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Moral & Ethical Concerns Regarding Euthanasia

Moral and Ethical Concerns Regarding Euthanasia One of the more controversial issues that medical scientists, religious leaders, political officials and ordinary people confront is the question of whether euthanasia is morally and/or ethically right. ôEuthanasiaö is a broad term for ômercy killing,ö or the taking of the life of a hopelessly ill or injured individual in order to end his or her suffering (Torr, 2000). This brief essay will first consider the distinction between the moral and ethical as they apply to euthanasia, and the identify how morality and ethics often overlap. The report will then offer an answer to the question of whether or not euthanasia is morally and ethically right.

Morality and ethics are often mistaken as synonymous. Morality, according to Webster (1994), encompasses the ability to make the distinction between that which is wrong and that which is right in conduct. It refers to the character of being in accord with the principles or standards of right conduct. Ethics, which Webster does subsume within the definition of morality, encapsulates a particular moral standard or system. Ethics are specific, for the most part, to a particular person, group, profession, or organization; it is socially centered and is the vehicle by means of which a set of moral standards are reinforced.

In the case of euthanasia, then, morality would refer to the rightness or wrongfulness of ending the life of a hopelessly ill or injured individual (Humphry, 2000). Ethically, the determination of whether such an act is right or wrong would proceed from the specific set of moral principles that a society or other entity holds valid. Derek Humphry (2000), who is a staunch advocate of both the morality and the ethics of euthanasia, argues that euthanasia is morally and ethically justified as a means of ending or relieving unbearable suffering only so long as it is limited to fully informed adults who specifically ...

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Moral & Ethical Concerns Regarding Euthanasia. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:07, August 12, 2020, from