Euthanasia is a concept used in the medical field which means easy death or gentle death and is defined as the deliberate speeding up of the death of an individual based on terminal medical conditions Jonsen et al 2015 Euthanasia reflects one of the current debate issues health professionals encounter when caring for the end of life patients who are choosing between speeding up their death or living the rest of their life in pain In the fields of laws and regulations related to human health there is still a controversy over the concept of a peaceful death This ethical dilemma has health care providers making a decision to choose between two difficult options and are obligated to use moral reasoning to solve these legal and ethical risks Euthanasia s legal and ethical aspects are still debated in many countries in the world Withholding or withdrawing treatment of any patient has been never easy and is unable to be generalized Naga et al 2013
People are considered to be autonomous they have the power to decide when and how to end their lives Immanuel Kant s principle of autonomy justifies the claim that a human must never be used a mere means to another s end Kant s principle of autonomy is particularly useful and pertinent to all bioethical issues especially euthanasia Rohlf 2016 Ventilator termination is a complex process and is now considered as ethically and morally acceptable as legal precedents and enthusiasts have deemed that if the quality of life is unacceptable to the patient removing a ventilator from an awake patient is ethically equivalent to removing a ventilator from a patient who is unaware One benefit is that the provider can be confident of the patient s actual wishes However one must ensure durability of the patient s desire and an absence of reversible reasons for desire to hasten death such as clinical depression concerns of being a burden to family or uncontrolled pain Chen 2015 Critical care providers should be comfortable and familiar with this topic The ethical framework for arguing for or against euthanasia is a complex system because death is typically seen as bad in society When looking at euthanasia it is important to remove associated emotions that are involved deontology allows us to do so The action is based on whether or not the action itself is wrong under a series of rules rather than based on the consequences of the actions Webster s 2014 The ability to act morally one must follow one s moral duties Mackinnon et al 2014
Patient centered deontology is specific to euthanasia as it is dependent upon patient s consent Jim desires the removal of the ventilator to avoid pain and discomfort Although Kant would believe that euthanasia is morally impermissible autonomy is used for arguing that euthanasia is morally permissible when the patient has consented No one forced Jim into this decision he exercised his rights to acting as a free rational being Jim is acting on voluntary active euthanasia he is giving consent and has acknowledged all the legal implications Refusal of a patient s wishes would deprecate a patient s autonomy by impeding them from acting as an end in themselves as well as belittling them as a person Overall euthanasia is a debatable and difficult issue patients have to deal with to express their autonomic rights There are multiple factors correlated with each individual case An individual with a terminal illness with no cure should be able to consent to the ability to end their life on their own means Patient centered deontology is the best ethical framework for evaluating the moral permissibility of euthanasia It allows Patient autonomy and making judgments based on the act and agent themselves rather than the consequences Nathan 2015 There is no difference in active and passive euthanasia they are morally permissible and that the distinction between active and passive euthanasia in itself actually diminishes the autonomy of the patient because this deems the agent as external in contrast to the patient acting as the agent
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