Chapter 20 assisted Death debate I individual morality
Principle-based ethics: oriented towards the question –“What ought I do?” these claim to tell us what is the right thing
to do it is very similar view but it is not clear black & white What is right things to do?
Utilitarianism (greatest happiness theory), deontology (categorical imperatives), divine command theory
-gives no clear answers, rather give a framework with which to analyze difficult ethics questions
-all linkage through the individuality
-the difference from ancient time where important decision is made by us ourselves
-what are the point of the studying these principles, if they do not provide concrete answers?
-through these, there are more questioning & allow individuals to be more sensitive/informed of how the principles can
answers giving different approaches/decisions to make compare to others.
-these principles act as tools to expend understanding of the perspectives *however, there aren't absolute answers
Utility/happiness – as net happiness
Greatest Happiness Principle: wants us to maximize the greatest happiness for the greatest number/happiness overall
-utilitarianism supports Self-interest of the potential euthanasia patient –including views from: Bentham, Mill, Hardin
-looking at pro on euthanasia by allowing minimized suffering overall
Reasoning as follows: potential euthanasia patient has severe suffering that outweighs the potential suffering (pain of
loss, etc.) by relations to the death of the patient this claim can be tested by the fact that the family & other relations
do not go into grief so great from the euthanasia death that they consider suicide.
Thus, more happiness/less suffering –is maximized with the careful use of euthanasia
*but following greatest happiness raises a question, can more people benefit from keeping the 1 person
alive even if their pain were great pain? -if overall benefit is no-death -then it is better for not take a risk
there is still different view within utilitarianism: ** there is also Empiricism -theory based on science -looking at the
experience for sense of right/wrong-pleasure/pain
sacrificing/using other people for saving greatest pain
Bioethicist Marcia Angell: proposed that the availability of legal euthanasia may have ethical utility psychologically
-knowing that euthanasia is a legitimate option may relieve stress & anxiety linked with painful disabilities
J. Gay-Williams: views that utility could be reduced to negative utility if euthanasia became an expectation for
terminal patients or if a slippery slope were made social interest recognized
Respect for Persons
Autonomy: as rational agents, we must NOT allow anything to change our rationality
-it is reason that sets us free from nature, from the chains of causal relations & make us autonomou