Euthanasia
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PP produced by Julie Arliss Academy Conferences. Euthanasia. See the Academy Conferences website for this year’s conference details: http://ethics.academyconferences.com. Key Issue 1. Is killing somebody, who is in the process of dying, morally the same as allowing them to die?.

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Euthanasia

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Euthanasia

  • PP produced by Julie Arliss Academy Conferences

Euthanasia

  • See the Academy Conferences website for this year’s conference details:

  • http://ethics.academyconferences.com


Key issue 1

Key Issue 1.

  • Is killing somebody, who is in the process of dying, morally the same as allowing them to die?

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Euthanasia

  • An elderly patient in some pain with 2 weeks to live.

  • Morphine is given to control the pain.

  • Is there any moral difference between allowing the elderly patient to die, without pain, over a period of two weeks, and giving the patient a lethal injection which will kill them tonight?

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Key issue 2

Rights of Patient

  • or

Key Issue 2

“WE PREFER NOT TO KILL OUR PATIENTS”

Rights of Medics

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Key issue 3

Key Issue 3

HOW ARE THE ‘PREFERENCES’ OF THE INDIVIDUAL TO BE

BALANCED AGAINST THE PERCEIVED RISKS

TO COMMON GOOD?

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Key issue 4

Key issue 4

  • Are humans animals really? If so then, we put animals down, why not humans?

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Euthanasia

INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS PRIMARY

KILLING IS THE SAME AS ALLOWING TO DIE

HUMANS ARE ANIMALS AND NOTHING MORE

EUTHANASIA

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Euthanasia

INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS CAN BE LIMITED.

ALLOWING TO DIE IS MORALLY DIFFERENT FROM KILLING

HUMANS ARE FAR MORE THAN ANIMALS

NO EUTHANASIA

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Euthanasia

Active Euthanasia

Voluntary

Non Voluntary

Involuntary

Lilian Boyes vs Dr Cox – Potassium choloride1992

John Pearson a downs child DF118

Dr Shipman 1999 Diamorphine (Heroin)

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Non voluntary active euthanasia

Non-voluntary Active Euthanasia

  • The person is unable to express their wishes.

A person in a coma, given a lethal injection.

A baby, perhaps with Downs or

disabled, given a lethal injection.

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Involuntary active euthanasia

Involuntary Active Euthanasia

  • Nellie ‘Mary’ Pickford and 5 others ‘died’ unexpectedly at Parkfields Care home.

Rachel and Leigh Baker arrested.

  • Dr Harold Shipman killed 215 – 250 people

The person is able to express their wishes but

Is not consulted.

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Legislation

Legislation

  • Current legislation forbids all forms of active euthanasia.

  • The Netherlands has the most developed active euthanasia programme in the world.

  • Only voluntary euthanasia comes under their legislation but, in practise, according to their own reports, all forms of active euthanasia are done.

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Euthanasia

Passive Euthanasia

Voluntary

Non Voluntary – patient cannot be consulted.

Involuntary – patient not consulted.

Patient decides to refuse treatment.

Intensive care patient has medical support withdrawn.

Medical decision not to offer treatment.

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Non voluntary passive euthanasia

Non-voluntary Passive Euthanasia

  • The person is unable to express their wishes.

Tony Bland PVS patient

X

Baby Doe - parents refused

Treatment for tracheo

esophageal fistula.

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Involuntary passive euthanasia

Involuntary Passive Euthanasia

  • An elderly patient with 2 weeks to live.

  • Passes out of consciousness.

  • Medical decision not to resuscitate.

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Legislation1

Legislation

  • Current legislation allows all sorts of ‘passive euthanasia’.

  • It is not usually called euthanasia, but ‘allowing to die’.

  • The pro-euthanasia lobby argue that euthanasia goes on all the time.

  • They are referring to passive euthanasia, whereby a decision is made not to treat, or to withdraw treatment.

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Euthanasia

Utilitarianism

and euthanasia


Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism

  • Utilitarianism is an ethical theory which claims that the morality of our actions depends on their consequences.

  • If an elderly person is in the final stages of life and has 2 weeks to live, is there any difference between giving a lethal injection tonight or letting them die slowly?

  • The Utilitarian argues NO! They are the same, because the consequences are the same. The person dies.

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James rachels 30 may 1941 5 sep 2003

James Rachels 30 May 1941 - 5 Sep 2003

  • Smith and Jones stand to gain a great deal of money on the death of their 6 year old cousin

  • Imagine they plan separately to kill their cousin.

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Smith goes up and drowns their cousin in the bath

Smith goes up and drowns their cousin in the bath.

(Active euthanasia – the doctor takes

positive action to kill.)

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Euthanasia

Jones goes up with the intention of drowning his cousin, but finds the boy has banged his head, fallen and is unconscious drowning in the bath. Jones does nothing and the boy dies.

Passive euthanasia – the doctor

omits treatment and allows to die.

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James rachels

James Rachels

  • Rachels uses this example to show that it would be ridiculous to say that Smith is a murderer and Jones not.

  • The consequences of their acting/not acting makes them morally the same because the result is the same.

  • IF consequences are the only morally relevant factor he is right.

  • Once you say this there is no difference between active and passive euthanasia.

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Active passive no moral significance

ACTIVE / PASSIVE No Moral Significance

  • “Stripped of all other differences, what remains is…a difference that has no moral significance. In active euthanasia the doctor initiates a course of events that will lead to the patients death. In letting die (or passive euthanasia) the agent stands back and lets nature take her sometimes cruel course. Is letting die morally better than active euthanasia? I think not. Very often it is much worse.”

  • Helga Kuhse; Case for Active Vol. Euth. 87

  • Passive euthanasia, or allowing to die, happens all the time so why not active euthanasia? Peter Singer also argues for this.

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Utilitarianism1

Utilitarianism

  • For utilitarian's the good action is that which brings about the greatest good for the greatest number.

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Greatest good for greatest number

Greatest good for greatest number?

  • John Pearson was born with Down’s on 28.7.1980. His mother remarked “I don’t want it, duck”

  • Down’s apart there were no clinically detectable abnormalities

  • Dr Arthur recorded: “Parents do not wish baby to survive. Nursing care only.”

  • Dr Arthur prescribed DF118,the infant was given

  • water but no nourishment and antibiotics were withheld when broncho-pneumonia developed

  • John Pearson died three days after birth

  • Dr Arthur charged with murder, changed to attempted murder, as DF118 may not have caused death.

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Retarded or unfit to breed homosexuals disabled gypsies jews

Retarded or ‘unfit to breed’. Homosexuals.Disabled.Gypsies.Jews.

Greatest Good

for Greatest

number?

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Utilitarian contribution

Utilitarian contribution

  • Consequences are vital.

  • For the Utilitarian human life is not sacred – we put animals out of their misery.

  • Consider how best to reduce pain and create pleasure.

  • Stress on pleasure over pain may mean helping to die rather than prolonging suffering.

  • Creating the greatest good for the greatest number may mean carefully evaluating the use of medical resources, and helping to die.

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Euthanasia

  • There are already some utilitarian voices suggesting that treatment for the elderly be restricted.

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Rule utilitarianism mill

Rule Utilitarianism - Mill

  • Euthanasia IS against the LAW and the rule utilitarian will not break the law but work to change it if needed.

  • Any higher pleasures which can be experienced by the sick person must be weighed into a decision.

  • The long term consequences of allowing euthanasia would also be put into a decision.

  • The German experience and the Dutch experience might well persuade a utilitarian not to opt for the legalisation of active euthanasia.

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Holland

Holland

‘Abuse is the norm.’


Euthanasia

"LEBENSUNWERTES LEBEN" – Life Unworthy of Life. HELNWEIN'S OPEN LETTER TO EUTHANASIA DOCTOR HEINRICH GROSS

Once active euthanasia is

accepted the question

is then one of quality of

life. Which life is

sufficiently

worthy of being lived?

Which life is not?

Austria's number one forensic psychiatrist admitted putting poison in children’s food.

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The missing link in utilitarian case

The Missing Link in Utilitarian Case.

  • Smith and Jones intended to murder and inherit from their cousin.

  • WHAT IF we change the story.

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Winston nesbitt

Winston Nesbitt

  • What if Jones did not want to inherit from his cousin, and had no intention of killing his cousin in the bath. He went up and found him unconscious in the water and did nothing, because he thought there was nothing to be done. Is he still a murderer?

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The missing link in utilitarian case1

The Missing Link in Utilitarian Case.

  • The consequences of Jones’ actions are the same as before – the cousin dies.

  • Jones’ different motive means he is not a murderer.

  • This means that morality is not to be judged solely on the basis of consequences as James Rachels, and Utilitarianism claims.

  • Motive is a vital indicator.

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