Ethical Dilemma In Euthanasia

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Assisted suicide is a complex and particularly controversial issue faced by modern U.S. society. When a terminally ill patient requests to be euthanized by a board-certified physician, an ethical dilemma arises. Is it still ethical to end the life of another human being, even if the patient is suffering and has a life expectancy of less than six months? Unlike conventional suicide where an individual intentionally kills themself, euthanasia involves multiple participants, including the terminally ill patient, a doctor, and a non-related witness, where each involved party has corresponding specific legal responsibilities. In order to appropriately consider and understand this dilemma from a moral and ethical point of view, each involved party…show more content…
Kant believed that “good actions” are those which follow your moral duty based upon the categorical imperative or golden rule which states that any moral action must be a part of the universal law. Kant’s work suggests believes that one should carry out an action only if it is recognized to be good in all circumstances. Kant’s framework would indicate that assisted suicide is not ethical and that none of the participants would be justified since they all play a part in the patient’s…show more content…
The doctor performs an immoral act since the prescription he writes will directly cause his patient to die. When the doctor hands over the prescription, he assumes the role of murderer because he is completely aware of they fact that this is the only legal method by which the patient can end their life. Kant’s same logic applies to the witness, who acts as a bystander as and passively watches the ill patient commit suicide. The witness’ act of filling out a confirmation form in itself is neutral, however when they make no effort to stop the ill patient from taking away their humanity, the witness treats the patient as a means instead of an end. Kant’s work shows that everyone participating in physician assisted suicide does not their moral duty, from the categorical imperative to preserve life to treating everyone with respect and

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