Vol. 4, Issue 5 (2019)
A critique of euthanasia from the perspective of ubuntu (African) notion of mutual care
Author(s): Enyimba, Maduka, Ojong Lawrence O
Abstract: The central problem of the phenomenon of euthanasia is the question of whether or not human life has intrinsic value that should be unconditionally preserved. From a humanistic and liberal stand point, proponents of euthanasia argue that every human being with rationality, emotions and will should not be compelled to undergo unnecessary, prolonged, and dehumanizing suffering from terminal illness. Most opponents argue that killing of terminally ill persons on grounds of compassion is immoral. Using Ubuntu ethics of mutual care, we aim at demonstrating that euthanasia is unacceptable in most African societies. We argue that, within Africa, terminally ill persons are useful in the community in the sense that their condition provides the family members an opportunity to show how they care for them. We also contend that instead of euthanasia, African traditional medicine plays a great role in curing the terminally ill.