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Euthanasia - Arguments

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According to Jan Narveson, "euthanasia occurs when one person brings about the death of another in the belief that the latter's death is a good to that person" (Narveson, 1999). His arguments surrounding euthanasia bring about valid concern and entity. He presents a generally neutral argument in creating a philosophical overview that incorporates logical and rational thinking of the general population. Throughout his discussion, he presents six valid arguments upon which each one differs one from the other in a succinct manner.

The first argument draws upon the distinction between euthanasia and several other related issues. For one, it was stated by Narveson that it can be questioned if it is even morally just to "ease" ones death of an individual who is dying anyway. Or whose condition is at any rate so severe that the patient would have induced suicidal thoughts. However the case may be, it's sufficient enough to say what does not constitute as euthanasia. Euthanasia does not question eugenics, nor of murder, or of allowing human vegetables to die; in addition to nor questioning what to do about defective newborns (1999).

The second, which is a standard case of euthanasia, is one in which one has the consent, or even the request of the patient to "ease" his/her passing in the event of illness and near death. In such an instance, the patient is already said to be dying and suffering, or is placed in an unbearable existence in which he/she prefers to not have to endure. Thus, in an instance where that person is in a position of rational suicide, if they are unable to act, then someone else must act if he/she cannot do so in their own power. Narveson went on to suggest that "if suicide is morally acceptable, then this type of euthanasia must be, too, in principle" (1999).

The third argument, surrounds those patients whom have left no such a request in the past and are unable to address the question at hand due to their physical/mental state. Hence, it becomes a conflict of asking ourselves, what would the patient have wanted in such an instance? As the author goes on to say, from past knowledge of the patient, and through conversing with family and friends a plausible conclusion is likely. However, "here the suggested conclusion is that we then do that, whatever it is, and assuming that we don't think her reasoning too much in error and that we are willing to bear the costs of the selected option" (Narveson, 1999). In other words, the person or persons involved in the assisted death, must look upon the consequences if any were to arise from that particular situation (I.e. guilt).

The fourth case comes to hand when one wouldn't know at all what the person would have wanted, hence one must go on their own judgments and consider the idea of whether or not that person's life was indeed worth living. In order to obtain such a decision, one would need to hold some kind of philosophical thinking. As Narveson suggests, "most people will say: if her life is nothing but pain and suffering,



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