Voluntary and/or assisted euthanasia is a profound ethical dilemma that many have been pondering and debating over for many years. Euthanasia, whether voluntary or assisted, poses many legal and moral issues that add to the complexity of this ethical dilemma. With a complex ethical dilemma like this that has so many valid, yet differing, positions which one could take, utilizing Uustal’s principles and steps in order to coming to a decision would be extremely beneficial. Within Uustal’s theory, one must follow nine steps in order to reach a decision: identify the objective; survey the options; identify the values; assess the importance of the decision; budget one’s time and energy; choose a decision making strategy; identify the options; evaluate the options; and, finally, make the informed decision. The objective of voluntary/assisted euthanasia is quite clear—the ability to decide when one would die. The simplicity of the issue, unfortunately, ends there. There are so many factors and options, and the importance of the decision and values are so important that any decision on euthanasia is extremely important and complex, which is why it is such a relevant ethical issue. In following Uustal’s nine steps, one can become overwhelmed by all the different options and aspects of euthanasia—allowing someone the choice to choose when to die seems simple, but is it moral or legal? Most of the time, the decision depends on the situation: whether the person is in grave pain, whether they are terminal, or are they just psychologically disturbed and could improve with proper care and treatment and then would no longer want to do? All these factors leads one to chose Uustal’s Matrix Situation for ethical decision making. With this strategic principle, one must not only identify all the options but weigh them for importance (for example, making pros and cons list). This is a very thoughtful, involved method of coming to a decision on an ethical dilemma; but, this is necessary for something as complex and important such as voluntary/assisted euthanasia.
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