There are various acts in the society that the public considers good or bad based on the ethical practices of the society. Utilitarianism is a concept in ethics that determines the wrong from the right by concentrating on the outcome of a situation. Ethical choices according to utilitarianism are the ones with the greatest benefit to most people in the society. Bentham’s felicific calculus argued that the moral wrongness or rightness of an action is dependent on the pain or pleasure it produced (Brunon-Ernst, p. 180). Euthanasia is one of the moral issues in the society today which has brought many arguments on its positive and negative side. It is, however, a good choice for many patients undergoing pain due to their illnesses.
Euthanasia is an act that has been debated over the years due to different perspectives on the issue. Some disregard due to religious concerns while others do not view it as ethical. People who face euthanasia are patients with terminal illnesses and have suffered from the pain which makes them rather die than live in suffering. Some of the terminal illnesses such as cancer especially in its advanced stages cause pain and suffering to a patient. It may be right to make the patient stay alive due to different perceptions of ethics however in utilitarianism; it is better to allow the patient’s life to be terminated instead of making them suffer to the end.
Euthanasia is a way of offering dignity to a person who is dying. People in the society require to be treated with dignity, care, and love and if a patient feels that someone will be done to their advantage, it should be implemented to make them feel cared for. There are patients who prefer dying before they are emaciated due to their illness (Velasquez, p. 558). As a way of honor and value to the patient, it is better to let the patient die in peace and dignity instead of feeling oppressed months or years later before they die.
Some illnesses especially when a patient is in a comma are financed consuming. Some families and friends of patients encounter financial constraints as a patient may not be recovering, and huge bills accumulate making it hard for them to pay at some point. From Bentham’s felicific calculus when people encounter financial constraints, they are in pain, and it makes the action wrong morally. People should manage to cater for their financial needs as well as those of their loved ones comfortably. Euthanasia enables the family of the patient to recover from heavy financial debts hence making it right.
On the other hand, family members of the patient to be prepared for the death of their loved ones. Many deaths occur unexpectedly which leaves most of their families and friends disappointed and wishing they had the opportunity to bid the person before they die. Euthanasia allows the family and friends of the patients to be prepared for his or her death hence they are less hurt due to the loss (Saaty, Thomas L, and Luis, p. 252). Based on felicific calculus, euthanasia as an action will relieve the pain of family members not having a chance to bid the patient before they die hence making it a right action.
In conclusion, utilitarianism and Bentham’s felicific calculus are used to determine the right or wrong actions in the society based on the impact of the action on the majority. Euthanasia is an act seeing as wrong because it is the killing of a person. However, it is right as it enables the family members of the patient to bid the patient and the patient is relieved from the persistent pain from the illness.
Brunon-Ernst, Anne. Beyond Foucault: New Perspectives on Bentham’s Panopticon. Farnham: Ashgate, 2012.
Saaty, Thomas L, and Luis G. Vargas. Models, Methods, Concepts & Applications of the Analytic Hierarchy Process. New York: Springer, 2012. Bottom of FormBottom of Form
Velasquez, Manuel G. Philosophy: A Text with Readings. Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2011. 558