Module 11 & Case Study
July 18, 2019
Position on the case
I think it is ethical to let Cervando die because keeping him alive will only prolong his suffering and pain. There are very limited, in fact no chances of his recovery and he may die in few days according to Dr. Magel. The condition of the boy is critical as his body has severe burns and lungs are also damaged badly. In the present scenario keeping him alive will be of no good.
Deliberate termination of life is involve issues related to euthanasia. Utilitarian theory of ethics can be used for determining the implications of euthanasia in present scenario. According to utilitarian approach it is ethical to choose the course of action that leads to the advantage for the maximum number of people. It will be ethical to give euthanasia to Cervando because it will lead to the best interest of greater number. Keeping him alive will add financial pressure on his mother because the treatment involve huge money. However, the chances of recovery are limited. The doctor has also suggested that gaining health status and reuniting to normal is not possible in this case. The theory of utilitarianism states that the decision is ethical that is based on the outcomes. The argument is also justified on the basis of voluntary euthanasia stating that, “choice is a fundamental democratic principle” CITATION Phi092 \l 1033 (Pecorino). Every patient has a right to choose if he wants to prolong illness or not. By giving drugs to the boy, he will get rid of the unnecessary pain. The argument can also be justified by identifying the nature of euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is ethical because the doctors will not take life of the patient to die deliberately but only allow them to die. This means that the doctors will only refrain from giving prescribed drugs that could prolong life of the patient.
Flaws of other position
Opponents of euthanasia states that it is unethical to kill anyone irrespective of their condition. Their argument is supported by Natural Laws claiming that only God can take lives of humans. Natural law states that “people cannot live moral lives unless they follow God’s moral teachings” CITATION Phi092 \l 1033 (Pecorino). According to this philosophy it is always unethical to kill human beings willingly. They also claim that non-voluntary and voluntary euthanasia is unethical.
The criticism made by the opponents is invalid because the argument has not differentiated between active and passive euthanasia. Passive euthanasia can be used for patients who are undergoing severe pain and the chances of regaining health are minimal. Voluntary euthanasia involve direct consent of the person so
I think it is ethical to administer voluntary euthanasia that will involve consent of the patient’s mother. The argument can also be justified by stating that the selected course of action is based on passive euthanasia that means that the death is not caused deliberately but the patient is just allowed to die.
Material concerning case
HYPERLINK "https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/landmark-ruling-supreme-court-says-passive-euthanasia-is-permissible-with-riders/articleshow/63228770.cms" https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/landmark-ruling-supreme-court-says-passive-euthanasia-is-permissible-with-riders/articleshow/63228770.cms
The popular case of Aruna Shanbaug of 2011 caused Supreme Court to declare passive euthanasia as permissible and ethical. The patient was undergoing severe illness and doctors predicted death without any hope of recovery. The court allowed to withdraw life-sustaining treatment. The decision was made on the basis of living will indicating that the patient has the right to choose euthanasia or life. The court stated that it is important to consider the consent of the patient before choosing euthanasia. This also reflects that active euthanasia was not supported by the court CITATION ET18 \l 1033 (ET). The case analysis indicates that it is not appropriate to give drugs when
The source highlights views of physicians associated with the use of active and passive euthanasia. Most of the doctors believe that it is ethical to administer passive euthanasia. The views of the doctors reveals that many patients undergoing severe health conditions are unable to get rid of pain because hospitals restrict doctors for using the option of euthanasia. However, according to them it is better to let patient die by withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. This is because sometimes treatments only prolong disease and suffering. The doctors also suggests that taking consent from the patient will not make passive euthanasia unethical. This will also allow hospitals to save resources for the larger population CITATION Ale184 \l 1033 (Castillo and Castillo).
Kenneth R Stevens a doctor at Oregon Health and Science University claims that hospitals must allow passive euthanasia in critical situations where treatment is only adding to the suffering. Death With Dignity Act allow doctors to withdraw life-sustaining treatment or medications when patients have given consent. Stevens states that legalizing passive and voluntary euthanasia will save hospitals for its misuse CITATION Ron181 \l 1033 (Pies). Passive euthanasia is ethical when it involve consent of the patient. The views of Stevens states that it is the right of the patient to choose passive euthanasia or to prolong illness.
Ramakanta Panda, the chairman at Mumbai’s Asian Heart Institute speaks in favor of passive euthanasia. Panda states that it is the right of the patient who is suffering from disease to choose death or life. Sometimes restrictions on passive euthanasia restrict doctors to withdraw medications even when the patients are willing for that. Panda claims that it is ethical to administer passive euthanasia when it involve consent of the patient CITATION Kav14 \l 1033 (Devgan).
BIBLIOGRAPHY Castillo, Alejandro Gutierrez and Javier Gutierrez Castillo. "Active and Passive Euthanasia: Current Opinion of Mexican Medical Students." Cureus 10.7 (2018).
ET. Landmark ruliing: Supreme court says passive euthanasia is permissible. 2018. 18 07 2019 <https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/landmark-ruling-supreme-court-says-passive-euthanasia-is-permissible-with-riders/articleshow/63228770.cms>.
Devgan, Kavita. The euthanasia debate: which side is your doctor on? 2014. 18 07 2019 <https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/rgWwzDMlkvm4bkuKohMS1M/The-euthanasia-debate-which-side-is-your-doctor-on.html>.
Pecorino, Philip A. Medical Ethics . The City University of New York , 2009.
Pies, Ronald W. How does assisting with suicide affect physicians? 2018. 18 07 2019 <http://theconversation.com/how-does-assisting-with-suicide-affect-physicians-87570>.
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