In one of my classes, we had to pick a topic and a side. All through out my

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In one of my classes, we had to pick a topic and a side. All through out my research my- for the lack of a better term- opponent kept saying "euthanasia is the work of the devil!" I beg to differ, but I was wondering if my main arguement was valid: there is a creature in the prime of its age, suffering like no other in existence, and they are begging for it to end. Let's say this creature was a dog, we'd do it no problem. But I'd this creature was human, we would avoid euthanasia at all costs (or so it would seem). Why is this? And I don't want the overused "it's the law" stuff. I want the individual's view, not the government's or society's view.

Thank you for this inquiry! First off, unless you and others are actually working for Satan (I am joking here), then it is at least unfortunate that your interlocutor suggests the devil is on your side! Seriously, the key issues include what you allude to: if someone requests (for example) a heavy dose of morphine that will eliminate pain but at the same time cause death due (for example) to heart failure, then it is relevant to consider the degree of suffering, whether or not the patient has voluntarily requested such an end-of-life scenario, and it is very understandable that an appeal to what is the current law does not (alone) settle matters. As for the analogy with dogs or other creatures we euthanize, I suggest it may be dangerous to appeal to such practices to justify human euthanasia; after all, in practice we do all kinds of things with doges (walk them on leash) we would not want to apply to humans. I suggest that you might make clear to your "opponent" that you (assuming you do) only would morally and legally permit euthanasia under conditions when a subject is in intolerable, unrelieved suffering and recovery is not at all likely, the subject is voluntarily (and not a victim of inappropriate pressure from family members eager to get an inheritance), and any "euthanasia" might be better described as not prolonging death or dying rather than killing. I realize you do not want a reply that appeals to government practices, but it is worth noting that it may well be the case that it might be better to make such euthanasia illegal even if it is morally permissible, because of the probability of abuse. So, one might advocate a law outlawing euthanasia, while also arguing that it should not be officiously pursued, thus allowing some social or legal space for doctors and patients (with families) to identify particular cases in which rendering the pain-relieving morphine might not only eliminate pain, but be administered so as not to prolong (the presumed inevitability of) death.

This is an area that is (to me) deeply troubling, but I do find it not very helpful at all when one's interlocutor starts blasting you with being on the devil's side! It seems to me that so many issues involved with euthanasia include matters where even the angels might have different views.

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