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Moral Standpoint of Euthanasia

Now it is very easy to see and perhaps even deplore moral, as it were prolife partiality in arguments against euthanasia. It may be true that from time to time certain advocates of active voluntary euthanasia are seeking a way out of their own misery by way of timely death of those close to them. There is another aspect to consider as well, in the case of voluntary active euthanasia, which is the finding of certain studies that the rational capacity of up to 90% of terminal patients, particularly AIDS patients, may be prone to mental incompetence and cognitive dysfunction. This creates an ethical dilemma over the issue of saving versus ending a life (Beckett 417, 420; Caine & Conwell 875). Saying life is intolerable does not make it so, and judgments about others' competence in self-determination are not necessarily valid--even when the one saying so is the patient, even when the patient is believed!

But what makes such declarations by Kubler-Ross and Byock problematic is their ready and above all uniform characterization of imminent-death cases. Such cases may have so to speak a life and dynamic--unacknowledged by patient or family or caregiver--of their own. Yet certain opponents of voluntary active euthanasia make a case for a highly specific, idiosyncratic moral vision that, in fact, may not apply where a patient may quite rationally (thank you very much for your concern) desire to make an exit and more, a clean exit (I and my memory not-incidentally-thank-you-very-much being my concern). Is this wish to be discarded--irrespective of the patient's loving or being loved or despairing? On this view, one asks no more of others than of oneself, and into the bargain releases others from putatively altruistic responsibility that may never have been exercised.

Further to this point, it is argued that the terminally ill, because of physical incapacity, require assistance to end their suffering efficiently and with dignity (Humphry [pro]...

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Moral Standpoint of Euthanasia. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:35, August 20, 2017, from
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