Influence of Moral Discourses in Shaping the Perception of Euthanasia

Proceedings of the 8th International Conference On Humanities, Psychology and Social Science

Year: 2018


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Influence of Moral Discourses in Shaping the Perception of Euthanasia

Varsha Chandrashekar



When one argues for euthanasia to be permitted in a society, autonomy becomes a central argument. However, autonomy remains an enigma as several papers in the past have stood their ground that there seems to be a misconception of how exactly autonomy is relevant and to what extent can autonomy alone be used as a significant element to support the act of euthanasia. A multitude of factors such as how moral discourses influence the meaning of euthanasia, conceptualization of life and death and philosophical standpoints according to these discourses play a vital role in shaping the idea of euthanasia. This paper asses this line of reason by investigating how moral discourses have a played a role in changing the way euthanasia has been perceived and what would this effect possibly have on society. Beginning with the current debates on end-of-life decision, the different discourses on how morals have shaped the idea of hastening one’s death is discussed. For instance, according to the post enlightenment era, people were influenced by logic and reason when choosing euthanasia rather than the concept of God. This is a primary illustration of a shift in the way euthanasia has been perceived and subsequent societies forming laws that either permit or criminalize the act. Moving forth, this paper argues if a connection is created between moral discourses and autonomy when it comes to choosing to end life under unbearable condition. It is concluded that that there has been a constant change in which euthanasia has been perceived and defined where moral discourses have played a vital role in making this happen. Moreover, it is also concluded that there is no method or argument to prove that euthanasia is right or wrong.

Key Words: Euthanasia, Moral Discourses, Autonomy.