Euthanasia from the Utilitarian Perspective

Table of Contents

Introduction

The issue of euthanasia is heatedly debated in many circles of our society. The stakeholders involved include patients, physicians, legislators, representatives of various religions, the press, and the general public. As it stands, there is no consensus on the matter, as some claim that the right to pass away with dignity is a right, while others fear the consequences for the society might be too great. However, there are many ethical theories through which the issue can be perceived. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the subject of euthanasia from the perspective of utilitarianism.

The Utilitarian View of the Problem

The end of life is associated with various disabilities and illnesses, some of which prove to be terminal. According to Hughes and Smith (461), the majority of deaths in elderly patients are attributed to chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, and other vital areas of the body. In many cases, sustaining the patient alive requires numerous medications to sedate the pain, which frequently causes even more adverse side-effects. Palliative care is a necessity in order to remedy a patient’s suffering, but it is often not enough and places a heavy financial burden upon the family of the patient.

The costs of palliative care for a patient exceeds 30,000 dollars a year (Hughes and Smith 461), whereas the yearly income of an average family in America is around 50,000 dollars. Thus, prolonging the life of a patient with a terminal disease is associated with physical and psychological suffering for both the patient and the family as well as with economic difficulties further down the road. Utilitarianism supports euthanasia because alleviating the suffering provides greater amounts of immediate and long-term net good for the patient and their family.

Bentham’s Felicific Calculus

Bentham’s felicific calculus is a tool that can be used to estimate the amount of net good received from any given action by analyzing various factors involved. The process of using it involves considering several variables, which are as follows (Pirani and Badruddin 104):

  • The strength of pleasure (intensity).
  • Duration.
  • Likelihood of pleasure occurring.
  • The propinquity of pleasure.
  • The probability of follow-up sensations.
  • Purity (lack of negative feedback).
  • Extent.

If applied to euthanasia, Bentham’s felicific calculus can provide a picture of effects that are anticipated as the result of the intervention. For the patient, the calculus would be as follows:

  • The strength of pleasure: Great.
  • Duration: Short-term.
  • Likelihood of pleasure occurring: Very high.
  • The propinquity of pleasure: Immediate.
  • The probability of follow-up sensations: None.
  • Purity: Absolute.
  • Extent: Patients, physicians, family members.

As it is possible to see, euthanasia offers an escape for the patient in chronic and unmanageable pain. From a utilitarian perspective, healthcare, as an industry created to promote health and minimize suffering, should endorse euthanasia.

Conclusion

According to Garcia (3), Bentham urged that morality is not a matter of pleasing God, nor is it a matter of faithfulness to abstract rules. It is a matter of making the life on the planet better through maximizing pleasure and reducing the amount of pain in the most consistent way possible. Euthanasia brings the most net good to patients suffering from painful terminal diseases. Although families may experience grief from losing a relative sooner than later, the total net good for them would also exceed their suffering in mid-term and long-term perspective.

Works Cited

Garcia, Grant. “Considerations Regarding the Viability of Voluntary Active Euthanasia.” Sound Decisions: An Undergraduate Bioethics Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-12.

Hughes, Mark T., Thomas J. Smith. “The Growth of Palliative Care in the United States.” The Annual Review of Public Health, vol. 35, 2014, pp. 359-475.

Pirani, Sehrish, and Shirin Badruddin. “Euthanasia: A Fight for Respect and Autonomy.” International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery, vol. 6, no. 7, 2015, pp. 104-107.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
$0.00
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with Online Academic Experts
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
Testimonials
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Psychology
quick and before due date/time.
Customer 453027, January 29th, 2022
Social Work and Human Services
Great work I would love to continue working with this writer thought out the 11 week course.
Customer 452667, May 30th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
awesome work
Customer 453201, June 15th, 2022
Communications
Thank you so much for your attention to this assignment and timeliness.
Customer 453111, November 12th, 2022
Education
Very fast response and did a excellent job.
Customer 453201, May 31st, 2022
Business and administrative studies
excellent
Customer 453201, November 29th, 2022
Social Sciences
Very fast report with excellent information on the topic. Thank you for your speedy service in such a short time.
Customer 453213, June 15th, 2022
Business Studies
First of all, the writer made sure that he completely understood my assignment and all the guidelines before he began writing. My paper was finished very fast and well before the specified deadline. I thought it was written excellently. He definitely completely grasped the topic. Overall, he is a great writer and I couldn't have asked for better.
Customer 452441, November 29th, 2021
Human Resources Management (HRM)
My son and I have been sick for two weeks, of course at the end of my semester. I am so grateful that myhomeworkgeeks were able to help! Both papers got A's and I couldn't be more thrilled! Thank you so much and don't forget to tip your writer!
Customer 453077, February 22nd, 2022
Emergency Management
Thanks
Customer 453015, October 28th, 2022
Classic English Literature
It was my first time using such a service. Essay was good and nicely formatted.
Customer 452441, February 16th, 2022
Criminal Justice
The paper was not accused of plagiarism and was written very well. I will let you know the grade once it is graded. Thank you
Customer 452671, April 26th, 2021
11,595
Customer reviews in total
96%
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
37%
Customers referred by a friend
OUR GIFT TO YOU
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Live ChatWhatsApp