Due to the intrinsically subjective nature of such complaints from a patient, the critical factor to be considered in the ethics of requests to die will be how the patient views their suffering and quality of life, not the observations of third parties. In this essay I will argue that if a patient makes a considered request to die rather than suffer prolonged physical or mental agony, then those who have the capability to do so should honor that request. I further argue that such an action is entirely morally justifiable. For the purposes of this essay I will use euthanasia to mean “directly or indirectly bringing about the death of another person for that person’s sake,” with passive euthanasia being synonymous with “letting die” and active euthanasia involving a direct action.
The University of Puget Sound
"Protecting Patients’ Autonomy: Supporting the “Right to Die”,"
Sound Decisions: An Undergraduate Bioethics Journal:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/sounddecisions/vol1/iss1/2