Essay on Ethical Dilemmas

Published: 2021/11/11
Number of words: 1269

Euthanasia is an ethical dilemma that is present in society. Euthanasia refers to the act of deliberately ending an individual’s life to relieve them from suffering (Bellens et al., 2020). In hospitals, doctors perform euthanasia when requested by terminally ill patients and undergo a lot of pain. Therefore, the process would allow them to die quickly and end the suffering that they are undergoing. In the past, it was referred to as easy, painless, and happy death, and that it is the reasonability of the doctors to ensure that people do not suffer. The practice in the current society results in many debates as the term does not seem to be adequately defined. A number of actions would meet the requirement of being defined as euthanasia but cannot be defined as euthanasia. Some of such incidents may occur when an individual painlessly kills another person for their gain and accidental death quickly occurs painlessly. The fact that it gives an individual the power to take away another person’s life raises many concerns. Numerous individuals are affected by the patients’ issue; the method protects them, while some research indicates it may be ending their lives sooner.


The stakeholders affected by the issue of euthanasia include doctors, nurses, and the patient. In society, doctors and nurses have the role of ensuring that they alleviate their patients from suffering. For instance, the nurses are known to promote the patient’s dignity and relief from symptoms they may be suffering from and provide emotional support for them and their families. When it comes to death, the nurses tend to be prohibited but are supposed to provide support to the patients during such conversations. On the other hand, doctors tend to receive requests from patients concerning assisted suicide which is a conflicting issue regarding their duties of preserving life and relieving stress from the patient. Therefore, the doctors and nurses may be in a dilemma to ensure that the patients are not suffering. Similarly, the practice is supported by a patient’s autonomy. If the act is to be performed, the patient’s autonomy overrides all other moral principles regarding death, pain, and suffering. As a result, the issue results in a dilemma since the views and roles of the different stakeholders have to be addressed.

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In society, the life of individuals is protected by the law. As a result, all individual has the right to life, all other rights such as family, privacy, and liberty tend to be meaningless. The request is essential in society as it ensures that all individuals’ lives are treated with dignity despite the circumstances. However, there are instances where some individual the right or prohibition to take another individual’s life has been lifted in the law. For instance, in the tragedy of Tony Bland, the court found that it would be lawful to stop feeding the individual, thus allowing him to die (Brazier, 1996). Due to the nature of the issue in our society, there are countries where euthanasia is legal such as Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland (Abohaimed et al., 2019). However, the circumstances in which they act are allowed differ. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is permitted when the patient is undergoing unbearable pain, and it does not seem like their condition would improve. After an individual requests’ euthanasia, the doctors would check if they meet the criteria. In Belgium, all patients, including children, can request euthanasia if they are terminally ill. The practice is done in Switzerland. On the other hand, some countries do not allow assisted suicide to be practiced.


Euthanasia is applicable when the patient is undergoing a lot of pain and suffering, and their illness can not be cured. The purpose of medicine is to ensure that the patients are alleviated from suffering. If the medication falls short of curing or healing, the patient euthanasia comes in as an alternative. Before the decision is made that a patient meets the criteria of euthanasia, many factors should be considered, such as if the patient’s disease cannot be cured and their death is imminent. In such a case, the death process is an intervention that can be conducted on the patient. Correspondingly, the patients always think of euthanasia when they feel suffering since no individual requests such a producer in a lighthearted way (Mckenney, 2018). Therefore, most of the patients would consider it after they have suffered for a long time, and they feel that it would assist them in ending the long-suffering, thus alleviating the chronic pain they are suffering from. As a result, the method respects the patient’s autonym and ensures that the suffering of patients is alleviated.

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Euthanasia may result in the death of a patient that is not terminally ill. In research conducted in 2005, only one in five patients receive an accurate diagnosis of being terminally ill (Miller, n.d.). Therefore, about seventeen percent of the patients who receive such a diagnosis tend to live longer and sometimes much longer than the doctor has recommended. In such an instance, the patient may resort to euthanasia to relieve the suffering that would have probably ended, leading to their normal lives. Therefore, doctors should take care of the patients while they are suffering using other methods instead of taking an alternative such as euthanasia, which may cut their life short. Refraining from using such a method ensures that the patients enjoy their right to life. Additionally, most doctors usually do not accept to participate in the process. As a result of most doctors being reluctant to participate in the process, it may result in the patient making the wrong decision as they would probably need a doctor’s input when making such decisions. Therefore, their autonomy would be greater than any other alternative that any individual may suggest they take.

In society, the ultimate aim of medicine is to cure people and end their suffering. Unfortunately, there are instances where people suffer, and there is no hope to alleviate the situation, which results in euthanasia as an alternative to end their suffering. The stakeholders that the issue affects include the doctors, nurses as well as patients. All these individuals have a role to play in the impact of euthanasia in society. As much as their method is in use in some parts of the world, individuals’ lives tend to be considered sacred. Therefore, no one is supposed to take away another person’s life in any circumstance. However, the method still tends to be applied when people lose hope, especially while terminally ill. However, research indicates that some of the instances when patients are considered terminally ill are not correct, thus resulting in the method ending people’s lives in the cases where they would have survived.


Abohaimed, S., Matar, B., Al-Shimali, H., Al-Thalji, K., Al-Othman, O., Zurba, Y., Shah, N., & Abohaimed, S. S. (2019). Attitudes of Physicians towards Different Types of Euthanasia in Kuwait Significance of the Study.

Bellens, M., Debien, E., Claessens, F., Gastmans, C., & Dierckx de Casterlé, B. (2020). “It is still intense and not unambiguous.” Nurses’ experiences in the euthanasia care process 15 years after legalisation. Journal of Clinical Nursing29(3–4), 492–502.

Brazier, M. (1996). Euthanasia and the law. British Medical Bulletin 52(2), 317–325.

Mckenney, J. (2018). Informed Consent and Euthanasia: An International Human Rights Perspective. International and Comparative Law Review18(2), 118–133.

Miller, K. (n.d.). 18 Advantages and Disadvantages of Euthanasia | Retrieved July 8, 2021, from

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