Ethical and Moral Implications of Euthanasia

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Euthanasia: A Controversial Topic

Euthanasia is a controversial topic around the world. The use euthanasia is legally permitted in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. In the US, only the states of Washington and Oregon have allowed the use of euthanasia. Nevertheless, the discussions over the method of euthanasia are ongoing in most countries as they try to maneuver the legal implications (Stevens & Toffler, 2016).

The Ethical and Moral Implications of Euthanasia

In the study of An Ethical Review of Euthanasia and Physician-assisted Suicide by Bozidar Banovic, Andela Miloradovic, and Veljko Turanjanin, the authors state that the use of euthanasia is not allowed by law in a majority of countries. In these countries, active euthanasia is viewed as a deprivation of the life of a patient. The study also states that the use of passive euthanasia is permitted, but there is no clear distinction between active and passive patient-assisted suicide. On the prism of ethics and morality, there is no justification for the use of euthanasia. Therefore, the authors intended to review the ethical and moral implication of the use of euthanasia/assisted suicide (EAS). As such, the study questions whether a man with the right to live should also have a right to die (Miloradovic, Banovic & Turanjanin, 2017).

Euthanasia in the Netherlands: Requirements and Findings

In previous studies carried out in the Netherlands, the first country to legalize the use of euthanasia. The requirements for the use of euthanasia involve the concern over a request by the patient, suffering patient who is hopeless and in pain, consultation with other physicians, and the presence of reasonable alternatives (Stevens & Toffler, 2016). Furthermore, the Dutch law requires physicians to demonstrate their compliance by handing in a medical report to a review committee. After analyzing these concepts, Buiting et al. (2009) noted that 65% of patients were clear-headed or had a 23% repeated request rate when they made the euthanasia request. Moreover, the study found out that unbearable suffering accounted to 33% and in 35% of the cases, the physicians that there were medical alternatives to relive the patients but a big number of them refused to seek an alternative to care. The study concluded that Dutch physicians adequately provide sufficient information to patients and the medical review committee when administering euthanasia. In another study that supported the use of euthanasia in the Netherlands, patients had severe or chronic psychiatric disorders with recorded histories of attempted suicide (Buiting et al., 2009).

The Importance of Ethics and Morality in Euthanasia

The ethical review study on euthanasia is essential because of the legal, ethical and moral obligations it presents in the society. Banovic, Miloradovic, and Turanjanin argue that euthanasia is an exhaustible topic in law, medicine, religion, ethics, and sociology. The authors further stipulate that other prior research on euthanasia rank the problem as one of the ten hotly contested moral questions. Euthanasia is a significant challenge for the domestic and international medical limits, and the limits to which it is a justifiable deprivation to life has not satisfied ethical perspectives (Miloradovic, Banovic & Turanjanin, 2017). EAS has a significant impact on the society because the question of life or death is inevitably associated with morality and ethics. Furthermore, there is a disconnect between morals and law and whether ethical and moral conducts could be illegal. Critiques who argue about the immorality of euthanasia deny the termination of legality and the moral dividing line. Therefore, the study of the ethics and morality with regards to EAS is an important subject that should be addressed to avoid conflicting thoughts.

Research Methodology and Findings

The research data was collected in 2015 from the Kragujevac Clinical Hospital Center. The research included 88 physicians, but the study had intended 100 physicians to participate. There were 57 and 38 male and female physicians respectively who participated in the study. The procedure the authors used divided the study into three parts namely; in the Emergency Room, in the Ambulance, Cardiology, and Transfusion. Therefore, the study analyzed medical report records of the physicians in the three parts of the study using a quantitative research approach (Miloradovic, Banovic & Turanjanin, 2017).

The Ethical Implication of Euthanasia: A Divide Among Physicians

In the study, the authors agree with prior studies that there is no clear distinction between passive assisted suicide (PAS) and direct active euthanasia (ADE). However, the authors disagree with reviews that argue about the admissibility of the legalization and the immorality of direct active euthanasia because they do not show a clear differentiation of law and ethics. The authors also argue that such studies do not carry out more in-depth analysis and only cursory mention it. The authors’ hypothesis was whether PAS and ADE are ethical. That is the central question the authors purposed to answer. The main findings of the study found out that physicians are divided on the use of ADE and PAS. Some agreed that euthanasia was ethically unacceptable while others argued otherwise. 33% of the participants opted for the ethical viewpoint of the ADE and PAS (Miloradovic, Banovic & Turanjanin, 2017).

Conclusion: The Complexity of Euthanasia

In conclusion, the study concluded that euthanasia is a complex issue that requires different regulations on PAS and ADE. The authors also concluded that the two aspects of euthanasia are ethically and morally equal. Therefore, the patient’s autonomy is an essential aspect, and finally, the study found out Serbia’s physicians is divided over the topic of euthanasia. The authors call the attention of the physicians split on the issue which I found of less importance but crucial for the discussion. The authors neglected the study on the views of patients and ordinary citizens on the topic. The authors relate their hypotheses to their findings by showing the divide in physicians concerning the ethical implication of PAS and ADE. The authors suggest that future studies are necessary to distinguish the ethical implication of passive and active euthanasia because of the legal complexity. We should care about this research because physicians are human too and their views regarding the subject matter should be considered. The study is important to my opposition to the use of euthanasia because of my moral ground. However, it does not support my position because it lacks adequate research on the patients’ views. The authors could have involved three participants, physicians, patients, and the public.


Buiting, H., van Delden, J., Onwuteaka-Philpsen, B., Rietjens, J., Rurup, M., & van Tol, D. et al.

(2009). Reporting of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the Netherlands: descriptive study. Retrieved 15 January 2018, from

Miloradovic, A., Banovic, B., & Turanjanin, V. (2017). An Ethical Review of Euthanasia and

Physician-assisted Suicide. PubMed Central (PMC). Retrieved 15 January 2018, from

Stevens, K., & Toffler, W. (2016). Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide. JAMA, 316(15),


October 13, 2023



Illness Medicine

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Death Euthanasia

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