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Doing Ethics by Ed. Lewis Vaughn, Research Paper Example

Pages: 7

Words: 2022

Research Paper

There are many topics are highly controversial both ethically and morally. Personal opinions weigh heavy and the discussions often end up heated. Abortion, euthanasia, doctor-assisted suicide, hospice, and capital punishment are all forms of ending human life. The debate for each one differs. There is no real way to know who is right and wrong, it will always be a personal debate based on ethics, morals, and religious viewpoints. Educating oneself to the specifics of abortion, euthanasia, doctor-assisted suicide, hospice, and capital punishment will aid in forming educated views on very controversial topics.

Abortion is a means to end a pregnancy in the early stages. The issues is prolife argue that a baby is a human at the point of conception, and therefore suicide is nothing more than murdering a child.  Prochoice argue that a woman has the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. They have determined a fetus is not yet classified as a human until later in the pregnancy. The main problem is the classification of when a fetus can be considered a human and at what point does a women lose her right to end a pregnancy.

Euthanasia is the termination of human life prematurely. This can be both voluntarily and involuntarily. An individual suffering from a life threatening condition may want to speed up the inevitable. A person on death row may involuntarily become a victim of euthanasia. The debate is whether it is legal to take a human life. Currently mercy killing is illegal, but it is legal in cases of criminal punishment. The problem with euthanasia is that the law justifies taking human life based on circumstances.   

Doctor-assisted suicide is a specific form of euthanasia. It is when doctors provide a lethal dosage of drugs in order to take a humans life. It has been called death with dignity. This is when patients are suffering from terminal, painful illnesses wanting to end their lives as a means of escape. The debate is whether it is sparing the human life from pain and suffering, or if it is murder.

Hospice is the extra care provided for individuals who are in their last stages of life. It is personal care, typically in the dying individual’s home. The controversy is primarily based on the cost of the personal care to keep them comfortable. They are usually highly medicated and not aware of the surroundings. Letting individuals suffer, painful and highly sedated, in their final days.  If death with dignity was allowed, it would be a much more humane way for a person to die.

Capital punishment is the execution of someone for the punishment of their crime. It is also called the death penalty. There are many debates to the ethical and moral grounds of it. How can a human determine if another human should live or die?  What if the criminal was not really guilty and he loses his life anyway? Taking a human life is and always will be a debate, regardless of the reasoning.

The pros and cons of abortion are very strongly, valid points. The pros include it is the woman’s right to choose if they want to have a baby. A fetus is not classified as a baby so they are merely ending a pregnancy, not killing a baby. Abortion is safe when performed by a professional.  It prevents brining unwanted children into a rapidly growing world.  And finally, it is a means to control excessive population growth. The cons include that it is a baby at the moment of conception therefore abortion is murdering a baby. Biblically abortion is killing and that is a sin.  Doctor takes the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, and abortion is a blatant violation of that oath.

Euthanasia also has its pros and cons. The positive sides of it include that is could end unnecessary pain.  It provides a means to end a situation of a person having to endure a long-low quality of life.  It can save an excessive amount of money caring for someone who dying.  And it is a freedom of personal choice. The negative sides are it devalues human life. Again this is violation of the Doctors oath to do no harm.  It is classifiably murder, regardless of the specific details.

There are many arguments for and against doctor assisted suicide as well. The pros argue it is a personal choice. By taking that choice away you are taking away personal freedom. It will end unnecessary pain and suffering. It is a much more cost effective option for someone who is dying.  The cons are it makes suicide an acceptable solution for society.   It could become a default solution for elderly and terminally ill, instead of doing everything we can to keep them alive, we simply assist with their suicide.  Finally who would be legally liable when suicide done and the family decide it was not the best option.

The pros of hospice are patients can die in their own home, without any extra ordinary measures being taken. They are usually kept comfortable and are able to minimize the pain. And it is recognition of the end of their life and it allows the family to spend the last days with them. The cons of hospice are that family is acknowledging their loved one has less than six months to live.The care is based on comfort not working towards finding a cure. It can be costly to keep this type of in home care.

Capital punishment is good because it takes dangerous criminals off of the street.  It will keep the prisons from overcrowding and it is a more feasible cost efficient way to keep the worst offenders from repeating the crime. This could also be considered the safest option as well, to ensure these criminals will never have the option to be on the street again. The cons of capital punishment are that it is allowing an individual an option to keep from doing their time behind bars.  It can be considered inhumane, killing is not humane. The death can be painful. And what if the individual was wrongly convicted, once they are put to death there is no reversing that or making it right.

It is hard to argue these highly controversial topics without having one’s own personal viewpoint on each of the topics. For abortion, it is very hard to separate the point when a baby becomes a baby.  Personally if I took a pregnancy test, and it showed positive, no matter how little of time that was, in my eye it would be a baby. So taking an easy way out of a difficult situation is hard to condone.  We have all been given the opportunity to live our lives to the fullest and to terminate a pregnancy robs that person of the same right. I hold this view to be correct because that is when I perceive a baby to be classified as a baby. The counter arguments change the classifications of when a fetus is actually a baby.  By doing that they are not seeing the human life they are taking, simply a prevention of bringing an unwanted baby into this world.   It is almost viewed as an additional means of birth control. I cannot change my personal viewpoint on this matter because I believe that a baby is actually a baby at the point of conception. Therefore calling it a fetus does not change the fact that it is still human life.

Euthanasia is an ethical and moral topic that my personal views are highly dependent on the situation.  By this I mean it would have to be a case by case situation. Ultimately this is murder, but there are situations were that is the best case scenario. If someone is in excruciating pain, but their family does not want to let go of that person, how would one be able to determine who is right?  Personally if I was dying I would rather it be a quick painless death, than a long drawn out painful one. Therefore to take a personal stand on euthanasia would have to be based on a specific instance not a generalized topic. I cannot state that I am correct in this opinion because I am neither for nor against it. Some argue that it is the best option in situations where the quality of life is non-existent.  However who can truly determine the quality of life except for that person living it?  I could not change my mind on the topic in general till I knew the specific situation. In some cases it is the best option of life and should be utilized. In other cases, it should not even be an option.

Doctor assisted suicide it a form of euthanasia. Personally I feel a little stronger about this topic than about the generalization of euthanasia. By this I mean, before one undergoes surgery there are various test and procedures done to ensure the surgery is in fact the only and best option for recovery. In situations where doctors assist in suicides, it would not be a practice taken lightly.  There would be test and procedures ran to see if this is the only option to spare a human life from unnecessary excessive pain. I believe my reasons are correct because doctors are to do no harm.  Therefore they would have the best interest of the patient in mind. The counter argument is that doctor assisted suicide is doing harm, however I do not agree with that theory. Sending a dying patient home in pain and suffering is doing more harm than speeding up the inevitable. I still believe that medical professionals will have the patient’s best interest in mind, even if that has to include assisting in suicide.

Hospice is a great option for a person dying to do so in their own home with as much dignity as possible.  Personally I would not find any type of joy by being cages up in a hospital. To know they my last days are coming soon, I would choose to spend my final days at home, where I am the most comfortable. The care is expensive, but so is staying in a hospital. Knowing that everything possible has been done that could be done, it is a great option to have someone come help keep the dying individual comfortable in their own home. Individuals argue that the cost is far greater than the benefit and that giving up on treating a patient is aiding in their death. However, doctors know the limitations of medical abilities, and when all options have been utilized, it is important to consider the next best choice.  There is no way to change a person’s mind on allowing a loved one to spend their last days in the place they are the most comfortable, in their own home surrounded by the ones they love.

Capital punishment is the best and only options in situations where the criminal have terrorized.  Personally I believe by taking another human life, there is no other option but to take theirs.  There are people who are locked up in jail for life because of the havoc they reaped on society.  Taking that life, it will keep society safe and prevent excess crowding in the jails. I believe this is the correct because of the Biblical philosophy of an eye for an eye. It is argued that capital punishment is inhumane and taking another’s life is nothing more than murder.  If that individual were to get out of prison, the likelihood they would repeat their offenses on society is high. Therefore it is simply a best case scenario for protecting society.

Educating oneself to the specifics of abortion, euthanasia, doctor-assisted suicide, hospice, and capital punishment will aid in forming educated views on very controversial topics. The more information that surfaces on these controversial topics the more personal viewpoints will change.  However, the laws that are currently in place support what they feel are the best protection for human life.  As time and society changes, so will these laws. The controversy that surrounds these topics will always be fueled by the personal opinions of those debating them.

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