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Please write a 4-5 page essay with the following instructions
Read/review the following resources for this activity:
- Read/ Textbook: Chapter 12
- Minimum of 5 scholarly sources (This includes the sources from the annotated bibliography. Additional sources may be included as appropriate.)
Return to the topic you chose in the week three assignment. Articulate a specific dilemma in a situation faced by a particular person based on that topic. The situation can be real or fictional.
- Summarize the dilemma.
- Define any needed key terms associated with the dilemma.
- Analyze the conflicts or controversies involved in the dilemma.
Revise and rewrite based on any feedback you received in your previous draft (week three). Reference and discuss any professional code of ethics relevant to your topic such as the AMA code for doctors, the ANA code for nurses, etc. State whether and how your chosen topic involves any conflicts between professional and familial duties or conflicts between loyalty to self and loyalty to a community or nation.
What in your view is the most moral thing for that person to do in that dilemma? Why is that the most moral thing? Use moral values and logical reasoning to justify your answer
Next, apply the following:
- Aristotle’s Golden Mean to the dilemma
- Utilitarianism to the dilemma
- Natural Law ethics to the dilemma
Which of those three theories works best ethically speaking? Why that one?
Why do the other two not work or not work as well?
Is it the same as what you said is the most moral thing earlier? Why or why not?
Use the 5 articles from your annotated bibliography to support your answers. (Additional academic scholarly research from the past 5 years can be included as well.)
Include a reference page at the end of your paper in APA format that includes your bibliography with the annotations removed and any other sources used in your final paper.
- Length: 4-5 pages (not including title page or references page)
- 1-inch margins
- Double spaced
- 12-point Times New Roman font
- Title page
- References page (minimum of 5 scholarly sources)
Week 3 selected topic
Euthanasia Ethics Debate
The deliberate ending of a terminally sick or suffering person’s life to relieve their suffering and pain is a matter of moral contention and ethical discussion. In the ethical discussion surrounding euthanasia, there are two primary points of view: those who favor it (pro-euthanasia) and those who are against it (anti-euthanasia).
i. Pro-euthanasia Position
There are two primary moral arguments in favor of euthanasia. Firstly, proponents contend that euthanasia is a manifestation of compassion and kindness for those confronted with excruciating pain and suffering due to fatal conditions (Njoku, 2022). From this perspective, euthanasia is viewed as a humanitarian substitute for letting them suffer longer due to invasive medical treatments. Advocates contend that enabling people to die with dignity lessens their suffering and provides comfort in their dying moments.
Second, the pro-euthanasia viewpoint strongly emphasizes the value of individual autonomy and the freedom to choose one’s course of action. Supporters believe that capable patients with terminal illnesses should have the right to decide when and how they want to terminate their lives. This viewpoint is based on the idea that personal autonomy should be preserved in the face of fatal illnesses since it is an essential component of human dignity. Therefore, proponents of euthanasia contend that granting people the ability to exercise this choice gives them authority over their lives and deaths, particularly at their most vulnerable times.
ii. Anti-euthanasia Position
There are two primary moral arguments against euthanasia. Firstly, opponents staunchly support the idea of the sanctity of life, contending that every human life has intrinsic value and should never be intentionally ended. This point of view contends that permitting euthanasia would diminish human life’s fundamental value and dignity, resulting in a devaluation of life. The “slippery slope” argument is the second justification offered by opponents of euthanasia. They express concern that making euthanasia legal would invite abuse and improper procedure use (Buturovic, 2021). This might take the form of forced euthanasia or putting excessive pressure on weak people to choose death over life. Once the practice is allowed, they worry that it would progressively encourage less restrictive attitudes and behaviors, endangering the welfare of individuals needing care and protection most urgently.
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How Ethical Egoism and Social Contract Ethics Approach the Topic of Euthanasia
i. Ethical Egoist Perspective
According to the moral philosophy of ethical egoism, people should behave in their best interests to promote their own pleasure and well-being (Rachels & Rachels, 2012). If Ethical Egoists thought that approving euthanasia would improve their well-being or the well-being of their loved ones, they would probably adopt this attitude. They could defend their stance by saying they would choose euthanasia in a similar circumstance to save needless suffering. However, devotion to oneself and society could conflict in this situation. Ethical egoism puts the needs of the individual above those of society at large or the viewpoints of those who cherish the sanctity of life (Manuel & Herron, 2020). From the standpoint of an ethical egoist, the wisest course of action would be to support euthanasia if it is in their best interests.
ii. Social Contract Ethicist Perspective
The core notion of social contract ethics is that moral principles originate from a subconscious social arrangement or agreement that society’s participant’s respect for everyone’s benefit (Korn et al., 2020). Given that euthanasia has complicated moral consequences and societal ramifications, a Social Contract Ethicist would be wary of the practice. They could be against euthanasia because it might threaten the social contract’s stability and sense of trust. Some people might worry that society’s resolve to safeguard and preserve life will be compromised by legalizing purposeful killing. Some social contract ethicists, however, could favor euthanasia when done so under stringent guidelines and protections when the social contract permits autonomy and personal choice. When a person’s desire for euthanasia clashes with the more general cultural norms and legal requirements, a conflict between personal and national duties results. According to social contract ethicists, the wisest course of action would be to carefully consider the effects of euthanasia on society and make an effort to find a balance between upholding individual liberty and preserving the social contract.
Professional Code of Ethics
Euthanasia is a hotly debated topic in the medical community, and professional rules of ethics frequently address the subject. For instance, the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics advises doctors to deal with end-of-life issues and make decisions. Although the AMA Code recognizes that qualified patients have the choice to decline life-sustaining therapies, it expressly forbids euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. The code places a high value on the moral precept of protecting life while upholding the patient’s decision-making autonomy.
Healthcare professionals asked to perform euthanasia by terminally ill patients, or their families may experience a conflict between their professional and family obligations. It can be challenging to adhere to the professional code of ethics while juggling the need to relieve pain and respect for patient autonomy. When this happens, medical practitioners may need to have open and honest conversations with patients and their families while offering alternate palliative care and support.
Euthanasia raises a range of moral objections and ethical viewpoints. Individual autonomy and well-being may be emphasized by ethical egoism, whereas the more prominent social ramifications may be the emphasis of social contract ethics. Finding the appropriate course of action necessitates thorough consideration and respect for many viewpoints in light of the tension between individual preferences and societal norms. In addition, healthcare workers must manage complicated ethical issues while upholding the necessary professional standards of ethics and guaranteeing patient-centered treatment.
Buturovic, Z. (2021). Embracing slippery slope on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia could have significant unintended consequences. Journal of medical ethics, 47(4), 257-258.
Manuel, T., & Herron, T. L. (2020). An ethical perspective of business CSR and the COVID-19 pandemic. Society and Business Review, 15(3), 235-253.
Njoku, N. (2022). Contextualizing Paediatric Euthanasia within the Framework of Children’s Right. The Nigerian Juridical Review, 17, 168-192.
Korn, L., Böhm, R., Meier, N. W., & Betsch, C. (2020). Vaccination as a social contract. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(26), 14890-14899.
Rachels, J., & Rachels, S. (2012). The Elements of Moral Philosophy 7e. McGraw Hill.