Capital Punishment and Euthanasia

Table of Contents
Table of Contents 1
Introduction 2
The Case of Euthanasia 2
The Case of Death Penalty 6
References 11


There has been much ethical and legal debate over the intrinsic differences between various approaches to end-of life. This debate has intensified as advances in medicine have increased longevity but also have prolonged the dying process through life-sustaining procedures and a lot of attention has been paid over the issue of the relationship between euthanasia and human dignity. Human dignity can be described as β€œa descriptive and value laden quality encompassing self-determination and the ability to make autonomous choices, and implies a quality of life consistent with the ability to exercise self-determined choices.” (Biggs, 2001)

The present assignment investigates of euthanasia and death penalty and the ethical issues involved in these subjects.

The Case of Euthanasia

Cicely Saunders, who was born in 1918 in England and was distinguished in 1980 by Queen Elizabeth with the medal of the British Empire and was given high honours for her innovative work in the hospitalizing movement, has always been against euthanasia and its legalization: β€œTo make voluntary euthanasia lawful would be an irresponsible act, hindering help, pressuring the vulnerable, abrogating our true respect and responsibility to the frail, and old, the disabled and the dying.” According to Saunders the elder people are not a load to the young ones but an important part of our society and we should take care of them, otherwise human beings will turn out to be egoistic and without morals. The answer would be a better support of the dying process, in order to offer the least harmful possible last moments to the dying person (Rizzo, 1993).

In literature, there are three types of euthanasia: passive euthanasia defined as the withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining measures, active euthanasia defined as the conscious medical...