2Unraveling the Controversy of Euthanasia through Ethical Theories and Professional CodesUnraveling the Controversy of


Unraveling the Controversy of Euthanasia through Ethical Theories and Professional Codes

Unraveling the Controversy of Euthanasia through Ethical Theories and Professional Codes


The term euthanasia stands for the act of consciously eliminating a person’s life, which gives rise to controversy regarding its moral implications and consequences. On one of the extreme ends, death with dignity proponents emphasizes a choice for an honorable exit from unbearably painful life, while at another corner are those who highlight the sanctity of human life and possible abuses that may occur due to episodes of culture. The opening section thus creates an encompassing examination of the moral topography, where opposing views on euthanasia and dissection are reflected with critical reflection upon their arguments via ethical egoism or social contract theory alongside appropriate professional code.

Details of the ethical positional debate

An intrinsic opposition distinguishes the moral argument for euthanasia between the two conflicting positions guided separately by particular ethical principles. On the contrary, euthanasia advocates advocate strongly since they are struggling to recognize a person’s right to autonomy and self-determination after death (Carminati, 2020). This position views personal liberty and maintains that individuals with intolerable pain should have the ability to choose a dignified manner of death without excruciating more. Supporters of euthanasia primarily rely on the principle of mercy, defining compassionate and humane assisted death as a good option for terminal illnesses or irreversible pain.

On the contrary, those opposed to euthanasia stubbornly stress the inherent value and inviolability of human life when arguing that deliberately hastening death contradicts its natural worth. In this sense, life is considered sacred, and saving it takes precedence over free conduct. This perspective often encounters religions and cultures, stressing the moral responsibility of saving a life at all costs (Carminati, 2020). The opponents argue that legalizing euthanasia might lead to undesirable consequences, including potential abuses, a slope effect leading towards involuntary euthanasia, and a weakening of overall societal values about appreciating life.

Amidst these opposing arguments, each side has powerful moral reasons supporting their case. Advocates focus on liberty, grace, and the removal of unbearable pains that present euthanasia as a caring act in response to terminal illness (Carminati, 2020). On the other hand, opponents concentrate on such aspects as the intrinsic value of life itself and ethical questions regarding possible abuses if death acceleration becomes legal. As such, the concern of euthanasia over an important decision concerning autonomy and sanctity of life generates a type of tension that needs some justifiable deliberation from these ethical perspectives to curb that.

Professional Communication

As one debates issues of end-of-life care, professional communication in terms of euthanasia is an important issue. Law enforcers are supposed to adhere to codes of ethics, such as the AMA or ANA guidelines, when disseminating information and obtaining informed consent from patients’ relatives. Communication becomes vitally important in establishing patient autonomy while meeting professional standards. While dissecting the possibility of euthanasia from experts in healthcare delivery, it is critical to provide a simple description and indicate what options are available, supplemented with the risks associated with each one (Carminati, 2020). Transparency creates trust and encourages patients or families to decide on care values. However, the topic of euthanasia is a controversial affair that needs delicate measures in communication. However, conversation management is critical for health professionals due to the nature of end-of-life decisions and their impact on families.

Moreover, negotiating communication that is empathetic and considerate has to be implemented so that healthcare practitioners can overcome professional duties versus family morality dilemmas. Factors that contribute to a broader perspective include the family views of patients, their cultural makeup, and the uniqueness of each familial group. Health professionals are called to establish environments that promote dialogues where families discuss their concerns and values without violating the ethical standards of professional practice. The process of communication extends to interdisciplinary variations among medical professionals. The ethics of euthanasia, however, are considered in terms of discussion with various experts, such as ethicists, psychologists, and social workers. It is critical to ensure communication with these professionals so they can fully understand the ethical implications and an acceptable approach to professional duties and relations between family members.

Ethical Egoism Perspective

Regarding euthanasia from the ethical egoist perspective, this principle will be discussed along with the rationalization that people should act in their self-interest as well as happiness first. Concerning euthanasia, an ethical egoist would be likely to advocate for self-determination and autonomy about the choice of death. In the eyes of an ethical egoist, things that revolve around desiring to try and reduce pain would be considered; having some rightful ownership over one’s life is something else discussed, as is abandoning oneself from this world (Carminati & Gao Héliot, 2023). This is because people are the best at determining what fits them due to their subjective experiences and values, which have many differences among themselves. However, there is a problem when it comes to the loyalty of a community. The interpretation of ethical egoism could be disregarding communal benefit, thus setting individual wants aside from the probable reality that society would see if legal euthanasia took over.

Following the right action based on ethical egoism requires balancing personal freedom and social good. It is essential to consider the effect of personal responsibility during an ethical assessment concerning possible social outcomes. Even though ethical egoism emphasizes individual rights, its consequences should be addressed for the benefit of many (Carminati & Héliot 2019). This could only be achieved through the considerate and careful implementation of Euthanasia-related policies, or it should not result in individual thinking beyond other societal influences playing various roles in end-of-life decisions. As a result, the ethical egoist perspective creates critical awareness towards establishing rights and community ethics concerning euthanasia.


The study of three dimensions regarding euthanasia, including ethical egoism, social contract ethics, and ethical codes, indicates that it is diverse. The consistency of individual autonomy when relying on communal interests is asserted by ethical egoism. Social contract ethics is based on society’s consent but also implies a tradeoff between one’s liberty and social duties. Interestingly, even the professional tenets of ethics, including the AMA and ANA, indicate how hard it is to practice medicine. However, a person should separate saving lives from respecting an individual’s independence. Being a controversial, ethical issue, euthanasia needs debates that would investigate both individual rights and collective virtues as the instruments of democracy.


Rachels, S., & Rachels, J. (2023). The Elements of Moral Philosophy (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education

Carminati, L. (2020). 
Healthcare professionals’ identity conflict in ethically-charged situations: an investigation of individual and socio-ethical dynamics (Doctoral dissertation, University of Surrey).

Carminati, L., & Gao Héliot, Y. (2023). Multilevel dynamics of moral identity conflict: professional and personal values in ethically-charged situations. 
Ethics & Behavior
33(1), 37-54.

Carminati, L., & Héliot, Y. (2019). Between multiple identities and personal struggles: Healthcare professionals’ identity conflict perception and responses in challenging situations.
In Proceedings of the European Academy of Management Annual Conference 2019 (EURAM 2019). European Academy of Management.

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