The purpose of this study is to analyse the ethical issues of euthanasia by perceiving this action through various theories related to ethics and morality. This case study is inspired by an article published in the BBC (“Ethical problems of euthanasia”). The major theories that have been considered in this case study are consequentialism, utilitarianism, egoism and the deontological perspective. By viewing the act of voluntary euthanasia through various ethical theories the researcher was able to learn that even though these theories do not necessarily prescribe voluntarily euthanasia but they do seem to support this act if it is at all required. The researcher has also highlighted another article published in the BBC which shows a terminally ill patient filing for voluntary euthanasia. The study revealed that many people all over the world do support the act of voluntary euthanasia and do not consider it as unethical. The underlying reason behind this fact is that this act provides freedom from pain to not only the sufferer but also the closed ones who are distressed by seeing the former wreathing in agonizing pain. Therefore, even though some might argue that voluntary euthanasia is equivalent to assisted killing and should not be legalized, there are many who perceive this action to be absolutely justified and ethical and therefore have given their verdict in favour of legalizing this action.
Argument regarding the will to live and die has raged over the last decade since Dr. Kevorkian was convicted for assisting a lot of people to commit suicide by administering lethal injections (Johnson, 1999). The question regarding how ethical, physical assisted suicide is to the life of human beings is still debated by many. However, in each of those discussions everyone seemed to hit a dead end. After the development of technology and subsequent creation of organized websites, people have frequently discussed about the pros and cons of euthanasia (E. J. Emanuel, Fairclough and L. L. Emanuel, 2000). Such platforms have provided people with the opportunity to interact, learn, connect, and express their beliefs regarding this controversial issue on a global stage. Some believe that the practice of euthanasia should be made legal for the terminally ill patients whereas some question the ethical nature of this activity (Materstvedt, et al., 2003). This sets forth one and only question and that is, should euthanasia be legalized? It is with regards to this question that the researcher will attempt to analyze the ethical issues of euthanasia, inspired from an article published in BBC (“Ethical problems of euthanasia”) (BBC, 2014a), by taking standpoints of several ethical philosophies.
Euthanasia as a topic has not been discussed much by philosophers up until recently when this topic has grabbed the attention of major proportion of the global population. Up until this point, what have been discussed very often are cases related to suicide, which as an action raises similar ethical issues as euthanasia. The moral identicalness between suicide and voluntary euthanasia allows researchers and academic scholars to make a sensible guess about the perceptions of famous philosophers regarding voluntary euthanasia.