STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The two possible outlooks to life are optimism and pessimism. Optimism preaches that human value will persist no matter what problems interfere in the process of achieving them. Pessimism on the other hand maintains the view that the goals (Good one) of life are already missed however hard one perseveres. Whereas, optimism draws from evidence beyond the given concretize hope that future goals must be achieved, pessimism overlooks presently given evidences to draw the conclusion that man’s effort must be ineffectual.1
Why this review analysis of optimism and pessimism? This is because euthanasia and the debate surrounding it have produced two camps. The first remains the optimists who considering the fact that life is seen as being held by man in trust, refused to support euthanasia or any artificial way of stopping life. They remain the optimists who believe that no matter what human being call terminal sickness, the hope of recovering from them is all bright.2 Therefore, terminating such life is not only morally wrong but against God. The owner of life.
The pessimists are those who claim that the aberration on life are enough for the owner to extinguish it.3 Therefore, they would not mind disentangling themselves from this world via euthanasia.
Hence the practice of euthanasia has always been one of the issues considered when the justification of an action is being probed. The ethical philosophers periscopes the importance of euthanasia on human life. When humanity thinks that life does not benefit the owner anymore. Ethics in this sense is that branch of philosophy that stands for the study or justification of the rightness or wrongness of human action and euthanasia is subjected to such justification. Is it right or wrong to carry out euthanasia? If it is wrong, what are the criteria that make the action to be wrong? Who in the first place decides whether or not euthanasia should be administered? Is it the patient, the immediate family members or the society? The fact remains that life was (is) never created by the person bearing it and killing or letting die is not as such justifiable.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
There is no doubt that there must be divergent views whenever euthanasia is discussed. This was due to the human life that involves. This human life believes to be the handwork of the Supreme Being and no man’s obliged under any condition to take or end the life. This essay work in this respect, intend to analyze the possibility of entertaining the practice of euthanasia when life turns to be a burden with incurable diseases, excruciating pain being a state of restless and poverty to the immediate relatives and equally being a tremendous liability to the society as a whole. Hence of what benefit will a hopeless life be to the bearer? 4
Having stated the above fact, it is my submission in this thesis that euthanasia from its supporters who would be morally justified on a sick person suffering from incurable disease.5 Hence, relieving the patient in question from the pains is not only morally right but morally justified because the person will still die after a lot of pains.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION
The scope of this essay is the analysis of the practice of euthanasia and the professional medical ethics. This essay will look at the conditions under which euthanasia is right and its wrongness and the ethics of medical profession.
The advice and the intellectual contribute of my supervision will be effectual in this task. The services of the philosophy library and the main library of Olabisi Onabanjo University will also be at my disposal.
ORGANIZATION OF CHAPTERS
In the research, I argue under the four chapter’s regimentation that dominated the research work that man holds life on trust and this trust must not be violated by any man. This is true because if men never contributed in bringing life into existence, then man has no right to take, terminate or negate it.
The first chapter (chapter one) will serve the purpose of conceptual clarification of the most of the terms that would by adopted in this essay. The Hippocratic Oath and the ethics of medical profession will also be discussed via-a-vis with the administration of euthanasia by the medical professionals, I will also define and explain the meaning of
euthanasia, raising fundamental question that touches human life and the termination of such life.
The second chapter shall be directed towards the explanation and the discussion of the immorality of euthanasia. The discussion of immorality of euthanasia is in this sense pertinent as to uncover the wrongful killing or a deliberate killing of patient(s) under the disguise of euthanasia6
The third chapter shall be the most viable chapter which would be designed for the moral justification of euthanasia. The justification shall be premised on relieving the patient from pain, in which case one is helped out of the feeling of pain. The diseases such as acute ulcer, total break down of the systems (especially with AIDS patient) can necessitate euthanasia. In another way, if there is “right to life” then there must be necessary the “right to die”, therefore when there is need to administer euthanasia the later (right to die) must be considered.
The family, societal and psychological disposition must also be considered under this chapter. When life turn to be burden both for oneself, family and the society, terminating of such life should then be approved. Money, time and energy that are being incurred to care for such a person suppose to be channeled to other areas of human and societal development. As a sequel to this, cleansing of the society is also necessary. Hence, the arrangement of utilitananism shall ensued which claim that an action is good if such an action tends to benefit the greater number of the people. Cleansing of the society shall be discussed under this chapter as a way of preventing the spread of incurable diseases.7
The fourth chapter (chapter four) shall be the concluded part. This chapter contains the position and the suggestion of the writer. Some ethical principles shall be employed to consolidate this fact. The ethical principles such as utilitarianism and egoism are to be argued as the borderline for the application of euthanasia. The justification of ethical principles in Yoruba thought and the conception of attitude towards the terminally sick person will be considered.