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Acceptability of Euthanasia: Moral and Humanistic Views


Euthanasia is one of the most disputable questions of the modern age which are given great attention in terms of the increased importance of humanistic values and reconsideration of the value of human life. There are vigorous debates related to the possibility of the usage of the given procedure in terms of the modern health care sector. In general, the topicality of the given question also comes from the further sophistication of the approaches peculiar to the coherent society.

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At the moment, any death is considered a great tragedy that should be avoided by all means. For this reason, the desire of an individual to terminate life and cease the moral of physical sufferings could not but spark public outcry. Furthermore, the ability of a person to manage his/her own life and make decisions of this sort are also disputable (Mill, 2008). These concerns predetermine the divergence of perspectives on the issue.

Besides, both opponents and adherers of this idea tend to explore various ethical theories like the deontological one to give grounds for their basic assumptions and prove their perspective. For this reason, when trying to highlight the most important concerns of the topic, numerous ethical questions, and significant problematic aspects that are usually discussed when cogitating about this very issue. Altogether, euthanasia is one of the most controversial issues of the modern era that could be discussed in terms of the deontological ethical theory.

Theory explanation

Yet, deontology provides an ethical basis for certain actions and their nature. Besides, it is the ethical position that “falls within the domain of moral theories that guide and assess our choices of what we ought to do, in contrast to those that guide and assess what kind of person we are and should be” (Larry & Moore, 2016, para. 1). In other words, when making a certain decision or creating a certain approach, a person should keep in mind the idea that the final result of an action is not so important if the action itself violates a certain duty (MacIntyre, 1984).

When a person wants to act in a certain way, his/her ethical considerations should be the most important concerns that should be minded. One realizes the fact that every individual has his/her mentality and point of view on the existing reality that also impacts the evolution of his/her sense of duty and approaches towards some actions. In this regard, adhering to the deontological ethics the only thing a person should consider when accepting a crucial decision is his/her understanding of duty.

For this reason, the final result does not matter greatly. The basic assumptions of the given theory could be used when revolving around the question of euthanasia and the attitude to it as the theory provides the rationale for the given decision. Any person must live a happy life and enjoy every moment. At the same time, he/she is not obliged to live if the perspective or chance for the improvement is absent. Under these conditions, deontological ethics could be used to support euthanasia and assure people in the ethically acceptable character of this action.

Theory application

Applying the theory to real-life conditions, it is crucial to outline several important facts. First of all, euthanasia presupposes cessation of suffering by terminations of an individuals life. In other words, we could speak about the decision that leads to the ethically unacceptable result as the life of any person is sacred, and it should be protected. Moreover, no one is allowed to terminate it.

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From this perspective, euthanasia could be considered a horrible action that should be strictly prohibited. Nevertheless, the main ideas of deontology could help to alter the attitude to the question and suggest another perspective on it. As stated above, the result of any action is not so important as the motifs that conditioned the appearance of a certain desire to act in one or another way. If a person is sure that he/she is obliged to live happily, all his/her decisions should aim at the improvement of the quality of life.

However, in case a person suffers from a terminal illness, it is impossible to expect any significant enhancement as a person might be doomed to endless suffering. Moreover, some patients might also become disabled and turn into a real burden for their relatives and close people. Under these conditions, his/her sense of duty might impact decision making and make euthanasia acceptable. A person can manage his/her own life and if he/she is sure that it is the only possible decision, the opportunity to act in the given way should be provided.


Yet. certain objections could be raised when speaking about euthanasia. First, suffering from unbearable pain and being in the state of altered conscious an individual might be not able to think logically and will accept any decision to avoid the further complication of his/her state (Kass, 1991). In this regard, if all persons decisions, actions, and solutions could not be taken sound enough to use euthanasia. Moreover, another argument against euthanasia is focused on the great importance and significance of every individual’s life (Hursthouse, 1999).

It means that suffering and pain are not so important if to compare it with an opportunity to live and remain a member of society, communicate with close people, and enjoy other significant phenomena. This approach emphasizes the value of life and decreases the importance and impact of pain and suffering. Yet, a person should be able to face any challenges that appear on his/her way and live life in the way which is predetermined (Mosser, 2013). Finally, one also could say that any person must remain strong and protect his/her close people from pain. Yet a decision to terminate life will shock members of a persons family and make them unhappy.


Altogether, euthanasia could be considered one of the most disputable concerns of a coherent society. The nature of this procedure and its result contribute to the appearance of vigorous debates around the acceptability of the given practice.

Yet, deontology provides the basis for specific decision-making that results in the appearance of a desire to terminate life and avoid further suffering. Adhering to the given approach, a person might consider only the motifs that impact his/her decision while the result is not so significant. Yet, there are still opponents of the idea who are sure that an individual who suffers from a terminal illness is not able to think logically and clearly which means that the given decision could not be accepted. Besides, euthanasia could be considered a procedure that could be used to cease suffering and avoid deterioration of the situation.


Hursthouse, R. (1999). On virtue ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Kass, L. R. (1991). Why doctors must not kill. Commonweal, 118(14), 472-476. Web.

Larry, A. & Moore, M. (2016). Deontological ethics. Web.

MacIntyre, A. (1984). After virtue. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.

Mill, J. S. (2008). Utilitarianism, In J. Bennett (Ed. & Rev.) Early Modern Philosophy. Web.

Mosser, K. (2013). Understanding philosophy. Web.

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