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Should Tony Nicklinson, a victim of locked-in syndrome, have been permitted to receive assisted suicide in the UK?

Theory of Knowledge Presentation
by

Greg Munro

on 28 January 2013

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Transcript of Should Tony Nicklinson, a victim of locked-in syndrome, have been permitted to receive assisted suicide in the UK?

Mathias Tasker
and
Greg Munro TOK Presentation:
Should Tony Nicklinson, a victim of locked-in syndrome, have been permitted to receive assisted suicide in the UK? Ways of Knowing: Reason Emotion Areas of Knowledge: Ethics Human sciences What is euthanasia? Perceived as: The act of putting someone to death painlessly or allowing them to die as by withholding extreme medical measures in order to escape an incurable and painful disease or condition. Our Definition: We feel that euthanasia means... "The action of ending a consenting patient's life out of mercy due to an incurable or excruciatingly painful disease which may prevent them from ending their own life via suicide." 3 Types of Euthanasia: PASSIVE VOLUNTARY INVOLUNTARY "the ending of life by the deliberate withholding of drugs or other life sustaining treatment" The patient gives consent to the administering of euthanasia. Patient cannot make a decision, cannot make their wishes known (e.g. comatose, infantile, brain damaged) Where is euthanasia currently legal? Skit To ensure you understand the two main perspectives on euthanasia in general... TONY NICKLINSON 1954 - 2012 Different, hypothetical perspectives... Family Member Member of Legal System Doctor Emotion warps reason but They are the driving force behind the patient's wishes They need to keep strictly to the laws to avoid further appeals against them. Should doctors' roles change? Personal Views Initially: fully supportive unaware of voluntary/involuntary Saw this video... Science vs Religion Medicine is now able to sustain OR bring on death... Should the laws/restrictions change as medical science progresses? To what extent has progression in science led to a regression in human rights? "life is the most basic gift of a loving God" "one must never directly intend to cause one's own death, or the death of an innocent victim, by action or by omission..." Should mankind ever be allowed to "play God"? Implications on Ethics in General... ISSUES! Ethically correct circumstances of euthanasia? Define ethically correct? Aren't the circumstances infinitely different? How do we protect the vulnerable? Who decides the criteria for who can/can't be euthanized? Who decides the criteria for ethics? Can ethics ever be contained within a finite set of rules? Only when human opinion can be contained within a set of rules... ...never. Can ethics ever be universal? In terms of human ethical opinions, no, because there is infinite variation and everyone has the right to hold an opinion for/against. HOWEVER in terms of euthanasia, perhaps a global law/organisation with representatives from every nation can proclaim voluntary euthanasia as LEGAL around the world? Tony Nicklinson's case could have been decided upon by this organisation as a
matter, rather than a matter of the United Kingdom. GLOBAL This organisation could agree to proclaim a global law on the modernisation of physicians' roles and medical ethics... "Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains..."
- Rousseau Perhaps... medical professionals are chained by arbitrary laws, rules, systems made by random people who aren't exposed to
the true effect of these laws prohibiting
a desired death... but are these rules fundamental in keeping the "slippery slope" and ethical boundaries under control? OR patients wishing for euthanasia are chained by these arbitrary rules made by people who have no idea of the extent of their physical, emotional and mental suffering... Greg's Personal Links: Great Grandmother - stroke in 1979 Grandfather - living will Should he have been permitted to receive assisted suicide in the UK? The main knowledge issues we're focusing on today is... To what extent has progression in medical science led to a regression in human rights and dignity? Should ethics be considered organic or absolute? Act vs Omission Is omission really better than action? SCIENCE: RELIGION: Organic ethics Absolute ethics... Conclusion
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