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Euthanasia Essay

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Euthanasia


An acceptance of the practice of Voluntary Euthanasia is incompatible
with the Christian belief in the Sanctity of Life but not with the
attitudes of some ethical philosophers. Discuss.

'No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment'.[1] Imagine at the age of 40, you are
diagnosed with Motor neurone disease, a fatal disease that causes
degeneration of the motor neurones, which leads the wasting of
muscles. You are intellectually sound but totally dependant on your
spouse for physical support. You are aware of the fact that your death
is imminent and will probably be painful, suffering from severe
breathing problems and pneumonia before slipping into a coma. By the
age of 42 you want to end your life, leaving your two children and
spouse with more pleasant memories of you, however, the courts will
not allow you to end your life[2]. This was exactly the situation of
Diane Pretty, the most recent of euthanasia case in the media.
However, she died on 12th May 2002 after losing her case. Euthanasia
continues to be one of the most controversial subjects of the modern
world.

The word euthanasia literally means 'dying well' and it originates
from two Greek words, 'eu' and 'thanatos'. Euthanasia is defined as
'…an action or omission which of itself or by intention causes death.'[3]
A case where a patient specifically asks to die repeatedly and
receives euthanasia, which is not a decision made by a doctor or the
patient's family or friends, is one of voluntary euthanasia. There are
two types of voluntary euthanasia, passive and active. Passive
euthanasia is the omission or ter...


... middle of paper ...


...n, mentioned by Ludovic
Kennedy in his book; 'Euthanasia - dying well'

[18] AS/A level Religious Studies exam revision notes - Philip Alan
Updates - Sarah Tyler page 134

[19] Ethical theory page 60, Mel Thompson

[20] Exodus 20:13

[21] Philosophy of religion and ethics (Phillip Allan Updates)

[22] Oxford English Dictionary

[23] Foundations of the metaphysics of morals, 1985, opening of the
first section, from The puzzle of ethics, Peter Vardy

[24] AS/A level Religious Studies exam revision notes - Philip Alan
Updates - Sarah Tyler page 138

[25] Joseph Priestly's Essay on government as mentioned by Sarah Tyler
in her book AS/A level Religious Studies exam revision notes - Philip
Alan Updates page 128

[26] Ethical theory page 82 - Mel Thomspon.

[27] Ethical theory page 102, Mel Thompson


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