person by another as they are incapable of expressing their view. 

    • Assisted suicide is providing the necessary components so another can end their life.


  •  Euthanasia poses several ethical questions in which some defend euthanasia and others contradict it. When asked to terminate another being’s life, it could be argued that

    •  you are maintaining their dignity so that they do not have to suffer so it is right for us to keep their dignity from them and prevent euthanasia to be legalised? 

    • Another question contradicts this one by asking is it right to terminate a person’s life if they want to live on and keep their dignity in that way?

    •  Situation ethics could also be brought in when it could be said that we have to act in the most loving way even if we have to commit an immoral act, could this still be regarded as moral even though we are terminating a life? 

    • We could argue that doctors are ‘playing God’ by being able to end a life and if doctors can do this, then where is the line drawn to set a limit on what we can and cannot do in a medical context?


  •  Euthanasia is illegal in the UK despite various Bills that have been put forward such as the assisted dying for the terminally ill bill

    • [1], which was discussed by the BMA and rejected by two thirds of the doctors. Suicide is not illegal, however, assisting it is. Anyone who tries to bring about the death of another is to blame.

    • [2] However, if the actions were done with the intention of compassion, a manslaughter charge can be issued instead of murder. Anyone found assisting suicide could be imprisoned for up to 14 years however for compassionate intentions, a suspended sentence can be issued.

    • [3] There is also an instance where euthanasia can occur and no charges can be brought about, this is called ‘the double effect’. The ‘double effect’ occurs when a doctor gives a terminally ill patient a large dose of an opiate such as morphine that will ultimately lead to their death but they cannot be prosecuted for murder, as the primary intention is to ease the pain. As long the patient’s death was a secondary consequence of the medication, they are exempt from any


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