Good Do People Have A Right To End Their Lives Whenever They Choose To? Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Life, Theory, Ethics, Human, Religion, People, Society, Crime

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2021/01/02

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The society remains with puzzles on the absolute status of any human rights found in the constitutional human rights legislations. The right to life in most cases refers to the ethical consideration for anyone to either commit murder or have his life go through euthanasia. The phenomenon of euthanasia occurs when one suffers from the terminal illness which becomes costly for the family members. It also takes place when the doctors fail to revive the patient suffering from the terminal illness. Therefore, Euthanasia may be understood as suicide assistance from medical practitioners due to risks involved in the life. The question concerning ‘mercy killing’ and suicide remains tricky since no one knows who should have the powers to make decisions concerning the right to life. Religion looks at life as a sacred phenomenon received from God. He alone may take the life of an individual at the desired time. Many societies punish anyone with an attempt to commit suicide. Suicidal victims go through medical procedures since the societies consider it a mental disorder to end individual aspect of life. The paper focuses on shedding light on the phenomenon through a justification of the topic. The paper ends with the role of ethical theories in explaining the justification of the right to life (Faunce, 2005). It considers all the factors in the society concerning the topic.

Ethical theory applications

The paper uses two theories based on ethical consideration of rights to human life. The theories discussed in the paper include Kantian ethics and religious ethics. The two approaches agree to the same argument concerning human life.

Kantian theory

The Kantian theory may appear as the principle of supreme morality. The theory bases its operation on the imperative category. According to Immanuel Kant, few methodologies explain the notion of the imperative category. He starts his explanation of the use of the Universal Law Formula. The formula suggests that everyone has the entitlement to one principle that protects life. According to the principle, when anyone becomes immoral, he or she would want people to act in a similar manner. They usually make an exception of themselves and have the desire for everyone to obey rules. The principle states that individuals must act in the right manner. Their actions should favor both their status and those of the others positively. The actions should consist of individuals’ moral judgment. He claims that people have the right of choice. They have freedom of will and reason. He continues to state that babies may not have the characteristics to have their category fall into that of persons. They lack the ability to make fee choices. Neither cows nor pigs may fall into the same category as human beings due to their lack of abstract thinking. Kant describes humans to possess dignity which justifies his means of ends.
On the other hand, he degrades the status of animals to the aspect of resources. He states that people may use animals in the laboratory as experimental equipment (Rawls, 2014). People may not use others as laboratory and experiment apparatus. One person possesses high value in the society. Killing him, or her may have similarity to killing the whole society. Killing him reduces his status and dignity to the level of mere means.
One fails to treat his life as an end when he/she commits suicide since they think that it eradicates misery. If an individual possesses the necessary traits to fit as a human being, then he/she should treat life with dignity and respect. One should understand that life has its challenges. The challenges make life worth living. Opting death to problems makes one lose dignity over life. Kant states that one should not compare pleasure to the importance of life. Kantian compares life to personification which possesses the aspect of choice. Nevertheless, his opinions concerning right to life does not mean that he opposes suicide and euthanasia. He supports when people lack hope towards free choice and deliberation. He gives an example of PVS patients Like Terry Schiavo. He accepts the objective of Euthanasia in the case above. He states that such euthanasia may occur as the dignified death. In the above case, the patient dies due to the lack of necessary means to take him out of his painful condition. Humanity begins from individuals’ personality. They should preserve human dignity by respecting their lives even when others fail to respect theirs.
The principle of humanity also comes up with another virtue. Kant states that lying has similarities to encouraging an individual to commit suicide. He claims that anyone who persuades someone to do something wrong shows that he treats him/her as a mere means. The person uses the power of manipulation to create lies and persuade others. Lies make people consent to their evil thoughts and purpose. Anyone who wants commit murder may ask about the information concerning his/murder victim. An individual asked about a murder victim should keep quiet in order to preserve the life of the victim. The principle of humanity supports the notion of treating others in a manner that would not question their state of minds. They should be thinking in a clear manner with reasonable arguments and facts in their minds. Societal needs should not dictate reasoning of individuals. He claims that condemning a person to death means going against the doctrine of life unless one has committed a crime.

Religious theory

The society composes of many religious ethics. The paper only concentrates its argument on three ethics found within the biomedical sectors. They include sanctity of life, unnatural acts, and the double effect doctrine. Religion forbids an action that aims to facilitate death among individuals through the sanctity of life doctrine. Whether an individual fails to die or dies gives consent to omission. The nature of the death does not matter. A painful and painless death has the same characteristics. Therefore, religion forbids euthanasia. It suggests that God creates life; thus, He alone has the power over life. Many religious views go against euthanasia/ assisted suicide.
The religious affinity also opposes unnatural means that give rise to life. In-vetro fertilization and surrogate birth systems show ungodliness in their operations. Couples with reproductive problems should only use drugs to boost their conceiving process. Nevertheless, the double effect doctrine allows evil acts committed without intentions. The doctrine only applies to the Roman Catholics. One who murders without knowledge fails to go through punishment due to the nature of the action. One may weigh well over evil considering the outcome if the individual has positive intentions. Evil intentions have negative outcomes and therefore considered peril. The doctrine gives the examples of the craniotomy and hysterectomy. Craniotomy occurs when doctors intend to save a conceiving mother as a result of the baby’s death (Tollefsen, 2014). The doctrine looks at the situation from its outcome and considers it wrong. On the other hand, the doctrine finds hysterectomy permissible since its consequences have unintended problems.
Religion considers factors like homosexuality, masturbation, surrogate conception and cloning as evil measures to life. The religious doctrines state that the factors go against the God’s purpose of life. The Bible and the Quran condemn all the factors that go against the purpose of creation.


Kantian theory acts as the best theory when explaining the importance of life. People lack power to terminate their lives. Life entails many virtues that should keep it safe from any harm. People should not let another dictate the status of their lives. Rather, they should understand that they have a responsibility to protect their lives. Kantian connects different factors relative to the society in the aspect of life. The essence of life begins from the individual perception. One should not have an influence in the harm of another’s life. The human society consists of one principle that gives a guideline to its beginning and end. The principle limits the power individuals have towards life. Death should be natural and not artificial. The society does not also have any powers to end life. Nevertheless, many constitutional legislations to human rights create a contradictory statement concerning their perception of life. They state that euthanasia or assisted suicide may occur whenever the life of an individual fails to lessen the pain. It also places euthanasia as a tool to end the misery. It thus supports death through suicide since it gives power over life to medical practitioners. It also enables man to share the same powers with God concerning life (Gwynn, 2012). People may apply euthanasia when they feel that they have low hope towards the survival of their patient. Sometimes the society may allow punishment to criminals. They should undergo punishment to correct their mistakes. The society should only allow the death penalty when the actions surpass the standard criminal nature. Killing an individual goes against the human rights since it lowers the life of an individual in terms of its dignity.
Many scholars and doctrines explain the essence of life from time memorial. They encourage individuals to enjoy life and celebrate it every time. They look at the challenges affecting individuals as components rather than hindrances to living. People should understand the importance of life and how to improve its status. The paper ensures the promotion of life in any environment. It gives life power over human beings and not vice versa. It ensures that life stays above the perception of human beings. It gives individuals methodologies through which they may use to protect themselves from any harm that comes their way. Societies need to protect their citizens against life threatening factors like their negative thinking. Religious doctrines concerning the importance of life should not appear as a misinterpretation. They should be used to create a positive impact on how the society perceives life. They should be altered to accommodate changes in the societies. People should also have respect towards the various factors that give life importance.


Debates concerning the power behind life have occurred for several centuries. People in the past had strict rules concerning their perception of the importance of life. Anyone who murdered the other received death penalty through stoning. Others excommunicated individuals to the wilderness to starve as punishment. The societies thought that the person had received curses due to their actions, which would affect the people around him/her. Therefore, they remained with the option of excommunicating the individuals. Life in other societies had no great meaning. One had to earn his/her right to live through dangerous tasks for a specified period. A child born into the society had to survive some ordeals for the society to consider its strength. The members of the societies left the child in the forest for a number of days to see the outcome. Life in the case above had little consideration among the individuals. They would decide what they would do with the lives of the other. Today life has turned out to have great importance. Religion and other doctrines have tried to show that people should not treat it with little attention. The church and Islam have also gone through a transition with time. In the past, they persecuted those who refused to accept the two religions into their lives. The two religions failed to respect lives though they preached life through the word of God. Today, they have turned to being the champions of life. The world today meets to discuss issues concerning how life should go through a process of strict preservation. Anyone who murders another ends up with a terrorism name under his/her sleeves. Anyone who commits suicide may also lower his status in the society. People consider him/her an abomination. They consider them criminals who go against the purpose for life. On the other hand, religion does not allow modern factors that have relativity to life and conception. They go against contraceptives and any artificial methods used by conceiving individuals.


Faunce, A. T. (2005). Will international human rights subsume medical ethics? Intersections in the UNESCO Universal Bioethics Declaration. Journal of Medical Ethics, 31(3),
Gwynn, B. G. (2012). The Essence of Life. Bloomington, Indiana, America: Xlibris Corporation.
Rawls, J. (2014). Kantian Constructivism in Moral Theory. Journal of Philosophy, Inc., 77(9), 515-572.
Tollefsen, C. (2014). The New Natural Law Theory. The Philosphy Journal, x(1), 1-2.

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Good Do People Have A Right To End Their Lives Whenever They Choose To? Essay Example. Free Essay Examples - Published Jan 02, 2021. Accessed October 27, 2021.

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