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Ethical Principle Essay

Ethical principles have a huge portion in the impact of intentional or assisted euthanasia. Beneficence according to Beauchamp states, “compassion; taking positive action to help others; desire to do good; are core principle of our patient advocacy” (Beauchamp,2009,p38). The value of beneficence simply states to do good to achieve the best possible outcome. For example, medical research is expanding and exploring numerous cures for diseases that are causing harm to people. Doctors that are approving euthanasia are because of empathy and kindness for the patient. The doctors and physicians are trying to do good for the patient by performing euthanasia because they know the prognoses is poor and the medical treatment won’t cure the disease. Utilitarianism theory can also be applied to the situation, “this theory supports what is best for most people. The value of the act is determined by its usefulness, with the main emphasis on the outcome or consequences”(American Nursing Association). In other words, the greatest value for all, is the selection that is morally accurate. For example, some patients support active euthanasia because it ends the suffering of the person. The choice to end life in return brings the great happiness for large amount of people. The autonomy theory states, “Agreements to respect right to self determine is a course of action and support of independent decision making”. (Beauchamp,2009 p.38). People should have their own choice to make decision for themselves when it involves their life’s. If the member is unable to make his or her needs known, an inform consent or power of attorney should be made before hand of the patient wishes. The ethical theory such as deontology mentions, people should abide to their task and obligations when review an ethical dilemma.


Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2009). Principles of biomedical ethics (6th ed., pp. 38-39). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. American Nurses Association. Retrieved from website: http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/Resources/Ethics-Definitions.pdf

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