It can be said that bioethics not only discusses the problem of euthanasia, but also takes into account differences in methods of treatment, patient types and situations, focusing on the maximum specific analysis, and it goes even further – requires consideration of every possible case of euthanasia in its singularity. However, in this essay I would like to consider only the question of the admissibility of euthanasia in principle, about the right of the acts and omissions, which will result in death.
Also, I would like to emphasize that euthanasia – is not an easy death, but the decision on its subject. There is following ethical dilemma: whether to grant the patient to the nature and technique, dooming him to a heavy, long and painful death or by act or omission of some action to help him die. It requires one more clarification. Since it is assumed that a quick painless death is preferable for the person dying himself, and the determined patient’s position, expressed by his own will or the will of his guardian. Thus, the question boils down to the right of patients to such a refusal of treatment, which will result in a guaranteed death.
As a fact, euthanasia can be considered as passive and active to the medical staff, and as voluntary and involuntary to the patient. Passive euthanasia means that a doctor removed from the situation and do not commit acts that could support life, and thus passively authorizes the death of the patient. In the case of active euthanasia there are taken special steps to ensure hasten death. The difference between passive and active euthanasia is considered by many as extremely important, that the first is interpreted as “to allow to die”ť, and second – as “murder”ť.
Voluntary euthanasia is carried out with the prior consent of the patient (in advance and in legal form to express the will if the case falls under the definition of euthanasia, has become a widespread practice in many European countries). The voluntariness in this case requires a specific description, which eliminates any ambiguity: the will must be expressed repeatedly, clearly and firmly, freely (without an external moral, legal, psychological or other pressures), based on well informed. In turn, non-voluntary euthanasia is carried out without the express consent of the patient, that does not mean that it is contrary to his will ”“ there are situations where a patient previously did not express his will and now physically can not do this, it is assumed that if would be at time, when there is a question of euthanasia, the patient retains the ability to express his will, he would prefer to die. Non-voluntary euthanasia, also known as assisted, in fact, is interpreted as a special case of a voluntary, according to Euthanasia And The Right To Die (2011).
In the allocation of these forms of euthanasia there are essential ethical criteria. It is assumed that voluntary euthanasia is preferable to involuntary and passive euthanasia is preferable to active. At the same time ethically more significant, is the difference between passive and active euthanasia, in countries where it is legally permitted, we are talking about passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia in any country has not received the legal sanction.
In this part of the essay I would like to consider ethical arguments for and against euthanasia. As it was stated before, personally I am against euthanasia and think that it is inhuman. However, with the aim to be objective, I would like to provide some arguments for euthanasia. There are following arguments, which express justification for euthanasia:
ď‚ľ Life is good until pleasures prevail over suffering, positive emotions ”“ over the negative. In the case of euthanasia, this balance is disturbed, life is asymmetric in the direction of suffering as a result it becomes a solid meal – it can not be maintained, except by multiplying the price of suffering, and suffering can not help except at the cost of accelerating death. In short, if suffering is evil, then how can you morally justify the preservation of life, which has become a misery, according to William Allan (2010). This is a strong argument, especially when life is unbearable painful and obvious reluctance of people to be in this state, certified by his will. However, how can people play in God? In my opinion, only God can decide how long human being should live.
ď‚ľ Attempt to justify euthanasia by considerations of mercy and justice. It is considered compassionate to those, who are dying, and justify for others and society. However, both these arguments can be turned against euthanasia. If the patient has lost the ability to suffer and is located on the vegetative level, then the concept of charity is inapplicable to him. If he suffers and to us it seems unbearable suffering to such an extent, we feel good for him at once to stop it, it remains an open question: maybe it is intolerable to us watch the suffering of a loved one and we simply substitute the concepts.
ď‚ľ Maintenance of life on the stages of dying, which is carried out with the help of sophisticated technology, costs too much for society. Money spent on maintenance of life in hopeless situations, would be enough to treat tens, hundreds, thousands of people, who respond to treatment. This argument is purely pragmatic, and has, of course, its value within the practical organization of the health system. However, it can not be taken into consideration when it comes to the moral justification of euthanasia. Moreover, in order to answer the question about the ethical legitimacy of euthanasia, it is necessary to distract from the conjugate with the financial, social, psychological and other not moral aspects, according to Euthanasia; Right or wrong? (2009).