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Euthanasia- Mercy Killing

Even with the patient's approval, how can one know what the patient is really wanting? The desire to be relieved from suffering is not the only criterion to be used in such a situation. Suffering can bring on irrationality, and the desire to die at one moment to be relieved of suffering could easily be changed once the suffering is relieved. Also, the patient in such a situation may be led to believe that there are only two alternatives--die through euthanasia or go on enduring the suffering without cease. Such a choice is too limited, for there are other means available to relieve suffering more rational and moral than euthanasia.

Ashley and O'Rourke note the example of the Netherlands where euthanasia is now legalized. The process began with the decision not to prosecute doctors who participated in mercy killings as long as the patients gave their consent and as long as the doctors reported their action:

The result was that about 3 percent of deaths were reported as euthanasia, and about half of these as performed without the consent of the patients. This government has now legalized euthanasia under certain restrictions, but it is not at all clear how this limitation will be enforced (Ashley and O'Rourke 418).

In other words, once the door is opened a crack, in terms of "not prosecuting" certain forms of euthanasia, the door will eventually, sooner or later, be taken off the hinges. This is perhaps the most important reason why, from the Judeo-Christian perspective, euthanasia must never be allowed at all in any form. In any individual case, if one focuses only on the immediate suffering of the patient, or on the suffering of the family, or on the apparent inadequacies of the medical world to relieve the suffering, then that one case of euthanasia might be justified in the eyes of those swayed by such suffering. However, the issue of euthanasia, indeed, any moral issue, cannot be limited to one case, Moral considerations mus...

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Euthanasia- Mercy Killing. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:42, July 22, 2017, from
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