Euthanasia referred to as compassionate killing


Euthanasia, also known referred to as compassionate killing, is an issue that has generated plenty of debate in both medical and academic circles. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter, even when none of those taking part in the argument have experienced the euthanasia. While some believe that the euthanasia is a good medical practice, others hold the notion that it is not justifiable and should, therefore, be done away with (Barbra 73). In my perception, euthanasia is not justifiable, and for that reason is a problem to society. Not only is it wrong to kill a human being, taking the life of a helpless human being is an act that is beyond the definition of murder. To get more insight into the issue, I conducted two interviews, one with a doctor and the other with a philosophy professor to obtain clarification on the matter.

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Accordingly, this paper presents two dialogues illustrating my complaint, which is the practice of euthanasia, its background, and the reason for this complaint. The dialogue also touches on some of the counter arguments for my complaint, as well as, the solution for the problem of euthanasia.



Dialogue with Doctor

Interviewer:     In your definition of the act, What is euthanasia?

Doctor:            Euthanasia is the process of inflicting death for mercy purposes (Barbra 74)

Interviewer:     Please expound on that

Doctor:            It is whereby medical practitioners, as well as, other qualified professionals inflict

death as a solution for patients who are suffering from terminal illnesses

Interviewer:     For how long has euthanasia been practiced in the field?

Doctor:            Theoretically, euthanasia has been conducted for many years dating back to the 16th century. However, practically, euthanasia was first practiced legally in the early 18th century to date

Interviewer:     Are you aware of the controversy surrounding the subject of euthanasia? Or rather are you aware of the problem of euthanasia?

Doctor:            Yes I am. Euthanasia is a problem because it is believed to be the wrongful killing of human life. Most people believe that it is equitable to murder and is not justifiable

Interviewer:     I believe so too. I believe that euthanasia is murder and it should not be practiced at all costs. In fact, it should be made illegal

Doctor:            I disagree with you on that. making it illegal would mean watching patients suffer to their last breath.  Euthanasia is painless and it relieves pain that would otherwise not be manageable

Interviewer:     How is euthanasia conducted? And is there a special technique that has been

accepted by all medical practitioners for conducting euthanasia?

Doctor: As a matter of fact, yes there is. The only technique of euthanasia that has been

accepted for practice is the injection of an overdose of painkillers to patients (Brassington 415). However, other medical practitioners would prefer lethal injection

Interviewer:     What is the difference between lethal injection and an overdose injection

Doctor:            Lethal injections involve the use of lethal substances such as poison, whereas an

overdose injection is solely dependent on the use of prescription drugs

Interviewer:     In your own personal opinion, do you think that the practice of euthanasia is


Doctor:            Yes I do

Interviewer:     Why so?

Doctor:            Because of the nature of the practice and the need for it

Interviewer:     Explain, please

Doctor:            Well, Euthanasia is only performed on patients who have been diagnosed with

terminal diseases (Parker 30). These are diseases that do not have a cure, meaning that the end result for the patient is the death

Interviewer:     Meaning that it is justifiable because the patient will die in the end?

Doctor:            No. Meaning that it reduces the pain experienced from an incurable disease. It is a

painless procedure, whose main aim is to reduce pain and suffering for the patient

Interviewer:     Who decides whether the patient should be subjected to Euthanasia?

Doctor:            The patient, his family, as well as, the patients’ doctor. All three people play a role

in deciding this

Interviewer:     Would a doctor carry out euthanasia without the consent of the patient?

Doctor:            No. conducting euthanasia without the patient’s consent is a criminal activity that

is surmountable to murder (Lillehammer 550)

Interviewer:     So in your own point of view euthanasia is legal and should be an accepted

practice in the medical field

Doctor:            Yes it should, as it helps reduce suffering for terminally ill patients. Illegalizing

euthanasia will not only be unjustified, but it will also be unfair for these patients.

Interviewer:     Thank you, Doctor, for your assistance

Doctor:            You are welcome



Dialogue with University Philosophy Professor

Student:          I think euthanasia is immoral and should not be an accepted practice. Do you

agree with me?

Professor:        No. Euthanasia is both legally and ethically justified meaning that it is a moral act

Student:          What is your understanding of moral actions? Because in my perception anything

that takes away human life, is immoral. We all desire to live and live long for that matter, so taking another human being’s life is immoral (Barbra 76)

Professor:        In my opinion, moral actions are actions that bring the most pleasure to

individuals and if the infliction of death will bring pleasure to terminally ill patients, then euthanasia should be a legalized medical practice

Student:          I do agree with your ideologies concerning moral actions, but I do not agree that

the infliction of death is the most acceptable course of action for these patients. Human rights demand that each individual have the right to life, and taking away this life goes against these rights

Professor:        Human rights also supports reducing the suffering of any kind for human beings. As a

matter of fact, human rights is all about condensing and abolishing human suffering. Euthanasia provides this solution

Student:          The ethical values associated with euthanasia make this issue problematic and

immoral. Consider the case where there is a misdiagnosis, or maybe there is a chance of survival (Parker 29). Who are we to decide whether or not an individual will live or die

Professor:        We shall all die eventually, death is inevitable. Furthermore, Euthanasia cannot be

conducted without the consent of the patient or his family. Therefore, the choice is the patients. he chooses whether to live or die. He has a right over his own life. And to deny him this right goes against the demands of human rights

Student:          When deciding whether to undergo euthanasia, patient’s are physically and

emotionally unstable and the decisions made at this time may be irrational and based on the need to reduce the pain experienced. Allowing euthanasia to be practiced in our hospitals will only lead to a state known as the “Slippery Slope” where doctors will take advantage of its legalization, and decide to play God (Lillehammer 547). There is a possibility that medical practitioners will also choose to be indolent in their duties and responsibilities and instead of treating these patients, they will opt to perform euthanasia.

Professor:        I agree with that and believe that euthanasia should be conducted in a cautious

manner and should be carried out after severe scrutiny of the patient’s situation. This is the only way that euthanasia can be effectively and efficiently carried out, without going against its moral demands.

Student:          The only viable solution to this problem is illegalizing euthanasia. By doing this,

the possibility of patients dying as a result of misdiagnosis will be reduced. Doctors and other supporters of the act should accept that death is inevitable and for that reason, should allow nature to take its course

Work Cited

Barbara MacKinnon. Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

Publishing Company, 2008. Print.

Brassington, Iain. Five Words for Assisted Dying. Law and Philosophy 27.5 (2008): 415-444.


Lillehammer, Hallvard. Voluntary Euthanasia and the Logical Slippery Slope Argument. The

Cambridge Law Journal 61.3 (2002): 545-550. Print.

Parker, Malcolm. Moral Intuition, Good Deaths, and Ordinary Medical Practitioners. Journal of

Medical Ethics 16.1(1990): 28-34. Print.

“Writing Dialogue”. 6 November 2007. Web. 19 October 2011. << http://creative-writing->>

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