Euthanasia may be defined as the action of killing an individual for reasons considered merciful

Euthanasia may be defined as the action of killing an individual for reasons considered merciful

Euthanasia may be defined as the action of killing an individual for reasons considered merciful. Throughout history Euthanasia (mercy killing) is a topic that has brought about many different opinions. There have been many discussions as well as court cases surrounding this controversial issue. Even though many have tried to tackle this issue, no one has succeeded without extreme criticism. Is there really an answer to the question of Euthanasia being right or wrong? An argument for Euthanasia is as follows: 1-The morally right thing to do, on any occasion, is whatever would bring about the greatest balance of happiness over unhappiness. 2-On at least some occasion, the greatest balance of happiness over unhappiness may be brought about by mercy killing. 3-Therefore, on at least some occasions, mercy killing may be morally right. (Rachels 100) Most philosophers today think that this argument isn’t sound because of the fact that premise 1 is wrong. They believe that increasing happiness and decreasing misery aren’t the only morally important things. People who give this argument get criticized highly for only looking at the consequences. People that argue against this argument believe that besides the consequences you must also consider other things such as Justice, Rights and Backward- Looking Reasons. An example for Justice as follows: Lets say that a Caucasian male rapes a Latin woman and it is known that if the culprit is not found soon that riots and chaos would occur. In this case a Utilitarian might say arrest any Caucasian male that fits the description of the criminal because this would prevents the riots from happening. This is would bring about the more overall happiness since many lives would be saved. But the problem is that we would be executing an innocent man, which in general is considered morally wrong. Rachels says “This argument illustrates one of the theory’s most serious shortcomings…


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