Example Of Essay On The Right To Die: Solving The Ethical Conundrum

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Life, People, Death, Pain, Nursing, Autonomy, Health, Government

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/01/25

Thesis Statement

While the right to die can increase the vulnerability of patients, people should consider it in cases of terminal illnesses because they are incurable, rob patients of their autonomy, and cause constant pain.

Introductory Paragraph

Religions and legislations condemn murder and advocate punishments for killers but do not address the issue of mercy killing for people who face imminent death because murders and suicides are taboos. Concurrently, governments impose laws that protect the right to life and even punish people who attempt or succeed in ending a life. Such ideologies prevent people from considering the possibility of death being a good thing for a person, especially when life becomes too unbearable. However, the patients feel constant pain and humiliation because they lose autonomy in life, and the results are a painful death.

Incurable illnesses

First, the right to die ought to be applicable in cases of terminal illnesses because they are incurable. However, even for the terminally ill, religions dictate that God has the only rights to take a life and governments make good on that belief by ensuring the protection of their citizens’ security. In the case of incurable illnesses, cultural norms support the idea of people suffering for as long as it takes until they die naturally. The problem arises when it is apparent that the outcome of a disease is death, and the only remaining issue is how soon it will happen. In that case, euthanasia branches out to form another dilemma based on what would people do if it were them awaiting death. Naturally, human nature makes it easier to judge other peoples’ decisions while everybody wants their lives to be a matter of personal control. Therefore, the guiding question becomes; if a person knows that an illness is gradually killing him or her, will he or she be ready to await death regardless of the fear and possible pain? In that sense, ethical morality becomes an applicable mode of reasoning because the dilemma is now universal unlike before when it was the interests of one person against that of many. Utilitarianism calls for “an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments” as part of the greatest happiness principle (Mill, 2013, p.417). In that sense, a person will be morally right if he or she opts for death because the other option entails a life far from enjoyment and one of pain.

Loss of autonomy

Additionally, the loss of independence ensures that patients no longer live a dignified life and will subject them to a similar death. Free societies encourage self-autonomy as long as it is in accordance with the law and does not harm other people. Therefore, if a person lives a dignified life, it is logical that their death be a similar situation. States execute murderers and subject them to undignified deaths because their actions prove them unworthy of anything else. On the other hand, people revere Mother Teresa long after her death because to them, her conduct in life warrants such treatment. Both illustrations go to show that a healthy life is license enough for a respectable end if the individual has a choice. Usually, people who ask for euthanasia do so out of the frustration of being solely dependent on others for things that were once their personal responsibility (Manning, 1998, p.4). From needing help in bathing to spoon feeding, a dying patient gradually loses his or her strength and faces constant humiliation for losing his or her life autonomy. Although mostly considered weak, the loss of independence is one of the main reasons for patients asking for death.

The Pain

Finally, the most important reason is that terminal illnesses cause patients constant pain. Now, if, for example, a horse breaks its leg, it is acceptable to kill that animal in the name of mercy killing to protect it from enduring too much pain. However, doctors handle cases of people breaking their limbs on a daily basis and in some of them, the situation can be dire because of multiple fractures. However, they do not kill those patients because broken bones are rectifiable with the right medication and therapy. Concurrently, that option is unavailable for the terminally ill who apparently are less important than animals because people expect them to endure a lot of pain that will eventually kill them. David Hume (2005) reckons that one can choose to end his or her life when “the horror of pain prevails over the love of life” (p.7). Ethical reasoning will blatantly insist that people show more concern for human pain than they do for that of animals. By extension, animals cannot ask for death, and it will be illogical to assume that they will do so when injured. It seems unjust to think that an animal in pain wants death and go ahead to kill it but refuse to give the same concern to a human who can communicate his or her desire to die.

Conclusive paragraph

Indeed, while the right to die can increase the vulnerability of patients, people should consider it in cases of terminal illnesses. Unless people experience the pain and the helplessness of terminally ill patients, it will only be ethical to allow them an extension of their life autonomy to decide their deaths.

References

Hume, D. (2005). On Suicide. New York: Penguin .
Manning, M. (1998). Euthanasia and Physician-assisted Suicide: Killing Or Caring? New York: Paulist Press.
Mill, J. S. (2013). Utilitarianism. In R. Shafer-Landau, Ethical Theory AN ANTHOLOGY (2nd ed., pp. 417-422). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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WePapers. (2021, January, 25) Example Of Essay On The Right To Die: Solving The Ethical Conundrum. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-the-right-to-die-solving-the-ethical-conundrum/
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