Utilitarianism is a theory of utility (usefulness), whose proponents such as John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham put emphasis on it and underscored its being an egalitarian doctrine, where the happiness of everyone counts equally (Wells 111). These exponents presume that utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism, where the determination of whether an action is morally right or wrong is entirely dependant on its consequences. An action is considered right if the outcome it brings is the best of the available choices. Otherwise, it is regarded as being wrong. In other words, actions are viewed as being right if they bring about happiness and they are also considered wrong if they cause unhappiness. The aspects of utilitarianism are today applied in making hard moral life decisions. One of such decisions is whether to allow euthanasia or not.
Euthanasia basically refers to the act of ending a sick person`s life in a painless way. This may include turning off the life supporting machines from a patient with an incurable disease to allow them to die. This act presumes giving the sick patient medication that kills them or even using morphine to cause death (Lysaught 1110). This essay outlines my reasons for viewing euthanasia as a very good form of bringing utility to all parties involved in it.
Firstly, everyone has a right to make their own decisions on when and even at times how their lives can end. For instance, it refers to cases where they have a written will to do this procedure. It can be considered morally right if it is stated in their wills that their lives must ended with euthanasia; they can spare the suffering and are granted to rest peacefully and in accordance with their wish. Secondly, in cases where the patient’s pain is increasingly becoming worse while causing his suffering as well as his close people’s affliction, then it is just morally right when the pain is reduced since the happiness of everyone counts as positive by utilitarianism.
Lastly, in instances where medical practitioners are presented with options of either saving a patient with a high chance of surviving or committing mercy killing to a sick patient who is beyond saving, then it is moral enough to do the right thing to save the one with a chance of making it. The same applies to ensuring that funds are not used for supporting lives of patients with incurable diseases (at times even against their will) at the expense of saving and improving the condition of others such as infants.
In conclusion, today many countries such as Switzerland, Netherlands, Japan, Belgium and Colombia have legalized euthanasia after realizing that it can be used in the aforementioned situations for the common good of everyone`s utility (Negri 128).