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Lily Chel Estorpe

on 15 September 2013

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Transcript of Euthanasia

Historical Timeline
The Ethics of Euthanasia
Ethical Problems of Euthanasia
The termination of a very sick person's life in order to relieve them of their suffering.

The term is derived from the Greek word "euthanatos" which means easy death.
What is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia is the termination of a very sick person's life in order to relieve them of their suffering.

The term is derived from the Greek word "euthanatos" which means easy death.
Agonizing moral dilemmas:
is it ever right to end the life of a terminally ill patient who is undergoing severe pain and suffering?
under what circumstances can euthanasia be justifiable, if at all?
is there a moral difference between killing someone and letting them die?

Killing or letting die
Euthanasia can be carried out either by taking actions or by not doing what is necessary to keep a person alive.
directly and deliberately do something that causes the patient to die
Active Euthanasia
don't do something necessary to keep the patient alive, or stop doing something that is keeping the patient alive
Passive Euthanasia
The act of removing life-support is just as much an act of killing as giving a lethal injection
There is no real difference between passive and active euthanasia, since both have the same result: the death of the patient on humanitarian grounds.
'Extraordinary' Medical Care
Euthanasia is not the same thing as refusing burdensome medical treatment.
It's not euthanasia to give a drug in order to reduce pain, even though the drug causes the patient to die sooner.
Euthanasia and Pain Relief
'"If doing something morally good has a morally bad side-effect, it's ethically OK to do it providing the bad side-effect wasn't intended.."
primary aim is only to reduce pain

Mercy killing
People often call euthanasia 'mercy killing', perhaps thinking of it for someone who is terminally ill and suffering prolonged, unbearable pain.
Why people want euthanasia?
Unbearable pain
Severe pain (life severely damaged by physical conditions)
Psychological factors
Arguments based on rights:
People have an explicit right to die
Other human rights imply a right to die
Libertarian argument ( if there is no harm to others, the state and other people have no right to interfere)
Practical Arguments:
Regulating euthanasia
Euthanasia may be necessary for the fair distribution of health resources
Euthanasia happens anyway
Philosophical Arguments:
Moral rules must be universalisable
Is death a bad thing?

Ethical Arguments:
Sanctity of life
Devalues some lives
The slippery slope
Patient's best interests
Other people have rights too

Practical Arguments:
Palliative care
No way of properly regulating euthanasia
Gives too much power to doctors
Pressure on the vulnerable

Religious Arguments:
Against the word and will of God
Suffering may have value

Types of Euthanasia according to the degree of consent on the part of the patient
The person wants to die and says so.
Voluntary Euthanasia
The person cannot make a decision or cannot make their wishes known.
Non-voluntary Euthanasia
The person wants to live but is killed anyway.
Involuntary Euthanasia
Full transcript