Moral Dilemmas: Euthanasia

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Moral Dilemmas:

Applying the Listen Model: Euthanasia

Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, physician-assisted suicide, and more loosely termed mercy killing, basically means to take a deliberate action with the express intention of ending a life to relieve persistent or unstoppable suffering. Some interpret euthanasia as the practice of ending a life in a painless manner. Many disagree with this interpretation, because it needs to include a reference to difficult suffering.

There are three classifications of euthanasia: voluntary euthanasia, involuntary euthanasia, and non-voluntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is euthanasia conducted with consent. Since 2009, voluntary euthanasia has been legal in Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and the states of Oregon and Washington. Examples of voluntary euthanasia are asking for help with dying, refusing burdensome medical treatment, asking for medical treatment to be stopped, or life support machines to be switched off, refusing to eat, or simply deciding to die. Involuntary euthanasia is euthanasia conducted without consent. The decision is made by another person because the patient is incapable to doing so himself/herself. For example, a soldier has their stomach blown open by a shell burst. They are in great pain and screaming in agony. They beg the army doctor to save their life. The doctor knows that they will die in ten minutes whatever happens. As he has no painkilling drug with him he decides to spare the soldier further pain and shoots them dead. Non-voluntary euthanasia is euthanasia in which the person cannot make a decision or cannot make their wishes known. Examples of this are the person is in a coma, the person is too young (e.g. a very young baby),the person is senile, the person is mentally retarded to a very severe extent, the person is severely brain damaged, or the person is mentally disturbed in such a way that they should be protected from themselves....