Euthanasia is the intentional killing by an act or even the omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged or proposed benefit (Dowbiggin, 2007). Euthanasia can be either voluntary, Non-voluntary, Involuntary, active or passive. It must be intentional for it to be euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is a case whereby the person or individual killed has requested for the same in order to have some peace or benefits that the individual best knows by him or her (Brody & Baruch, 1975). Non- voluntary euthanasia is a case whereby an individual’s murder is without his or her personal consent. This is usually onto the criminals under death row in some specific countries especially in the Arabian Gulf who still practice the death row sentencing of hard-core criminals. The involuntary euthanasia takes place when an individual in question did not make such a wish prior to the murder.
There also exists the assisted suicide where an individual provides information to another individual on the intentional killing that will be for purposes of this same individual. An example could be whereby the Doctor assists an individual in this act. In this case, it is then the Physician assisted suicide. Euthanasia by action or active euthanasia is the act of murder through the administration of a substance like the administration of an injection to an individual in order to facilitate his or her death (Emanuel & Ezekiel, 1994). Passive euthanasia or euthanasia by omission is the act whereby an individual’s murder is through denial of major and important needs like food, shelter and even water. This is to frustrate the individual to death.
There are several arguments against and for the idea of Euthanasia. These arguments are into either the libertarian or the traditional views of the aspect of euthanasia. James Rachels who was a great philosopher during his time advocated the libertarian Euthanasia. The libertarian view states that there is no basic difference between the active and the passive euthanasia. He argues that it is not only the biological life of an individual, but also the biographical life of a person that is of great importance. The biographical life of an individual entails the individuals’ aspirations, human interests and relationships (Gurney & Edward, 1972). This he considers the best way to defend the moral aspect in the euthanasia issue. This implies that both types of euthanasia should be morally accepted or not accepted in a uniform way in the wider society. There is no relevant and observable difference between the two types of euthanasia.
The traditional view on euthanasia on the other side views the issue very differently from the libertarian point of view. The traditionalists believe that there is indeed a clear difference between active and the passive form of euthanasia. It claims that the active form of euthanasia involves the intentional killing or taking away of human life. Passive euthanasia to them involves the withdrawal of treatment or putting an individual to certain adverse conditions that may impede the life of the individual thereby prompting him to die.
They believe the passive euthanasia involves the act allowing the natural death line to take its course. The active euthanasia is against the law while the passive euthanasia is indeed very permissible, but under very specific and considerate conditions is present (Kohl & Marvin, 1974). The conditions are issues like when the patient is in his or her terminal stage of life. It could also be when the death of the individual is indeed eminent and inevitable. The treatment could also be judged extraordinarily and death is therefore foreseen.
In a moral point of view, it is very important to criticize the libertarians’ point of view. This is because the human life is very sacred as opposed to the libertarian point of view. Active euthanasia therefore is not lawful as no individual can take away the life of the other no matter the case. This is not permissible even in most of the world’s religious groups. The biological life is much more important than the others are because the others cannot exist minus the central form of life, which is the biological life. A person can live with some social problems and other factors in the society. The same cannot create any effect in the society once he or she has lost the biological aspect life through death. This therefore implies the death that is in this paper refers to the biological death and not the biographical death. Biographical can take place without the biological death but the biological must go alongside the biographical death. There is a clear distinction between the active and passive euthanasia as the latter is at times permissible while the former is totally against the law.
It very clear that the modern medicine can alleviate pain and suffering from a person. This can be by euthanasia to alleviate the suffering and pain from an individual. Several drugs and methods in the modern arena can alleviate pain and suffering (Kohl et al, 1975). Euthanasia is the mercy killing of an individual and not the brutal murder we see in the streets. Although there are a few hiccups, where the current medicine cannot alleviate suffering and pain, this only represents a minimal percentage and the libertarian critics have decided to build their argument on this minor issue that has no weight in the whole issue of the euthanasia project.
It is vivid that the whole issue of euthanasia cannot be wrong, but to some extent of mercy killing; it is a very viable and realistic issue in the wider society (Otani & Izumi, 2010). In cases where death is imminent and normal accepted medication dosages are unable to alleviate or minimize pain, active euthanasia is not the only choice. A doctor can opt giving necessary pain medication if the intention is only to ease the pain and not to kill. This can act as an action geared to hasten death.
There is some value in the suffering of human beings. As much as it can be abused at times, suffering in an individual can teach the others on how to persevere. An individual can grow into the suffering, and this can help teach others how a person with wise intellectuals can teach others the ways of perseverance and the way a very virtuous person can face the life very completed adversaries.
These adversaries include the physical suffering and death. This can show that an individual is concerned about staying with others in the society continuously. This ensures a very foundational and cemented position of an individual in society. He has given his or her commitment to the immediate community by facing death head on and not fearing anything thus giving hope on the sacred life of an individual. With this, community will continue caring for the dying in the immediate surrounding and never despise or look down upon them in a discriminatory manner (Kohl & Marvin, 1974). It affirms the fact that an individual can have value inclusive of the people around him or her that goes beyond the purpose of the happiness that we look for in the general life. The absence can therefore be a way of pursuing the autonomous goals of peace that we need in the daily life.
In a religious way, it is a common belief that life is God’s gift and that individuals are not even the sole owners of their lives. This implies that a person cannot take away the life of his peer including his or her own life (Kohl et al, 1975). This is because God is the only sole owner of any life on earth. Euthanasia is therefore a way of rejecting the abundant gift of life from the mighty God. It therefore overshadows the good tidings that may come up with the suffering as portrayed in most religious books in the global arena. The strength of this argument relies on to whether one is religious or not and most preferably a Christian just to mention. It will depend on to whether an individual believes in theism or not and to be specific on the type and kind of theism that one decides to adopt in his or her life (Mannes & Marya, 1975). For example, the view that God is uncaring and removed may not be very relevant to the paper, but the eminent of the biblical God and His words is very relevant and important in this argument.
Religion goes ahead to argue that life is very sacred since man was God’s image. This may look like a philosophical language when in such arguments. This criticizes the argument that death can have a painless form in the humans. This still brings many questions as to why the saying goes the end justifies the means (Michalsen & Reinhart, 2006). This saying may become very viable in this argument as the painless death is then justified at the end of the human life. On the other side, the theological language looks at life as a sacred sanctity to the individual provided by God. The theological view it as death no matter the means and thus this creates a great between the theologists and the philosophers view (Otani & Izumi, 2010).
To sum up the issues discussed in this paper, it is clear that there are two different and opposing views towards euthanasia. The libertarians believe that the act of euthanasia is indeed very wrong and has no good in the society. This is because they find no difference between the active and passive euthanasia. They view both as having the same effect in the individual. They believe that the biological life of an individual is part of the biographical life of an individual. This thus implies that the biographical life of an individual must be properly given value when dealing with the issue of the euthanasia in the current society.
On the other hand, the traditional believe in the positive attributes of euthanasia. They find issues like lessening of pain and suffering to an individual (Otani & Izumi, 2010). It may also be useful in reducing costs and expenses that are incurred in the treatment and care of the individuals in question. Traditionalists also hold that God gave life, but it is in respect to give an individual a very good ending to life than an agonizing or tormenting one that could have been experienced while suffering with a disease or any other condition that could inflict pain on the individual. It is amazing that religious people do not take this lightly. They believe in the sacredness of life that was given specifically by God to man as a wonderful and important free gift. God has the sole right to an individual’s life and thus has the right to terminate it (Pappas & Demetra, 1996).