Moral Permissibility of Euthanasia: A Case Discussion from Bangladesh

The Dhaka University Studies 63 (2):157-169 (2007)
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Euthanasia or mercy killing is, now a day, a major problem widely discussed in medical field. Medical professionals are facing dilemma to take decision regarding their incompetent patient while tend to do euthanasia. The dilemma is by nature moral i.e. whether it is morally permissible or not. In some countries of Europe and in some provinces of USA euthanasia is legally permitted fulfilling some conditions. It is claimed by Rachels that in our practical medical practice we do euthanasia by forbidding patients from taking drugs. He concludes that if that type of euthanasia can be practiced in our society without any hesitation then why assisting euthanasia will not be permitted1. There are so many arguments both pro and con of euthanasia. But it is not the function of the current paper to discuss all the arguments. Philippa Foot in her article „Euthanasia‟ and J Velleman in his article titled as „A Right to Self-termination‟ discussed about the permissibility of euthanasia. The objective of the paper is to justify their arguments and then come to a conclusion regarding the permissibility of euthanasia. The focus will be given mainly on non- voluntary active and non-voluntary passive euthanasia. The method of discussion will be that an example will be given from Bangladesh and then the arguments provided by Foot and Velleman in their above mentioned papers will be discussed to justify the act of euthanasia on concerned patient. In the last section of the paper the situation of Bangladesh will also be considered for the permissibility of euthanasia i.e. whether the act of euthanasia can be permitted in our country considering the existing socio-cultural-religious practice.
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