The Ethics of Euthanasia: A Comparison of Vellman, Hardwig, and Hooker

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Essay #: 073400
Total text length is 4,195 characters (approximately 2.9 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
The Ethics of Euthanasia: A Comparison of Vellman, Hardwig, and Hooker
According to Vellman, we would be better off not being offered the choice to live or die. His argument for this is that by being offered this problematic choice we are worse off than we were before. We are worse off, according to Vellman, because of the pressure from having to make a decision, from being deprived of the status quo of not having to make a decision (which is different from having to choose the status quo), as well as the negative implications of being given that choice. Vellman points out that being given an option with such entailments can be worse for the person even if that person makes the choice that is best for themselves. The most important way the...
The end:
..... a method to analyze and explore the issues. It would be difficult, of course, to find hard and fast data to insert into a magical utility equation that could allow us to estimate the costs and benefits of different types of euthanasia legislation, but by doing so one avoids the chimeras of both Hardwig's emotional irrationality and an out-of-hand abdication of our free will, which Vellman would seem to require.
Euthanasia is an important issue that should not be taken lightly. All of the above authors contribute interesting and thoughtful perspectives to the debate surrounding it, but if legislation is to be implemented in a democratic society, then people's freedom of choice must be expressed and the costs and benefits to society weighed.