Annotated Bibliography On Assisted Suicide Philosophy Essay






Annotated Bibliography on Assisted Suicide


Euthanasia or ‘mercy killing’ is a practice of healthcare professionals to deliberately end the life of a patient in order to safe them suffering (Devettere and Raymond 333). Clinical professional may use any convenient mean to terminate the life of a patient; the means commonly used include intentionally withholding medical treatment and leave the patient die or injecting the patient with sedative drugs that directly leads to their death (Devettere and Raymond 334). This practice is one of the most controversial issues in the healthcare practices that humanity faces. The central question on this practice is whether it is moral or immoral. This paper provides an annotated bibliography of some of the academic sources which seeks to provide informed cut on whether euthanasia is a moral or immoral practice.

Devettere, Raymond J. Practical Decision Making in Health Care Ethics: Cases and Concepts. Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2009. Internet resource


It is morally reasonable for physicians to facilitate death in appropriate states of health.

The question should be how often or when physicians should kill patients whose lives are ‘meaningless’.

Since liberty is a human right then people should be allowed to request and be assisted to terminate their lives.

However, any person taking other people’s lives should be confronted just like a street murderer.

Evaluation of the book

The authors of this book are very clear in the arguments. He begins by defining euthanasia in a simplified language.

The book is very reliable since it gives arguments both for and against the practice and finally takes side and then lets the readers to deduce from his work whether it is moral or immoral.

The authors also give critiques for and against euthanasia. That is very useful for readers; from a glace of the book one can make his or her decision whether euthanasia is moral or immoral.

Credibility of this source

The authors are not biased; his work is objective and organized in a manner to help the reader decide after understanding the concept in depth.

The source is useful since it gives precise arguments on the issue and does not influence the decision of the reader.

Excerpts from the source

‘If autonomy and self-determination are accepted as moral norms, then voluntary requests for assistance in suicide or for lethal injections will seem morally justified to some’ (Devettere and Raymond 334)

‘Infanticide is no longer tolerated’ (Devettere and Raymond 336)

Otlowski, Margaret. Voluntary Euthanasia and the Common Law. Oxford [u.a.: Clarendon Press, 1997. Print.


In any case the patient’s will is excluded from the euthanasia practice and therefore it is illegal

Law is used to enforce moral principles, no grounds of using the same law to take away life of individuals.

Active voluntary euthanasia is not immoral

Prohibition of euthanasia except with the consent of the patient is important in safeguarding the holiness of life

Evaluation of the book

The authors of this book do not arrange ideas in a sequential manner easy to summarize

The ideas are sourced from varied debates and the authors jump into personal conclusion before addressing all facts surrounding the issue.

Credibility of this source

The authors take sides very early in the discussion making the information biased.

The author does not exhaust the two sides of the discussion, instead shifts from one point of view to another which can require a lot of time to link points brought out in the study.

Excerpts from the source

‘Is active voluntary euthanasia immoral? The position taken in this work is that it is not, and that would be the view of most proponents of active voluntary euthanasia’ (Otlowski and Margaret 253)

‘the liberty of individual is paramount and must be preserved’ (Otlowski and Margaret 255)

Yorke, Jon. The Right to Life and the Value of Life: Orientations in Law, Politics and Ethics. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2010. Print.


State should not interfere with life of adult citizen

Assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia are morally impermissible

Since right to live is moral then euthanasia is immoral

Euthanasia is permissible where the patient cannot make a life decision, ‘beyond the right to life’.

Evaluation of the source

Both sides of the discussion are addressed in depth leaving the author not influenced to take certain part

The source is reliable in that, it exhausts the issues adequately

The work can change the decision whether to advocate for euthanasia or not, the readings are sufficient for readers to adequately weigh the arguments

Credibility of this source

This source is objective and reliable for learners of moral issues in this case euthanasia

This source is sufficient in addressing whether or not euthanasia is moral

The book is useful in that it tackles both sides of the issue in a manner enabling the reader to make informed decision.

The author takes sides after addressing important issues

Excerpts from the source

‘Sometimes the quality of somebody’s life is so bad that life is not worth continuing’ (Yorke and Jon 46)

‘Non-voluntary euthanasia does raise issues that do not arise in the case of assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia’(Yorke and Jon 48)

Stewart, Gary. Basic Questions on Suicide and Euthanasia: Are They Ever Right? Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1998. Print.


Assisted suicide is against the law.

In principles of Magna Carta, euthanasia is permitted only when patients give their personal consent and under great pain

If physicians are granted more legislative approval, more people would die in the hands of physicians

Only God gives life and thus the only one to take life away.

Evaluation of the source

That is one of the exclusive sources to tell whether or not euthanasia is moral

The authors have conducted wide research from different state’s laws, the bible and informed public opinion

The source is useful for all readers from different faculties and societies at large

Credibility of the source

The author is objective, he provides basis for any concussion made in the


The information is sufficient and relevant to the morality issue in euthanasia

The author proves to have done more than enough research in the issue, the cases used in the study supports the views of the author but they are not directed to influence the opinions of the reader in any way

Excerpts from the source

‘the law has always considered acts of mercy killing to be homicide’ (Stewart and Gary 47)

‘forty seven states expressly disapprove of mercy killing in heir laws relating to natural death’ (Stewart and Gary 47)

Demy, Timothy J, and Gary Stewart. Suicide: A Christian Response: Crucial Considerations for Choosing Life. Grand Rapids, Mich: Kregel Publications, 1997. Print.


Letting to die and killing are the same things

Killing is immoral and thus physicians would be immoral if the assist the patient to terminate his life

Death should only occur where the physician is not able to save the patient

It is morally permissible to take patient’s life if he or she permits it

Evaluation of the source

This source is wide research-based and thus informing on the issue under study.

The authors highlight only important points making it easy for the reader to make valid decision on whether euthanasia is moral or not

The author helps the reader to view from the patient’s perspective whether it will be better to live or die.

Credibility of the source

The source is reliable in that it helps the reader to have a broader understanding of euthanasia before making a personal conclusion

The information in this book is not biased and their relevant for the analysis of the issue under focus.

Excerpts from the source

‘Both forms of euthanasia are wrong because they ignore the obligation to preserve life’ (Demy, Timothy and Stewart 168)

‘How one determines whether an act is immoral depends on one’s overall ethical theory’ (Demy, Timothy and Stewart 169)

McDougall, Jennifer F, Martha Gorman, and Carolyn S. Roberts. Euthanasia: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2008. Print.


Determinations regarding life and death are beyond any human being, only God has the right to take life

Euthanasia interferes with sanctity of life

Euthanasia is a violation of sacredness

Evaluation of the source

The source is useful for this study, the authors argue from religious as well as from US perspectives

The sources has taught the reader that, God has the ultimate power to give and take life

It is more exhaustive from religious perspective than the previous sources

Credibility of the source

The information in this book is objective and based on facts from cases

The source serves to educate the reader that, the decision to terminate life is beyond human capability

The source is one of the best since it includes views from varied religions and scholars thus relevant for this study

Excerpts from the source

‘Euthanasia is considered a violation of the sacredness that Islamic teachings attach to the physician commitment’ (McDougall et al 23)

‘Euthanasia remained unacceptable from the perspective of the Roman Catholic Church’ (McDougall et al 24)

Letellier, Ph, and Yvon Englert. L'euthanasie. Strasbourg: Editions du Conseil de l'Europe, 2003. Print.


When pain exceed pleasure, life become meaningless and should be terminated

Doctors should reduce unnecessary suffering of patients

Doctors must respect wishes of patients but must persuade the patient for the correct way forward

Evaluation of the source

The details in this sources are quite relevant for morality issue in euthanasia

It contains quotes of laws by different states

It contains views from different academics thus useful for readers from all backgrounds

Credibility of the source

The information is reliable for this study in that, it is not biased

The information herein is widely searched and facilitates decision making concerning euthanasia

Excerpts from the source

‘Doctor must respect the person’s wishes’ (Letellier and Englert 20)

‘Injection of lethal substance constitutes causing death, which is illegal in most countries’ (Letellier and Englert 21)

Tulloch, Gail. Euthanasia: Choice and Death. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007. Print.


Letting to die and killing are the same and thus immoral

Euthanasia presumes the interests of the patient, which is not moral

Any form of euthanasia is a moral failure

Evaluation of the source

The source is useful for this study because it attempts all important possible arguments for topic

The information in this book is mostly based on facts and not views therefore reliable

Credibility of the source

The conclusions are objective and relevant for this research

The source contains vivid cases making the book reliable for the topic

The book seeks to inform readers and let them take sound sides on the issue on focus

Excerpts from the source

‘Lethal injection is a killing not a letting to die’ (Tulloch and Gail 32)

‘No doctor or any man...has the right deliberately to cut the thread of human life’ (Tulloch and Gail 31)

Biggs, Hazel. Euthanasia, Death with Dignity and the Law. Oxford: Hart, 2000. Print.


Medical science allow living and dying t be lengthened

Euthanasia without patient consent is a murder

Euthanasia is permissible when the patient is physically dead

Evaluation of the source

This book is useful for the study in that, unlike other sources it shows when to assist a patient to die

The book defines forms of euthanasia and gives logics behind each form

The author has greatly influenced my understanding when to permit euthanasia

Credibility of the source

The author is object, articulates issue after the other

The author seeks to inform and not to persuade the reader

Excerpts from the source

‘The patient should exhibit fixed and dilated pupils’ (Biggs and Hazel 18)

‘Euthanasia does not necessarily impart dignity’ (Biggs and Hazel 32)

Cavan, Seamus. Euthanasia: The Debate over the Right to Die. New York: Rosen Pub. Group, 2000. Print.


Euthanasia is permissible when life becomes meaningless

Brain death justifies euthanasia

Voluntary euthanasia is moral under certain circumstances

Evaluation of the source

The authors are confined to positions taken by practitioners and court rulings

The source is not exhaustive since does not bring out facts

The source is not provide enough concepts to handle the topic

Credibility of the source

The information is credible but not enough to tackle euthanasia broadly

The authors point out sides taken by other people and letting the readers to argue from their point of view

Excerpts from the source

‘after all, sparing someone endless pain or suffering is a good thing’ (Cavan and Seamus 12)

‘…if he or she is in unbearable and unending pain, unable to enjoy…’ (Cavan and Seamus 12)