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The deliberate act of ending anothers life given his or her consent is formally referred to as euthanasia At present euthanasia is one of the most controversial social-ethical issues that we face in that it deals with a sensitive subject matter where there is much uncertainty as to what position one ought to take Deliberately killing another person is presumed by most rational people as a fundamental evil act However when that person gives his or her consent to do so this seems to give rise to an exceptional case This can be illustrated in the most common case of euthanasia where the person who is willing to die suffers from an illness that causes great pain and will result in his or her demise in the not-so-distant future In this case killing the person would seem to be the most humane and reasonable thing to do whereas keeping the person alive would be akin to torture which is also presumed to be a fundamental evil act But euthanasia in essence is murder and this might lead one to ask whether there can ever be an exception to murder And if one were to make an exception in this case what would then prevent us from making exceptions in other cases In the worst case scenario would this not leave an opening for cold-blooded murders to kill people without their consent and make false claims that they did have their consent There are a variety of positions based on the numerous ethical theories that have been developed that one can take in order to resolve the issue of euthanasia but the positions I will be looking at in particular are the positions based on John Stuart Mills Utilitarianism ethical theory and Immanuel Kants Categorical Imperative ethical theory According to Utilitarianism euthanasia can be morally justified whereas according to Kantianism euthanasia is not morally justifiable but I will argue that neither position provides an adequate resolution
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