Write 6 pages thesis on the topic an evolutionary perspective on euthanasia. Enable natural selection: 1) Genetic variation must be present to propel evolution, where the root is “random mutation” that pertains to the DNA making copying errors during cell division. 2) Nonrandom selection of genetic changes happen because of the adaptive needs of surviving in the environment. and 3) Organisms have mechanisms that pass these changes from one generation to the next through a “self-copying DNA molecule” (p.5). Hence, the basic foundation of evolution is genetic diversity.
Euthanasia can be studied from an evolutionary perspective, in that it can either support or oppose it, depending on whose thinking and principles are involved (Stewart-Williams, 2010, p.269). The evolutionary perspective can provide justifications for it, or rejection of its fundamental proponents’ assumptions and arguments (Persaud, 2007, p.340). When searching keywords in “euthanasia,” “evolution*,” and “anthropology,” in the EBSCO database and Google, however, it becomes apparent that not many studies focus on examining euthanasia from an evolutionary perspective. Most studies that came up are focused on eugenics and its practices, which are related to the evolutionary perspective, such as Persaud’s (2007) analysis and the works of Benedict, Shields, and ODonnell (2009) and Berghs, Casterlé, and Gastmans, (2007) on euthanasia programs during Nazi Germany times. The narrowness of these results indicates a gap in the literature regarding the synthesis of studies on euthanasia and how evolutionary theories support or oppose it.
Aside from the determined gap in the literature, the study on euthanasia from an evolutionary perspective has personal roots. The writer of the paper has heard of friends and distant family members, whose elderly or very sick relatives called for euthanasia. None of them admitted, however, of approving such requests, because they thought that euthanasia is inhumane and against their personal and religious beliefs. .
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