Blog 2 – Euthanasia

Consider the following argument.
“Voluntary euthanasia involves taking one’s own life. But only God has a right to take a life. So euthanasia violates God’s right which makes euthanasia morally wrong. As a consequence, we should not make voluntary euthanasia legal.”

Is this a good argument? Explain why or why not.

In the text article “Confronting Death: Who Chooses, Who controls? A Dialogue” (pp. 76-80) Dax Cowart and Robert Burt discuss the question of when it is morally OK for a doctor to refuse or resist a patient’s request for a treatment.
(a) Explain the positions Cowart and Burt defend and the arguments they give in support.

(b) With whom do you agree, if either? Explain your view.

The readings on euthanasia introduce two ethical theories that are frequently appealed to in bioethical discussions.
Gay-William’s in “The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia” (text, pp. 602-)604 introduces the idea of Natural Law Ethics. Peter Singer in “Voluntary Euthanasia” (text, pp. 604-612) defends Utilitarianism.

(a) Define each of theories. Give examples to illustrate your answers. (For further background, read on Utilitarianism and  Natural Law Ethics.)

(b) Explain how Gay-Williams uses Natural Law Ethics to defend his position on voluntary euthanasia and how Singer uses Utilitarianism to defend his view on the same issue.

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