Words: 1500 words need to be written
Case 6: Fatal Attraction
You have been with your life partner for 40 years and they are now within weeks of dying from a terminal illness. Each day you see them suffering from pain and the degradation of feeling helpless, having been active and strong all their life. Your life partner has been on anti-depressant medication and has twice attempted to take their own life, using this medication. You know that they wish to die with dignity, but they are not now in a position to take their own life. It is both hard to watch their suffering and very stressful and demanding on you. You have considered facilitating their death in a painless manner, however they are no longer in the position to actively consent to this themselves. Furthermore, there are the obvious legal ramifications of taking their life. Is it ethical to provide a mercy death for your partner, and what ethical guidance can you use to decide?
Lectures and Readings
Online lecture Ethics in Health and Medicine
Thiroux and Krasemann Chapters 9 and 10 OF UNIT TEXTBOOK-
Thiroux, J. P. & Krasemann, K.W. (2015). Ethics Theory and Practice, (11th Ed.), Pearson International Edition, London, UK.
Academic and external resources
Azize, J 2007, ‘Human Dignity and Euthanasia Law’, University Notre Dame Australian Law Review, vol. 47, no. 9, pp. 47-74
Cholbi, M and Varelius, J, 2015, New Directions in the Ethics of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, Springer International Publishing
Hooker, B 2013, ‘Rule-Utilitarianism and Euthanasia’, in Lafollette, H (ed.), Ethics in Practice: An Anthology, Wiley & Sons
Stackpoole, C, White, B, and Willmott, L 2016, ‘(Failed) voluntary euthanasia law reform in Australia: two decades of trends, models and politics’. University of New South Wales Law Journal, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 1-46
Other sources that can be used?
Austlii.edu.au. (2016). CRIMES ACT 1900 – SECT 18Murder and manslaughter defined. [online] Available at: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s18.html
Boseley, S. (2011). Man in assisted suicide case spells out why he wants to be helped to die. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/aug/18/man-in-assisted-suicide-case
The Australian Institute. (2016). New survey shows majority support for voluntary euthanasia. [online] Available at: http://www.tai.org.au/node/621
The Sydney Morning Herald. (2011). Mercy killer escapes jail over ‘agonising conflict’. [online] Available at: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/mercy-killer-escapes-jail-over-agonising-conflict-20110428-1dxst.html
Case study report weighting– 50%
Consider what dilemmas are presented by the case study, and how these issues might be informed by the theories examined this semester. For this paper, you will need to use two of the following theories to apply to the case study:
1. Act Utilitarianism
2. Divine Command Theory
The following is a guide for completing the written paper:
1. The introduction should identify the case study that you have chosen and the two theories you are going to apply to the case.
2. The first section of the body of the paper should detail the dilemmas presented by the case study. This is where you should provide some ‘facts’ around the case; this may involve discussing legislation, policy, empirical scientific/medical evidence, statistics, research papers etc. This will be the foundation of your ethical analysis.
3. The next section of the paper should analyse how your two theories apply to the case. This will include applying all components of each theory to the case study, the strengths and weaknesses of applying each theory to the case study, and providing consideration of the result of using each theory for all stakeholders impacted by the case study. You can conduct this analysis separately, or juxtapose both theories through the structure of the paper; you have creative license in expressing the analysis.
4. The final section of the paper should attempt to provide a feasible, workable, and ethical solution to the dilemma by synthesising the main arguments.
Students will be expected to use at least 6 academic references for this assignment to help inform their views; please see the recommended resources and links to help with this endeavour. Wikipedia will not be considered a legitimate reference. Please be advised that websites are of inconsistent value and you need to be vigilant in your use of various websites (this includes blogs, YouTube, social media platforms etc).
1.Clearly outlines the chosen case study and provides a detailed definition of the theories, with justification for their application to the case study. Selects a case study different to their group work assessment
2. Provides a comprehensive, well researched and well supported review of the dilemmas presented by the case study, with supporting evidence provided in the form of a wide range of academic and reputable sources. Demonstrates that the student has conducted a high level of research on the topics highlighted by the case to support the emphasis on these issues as ethical dilemmas.
3. Provides a holistic and complete application of each theoretical framework to the case study. All components of the two theories are detailed to a meticulous standard.
4. Provides an exhaustive critique of the application of both theoretical frameworks to dilemmas presented in the case study. This includes a comprehensive analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each theory, comparing and contrasting their effectiveness in addressing the core issues.
5. Provides a discussion of all stakeholders and details the potential impact of the use of both theories on each stakeholder, from an individual level to the wider community. This is considered with relevant research material that supports the suggestion that these results may occur.
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6. Synthesizes all points made throughout the paper to provide a feasible and workable solution to the case study and all dilemmas, that builds upon the strengths of both theories to provide ethical reasoning behind this solution. Uses supporting evidence to illustrate the potential benefits of this solution.