Voluntary Active Euthanasia

Healthy People 2020 Assignment
April 23, 2024
Stress and Health
April 23, 2024
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Voluntary Active Euthanasia


As used in the contemporary society, Euthanasia is thought as the “painless inducement of a quick death” However; It is contended that such a method fails to adequately define Euthanasia, as it is open to possibilities which could meet the needs of the description, but not classified as Euthanasia. In essence, circumstances where one individual kills the other, painlessly, but without reason beyond individual gain; or unintentional deaths that are painless and quick, but not deliberate. Euthanasia is categorized into various practices, voluntary Euthanasia, non-voluntary, and involuntary Euthanasia. Of interest to this paper is the voluntary Euthanasia. “The latter is understood to be active euthanasia following the consent of the person who loses their life.” A person in this case is a self-aware, rational entity. Therefore, there are good motives to allow for voluntary active Euthanasia and no convincing reasons to reject the practice, if well regulated.

Background information

  • Most utilitarians do not accept the presence of total natural human rights. In order to appreciate my opinion, it is essential to comprehend how utilitarians identify what reasons are.
  • To safeguard moralities, utilitarians suggest that specific guidelines founding basic assertions and liberties encourage greater satisfaction. “To have a right, then, is, I conceive, to have something which society ought to defend me in possession of. If the objector goes on to ask why it ought, I can give him no other reason than general utility.” Mill claims that we have significant responsibilities to safe and uphold the “essentials of human well-being.” (Habibi, 5)
  • Habibi explains that Mill tries to protect specific rights, for instance, the Liberty rights, like the freedom of articulating and issuing thoughts, and the liberty to join for any resolution, not including damage to others. Such rights only occur for “human beings in the maturity of their faculties.” The author suggests that we have the right to do anything we wish, so long as we do not openly hurt other individuals.


  • The argument outlined here supports the voluntary ACTIVE and not passive practice and not non-voluntary or involuntary euthanasia for a person. Moreover, the patient has to be competent, implying that they must possess autonomy, a right of self-determination.
  • The decision about other individuals must be directed by a concern for their personal welfare (Brock, 12). To influence autonomy, one needs an excellent reason to perceive that they are making them well off than they would be if they selected for themselves.
  • Proponents of voluntary active Euthanasia have suggested four principle opinions:
    • Individuals have a right to self-resolve, and thus must be granted a chance to select their destiny.
    • Helping a patient to pass on is a good option than leaving them to endure suffering.
    • The difference between passive Euthanasia, which frequently is acceptable and active Euthanasia, is never practical (Kuhse and Peter, 625).
    • Allowing active Euthanasia will necessarily not bring about undesirable consequences.
  • As a proponent of voluntary active Euthanasia, I still emphasize that choice is a principle for liberal democracy.
  • The suffering and pain that an individual feels during an illness, even under pain killer medications, can be incomprehensible to a healthy individual who has not yet experienced it (Sanders et al., 35). Even without thinking about physical pain, it is always hard for patients to feel overwhelmed by the emotional pain of losing their independence.
  • Currently, numerous nations, both developed and developing, are experiencing a shortage of hospital space. Medical practitioners and hospital beds may perhaps be utilized for individuals whose lives can be protected rather than enduring to sustain the lives of those who wish to pass on.
  • Thus increasing the overall care value and making short the medical institution’s waiting list.
  • It is a liability to hold onto individuals alive beyond the situation that they can add to society, more so if the funds utilized could be expended on coming up with a treatable illness.
  • A case in point is looking into nations such as Belgium and the Netherlands, where Euthanasia is legitimate.
  • In a study done by both wood and Justin in 2017 concerning the majority of Americans supporting Euthanasia, they noted that 73% of Americans support voluntary active Euthanasia, and a 57% agree with doctor-assisted suicide to be ethically tolerable.
  • Critics argue;
    • When Lewis was addressing the empirical slippery slope from voluntary to non-voluntary Euthanasia, he concludes that Euthanasia would overly compromise the proficient responsibilities of healthcare workers, mostly doctors, and physicians. They believe in the sworn Hippocratic Oath highly held by them.
    • Others view this act as a morally unacceptable event, which makes the act as a type of murder or suicide.
    • Quill et al., in a study done on palliative options other than Euthanasia argue that the implementation of active Euthanasia can only be considered ‘voluntary’ if the sick individual is psychologically capable of making a choice, for instance, has a reasonable comprehension of selections and penalties (5).


Although killing an individual is usually wrong and worse than murder “any life form” like an insect, which lacks self-awareness, in the situation of individuals, it is worse to reject voluntary active Euthanasia than to deliver it. To forbid it would be like to champion for less contentment, for it upholds the continually increased anguish of a self-cognizant human who wishes to terminate the misery.



Work cited

Brock, Dan W. “Voluntary active euthanasia.” The Hastings Center Report 22.2 (1992): 10-22.

Habibi, Don A. “Human rights and politicized human rights: A utilitarian critique.” Journal of    Human Rights 6.1 (2007): 3-35.

Kuhse, Helga, and Peter Singer. “Doctors’ practices and attitudes regarding voluntary             euthanasia.” Medical journal of Australia 148.12 (1988): 623-627.

Lewis, Penney. “The empirical slippery slope from voluntary to non‐voluntary euthanasia.” The         Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 35.1 (2007): 197-210.

Quill, Timothy E., Bernard Lo, and Dan W. Brock. “Palliative options of last resort: a             comparison of voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, terminal sedation, physician-       assisted suicide, and voluntary active euthanasia.” Giving death a helping hand. Springer,          Dordrecht, 2008. 49-64.

Sanders, Karen, and Chris Chaloner. “Voluntary euthanasia: ethical concepts and             definitions.” Nursing standard 21.35 (2007).

Wood, Jade, and Justin McCarthy. “Majority of Americans Remain Supportive of             Euthanasia.” Gallup.com, Gallup, 22 Oct. 2018, news.gallup.com/poll/211928/majority-        americans-remain-supportive-euthanasia.aspx.