‘DON’T keep me going like a vegetable!’ I’ve said it myself to loved ones after dealing with a serious situation with a friend of the family after a stroke. After being resuscitated three times in one week, another elderly friend with a pacemaker wanted her life to end in peace. And so it goes with many terminally ill patients; they plead to die. For the doctors and judges this is a debatable question and for relatives a painful choice. But who really has the right to make the decision?
Sometimes, there is a senseless prolonging of life within hospitals by the many machines that the patient is hooked up to and it seems like technology has taken over and these machines are the only thing ...view middle of the document...
The most common way of thinking on this matter is that utility is the satisfaction one gets from something. In chapter six section one of our assigned text it states that “utilitarianism considers an act's consequences in assessing its morality, utilitarianism is also regarded as a consequentialist theory. The basic idea in consequentialism is to consider the consequences that will result from the choices one confronts: If the consequences of one act produce the greatest net well or the highest utility for the greatest number of people, this is the act one should carry out.” Mosser, K. (2013). Understanding philosophy
So, one could say and even form the argument that the utilitarian theory is the quality of life that a person has that suffers from dementia or brain damage is diminished due to the disease. The greater good would be accomplished by Non-voluntary active euthanasia because of the amount of suffering and reduced quality of life that the patient is accustomed to prior to the illness. Many of the symptoms of both dementia and brain damage include pain and unwanted physical breakdowns of the nervous system and even the loss of ability to even feed oneself or relieve themselves in the restroom alone for instance. It’s hard to imagine by an able bodied person to willfully suffer through these stages and be ok with the loss of dignity and the addition of physical pain. Though we are considering the topic of Non-voluntary active euthanasia the following example may shed some light on the issue. Singer stated “In other cases, people wanting to die may be unable to kill themselves. “In 1973 George Zygmaniak was injured in a motorcycle accident near his home in New Jersey. He was taken to hospital, where he was found to be totally paralyzed from the neck down. He was also in considerable pain. He told his doctor and his brother, Lester, that he did not want to live in this condition. He begged them both to kill him. Lester questioned the doctor and hospital staff about George's prospects of recovery: he was told that they were nil. He then smuggled a gun into the hospital, and said to his brother: 'I am here to end your pain, George. Is it all right with you?' George, who was now unable to speak because of an operation to assist his breathing, nodded affirmatively. Lester shot him through the temple.” Taking Life: Humans PETER SINGER Excerpted from Practical Ethics, 2nd edition, Cambridge, 1993, pp. 175-217
Though the aforementioned example is extreme so is this topic. At any given time this issue could face us personally with us or our families. So again I ask who really has the right to make that decision? It seems to me that the greatest good for all depends on what side of the situation a person is on and their opinions on this matter. The amount of good accomplished and the intentions are all subjective.
Objection and Response
The case for voluntary euthanasia has some...