Discussion 3

Now consider a hypothetical case of a young woman the same age as Brittany. Let\’s call her Rosa. Like Brittany, Rosa lives an active life and loves the outdoors. One day, she has an accident that paralyzes her from the waist down. After she heals from the accident, she is not in severe pain, but she becomes deeply depressed knowing she will never walk again. Rosa wants to be euthanized, or, if no one will do that, she wants a prescription of a lethal medication so she can commit suicide.

In your post, compare the case of Rosa with the case of Brittany Maynard. Explain whether you think there was anything ethically problematic in Brittany\’s choice to take advantage of physician-assisted suicide. Then, explain what you think should be done (from an ethical perspective, not a legal perspective) in Rosa\’s case. What are the ethically relevant differences between the two cases? Should a doctor comply with Rosa\’s wishes to be euthanized, or to write a prescription for lethal drugs? In general, what are the conditions under which someone can ethically request suicide assistance, and a physician can ethically comply? Justify your answer by appeal to more general ethical principles which you find plausible (consider, e.g., the various principles we discussed earlier in this course).

In your post, make sure you focus on ethical issues, not legal ones. In the U.S., active euthanasia is illegal. But let\’s put that aside to focus on the ethical issues.

 

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