The taking of human life

Páginas: 6 (1413 palabras) Publicado: 3 de noviembre de 2011
The taking of human life
Views of the Major Ethical Theories

Euthanasia, is a term that comes from the Greek that originally meant “a good death”, nowadays it is confused with murder, that is why the book’s author decided to used three different terms to explain the types of taking a human life referring to euthanasia.
Allowing someone to die
This happen when in a terminal illness situationthere is no possibility to save the patient by any kind of treatment, so medical science does not interfere and allow a patient to die in comfort, peace and dignity. It involves a refusal to start curative treatment when no cure is possible and the willingness to halt curative treatment when it can no longer help a dying patient.
Ethical egoism, as it states “everyone should always act in theirown self-interest” would be for allowing someone to die because individuals have rights over their own bodies, lives and deaths. In these kind of situations, the patient refuse a treatment that in some cases could be worse than the disease, so he or she is looking for his/her own self-interest by choosing die by natural processes and stop suffering.
Utilitarianism, “everyone should perform thatact or follow that moral rule that will bring about the greatest good for everyone concerned” This theory is not for or against allowing someone to die because there exist different cases in which utilitarianism depends on the consequences that the death of the patient causes, so for example, if allowing someone to die will be the best option for the family because it will ends with itsexpenditures and concerns, then utilitarianism is in agree with the situation but on the other hand, if the end of the patient life will bring regrets to the family and all the people involves in the case, the utilitarianism is against the situation.
Divine Command Theory is based upon the existence of an all-good being who is supernatural and who has communicated to human beings what they should andshould not do in a moral sense, therefore in any kind of case this theory can be for allowing someone to die because it would interferes with God’s divine plan, and also cures can be found or miracle cures may occur.
Kant’s Duty Ethics, the nonconsequentialist theory states that all persons must be considered to be unique individuals who are never to be used for anyone else’s purpose or ends, so Kantwould not be in favor of allowing someone to die because we can never choose death over life, also, medicine must be a mean to saves lives, not to end them.
Virtue Ethics theory focuses mainly on the development of human excellence, so in general it would be in favor of allowing someone to die because it would hold that there is no possibility to create a more fully developed virtuous characteron the patients that are in terminal phases of certain illness and also because in this type of death, patients have the right to die with dignity.

Mercy death
Refers to the taking of a direct action in order to terminate a patient’s life because the patient has voluntarily requested it, it is also known as assisted suicide. In these cases, patients demand someone, often a physician, toterminate his/her life, and logically the patients give them their permission.
Ethical Egoism would be in favor of mercy death because it stills being an action that carries out the patient’s self-interest; this theory would states that patients should have the freedom to decide about their own deaths and if they cannot terminate with its own life then they can ask other people to do it for them.Utilitarianism, as I said before, has no an specific defended stance, it depends on the situation, but in general, would be against mercy death because in this case involves the guilt of the family and specially the person who has to do the killing which implies to deny the greatest good for everyone concerned. But it does not mean that all the times utilitarianism will be against it, it can also be...
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