Do You Think That the Right to Life Entails a Right to Die Under Certain Circumstances? Should the Law Be Changed to Grant a Universal Right to Voluntary Euthanasia?
I am going to answer these two questions in this essay. They are “Do you think that the right to life entails a right to die under certain circumstances?” and “Should the laws be changed to grant a universal right to voluntary euthanasia?”. In this essay, I am going to give reasons using ethical theories to justify these questions.
Euthanasia is the act of a physician or other third party ending a patient's life in response to severe pain and suffering. Euthanasia can be classified into three types. They are voluntary euthanasia, non-voluntary euthanasia and involuntary euthanasia. Involuntary euthanasia is the action that takes the patient’s life without any informed consent of the patient but the patient may want to live.
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Liberalism is political philosophy that emphasizes individual freedom and basic rights (Life, Liberty and Property). In the above example, if his relatives veto his will, they will not be allowed. There are reasons according the Liberalism, we have freedom to do anything on the condition that we do not harm any people. In this case, his relatives have a right to reject but the patient have a right to live or die. However, if the patient wants to die, it will harm to himself. This action will not be allowed and it will break the harm principle of the Liberalism. According to Confucianism’s theory was involved in being genuinely human and a good character. Being a good character would not kill out of any ill intention, but may let somebody die out of care for the particular individuals involved in the case. In the above example, if having voluntary euthanasia in order to reduce suffering, causing his death is done with good intentions and out of love and respect for the patient, then the decision would show good character.
In fact, voluntary euthanasia is prohibited in Hong Kong. However, most of the ethics theories support the example of voluntary euthanasia of a people who has persistent vegetative state wanted to die in order to reduce suffering that this action is right. Therefore, I think we should change the law to grant a universal right to voluntary euthanasia in order to reduce patient’s suffering. All in all, I