I will argue that there is, in fact, no moral difference between killing someone and intentionally letting a person die. I plan to defend this thesis by offering supporting examples and details of cases of both active and passive euthanasia. Rachels’ first premise is, “passive euthanasia (i.e., withholding treatment) is permissible in part because it ends a patient’s suffering”. He then supports this premise by providing a quote from the American Medical Association. This quote essentially states that the intentional killing of one human being by another (in this case, active euthanasia) goes against the AMA and is therefore wrong.
The Doctrine can be considered a simple prohibition of murder, ensuring that doctors do not without ordinary care, because doing so would be considered killing. Rachels example seen convincing because they deal with withholding ordinary care but he fails to distinguish ordinary from extraordinary, then attacks the lack of ordinary care. This can be found in the Downs Syndrome Baby example, where severe down’s syndrome babies born with intestinal obstructions. Sometimes in such cases the baby is permitted to die. Rachels argues that in such cases we find compelling moral grounds for preferring active euthanasia to passive euthanasia in the vastly greater degree of suffering involved in letting the baby die.
Callahan first goes on to state that euthanasia is different from suicide in that it involves not only the right of a person to self-determination, but the transfer of the right to kill to the acting agent (presumably a physician) as well. This right, however, is temporary and restricted to killing the patient only. It is not clear why this temporary transfer makes euthanasia wrong, for if this is wrong, then letting a patient die (in the case where the patient already has the assistance of life-supporting equipment) is also wrong, if there is no distinction between killing and letting die. So, we must return to this argument after addressing Callahan's claims of a distinction between killing and allowing to die. The argument for the distinction is based on the cause of death.
2- Doctors may give a wrong diagnosis to a patient, and the patient may choose to go with euthanasia believing that they have a terminal illness. 3- Scientists would be discouraged to research new cures for terminal illnesses. Yet another popular argument against euthanasia is the medical ethics argument. Opponents of euthanasia quote a piece from the International Code of Medical Ethics that states 'A doctor must always bear in mind the obligation of preserving human life from conception '. They believe that legalizing euthanasia would encourage health professionals to abandon their empathy and compassion, and consider ending patients’ lives as just a routine administrative task.
The patient expects death, and any treatment is not going to do any good to the person. People who have this illness resort to an alternative called euthanasia. Euthanasia is when someone a physician or a family members assist the terminal ill to die by injecting such person with a drug or plugging out the chord that keeps the person alive. While supporters of this technique claim that euthanasia is humane and helpful, other people argue that euthanasia is morally wrong, and inhumane. Euthanasia should be legalize in the United States because it gives an alternative for people who suffer every day due to a terminal illness, but it should be the last resort a patient should take.
Euthanasia should only be used to punish criminals who have committed a crime that the punishment of their crime is the death penalty. Allowing euthanasia would weaken society’s respect for the sanctity of life. The human life should be valued no matter the person’s race, age, gender, religion or social status. A person does not have to make so... ... middle of paper ... ...ly grows as they do. Dr. Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Society, said, “ If we can’t even control the actions of one doctor—Jack Kevorkian—when physician-assisted suicide is illegal, how can we expect to regulate the actions of thousands of doctors where physician-assisted suicide is legal?” He makes a valid point, if Dr. Kevorkian couldn’t be controlled, what difference does having regulations in place make?
It should not be legalized in the United States, and where it is legal it should be stopped. Active euthanasia is the more controversial of the two types. Supporters of active euthanasia base their defense on "One, it is cruel and inhumane to refuse the plea of a terminally ill person for his or her life to be mercifully ended in order to avoid future suffering and/or indignity. Two, the individual choice should be respected to the extent that it does not result in harm to others; since no one is harmed by terminally ill patients' undergoing active euthanasia..." (Mappes 57). The common rebuttal to this is, "One, Killing an innocent person is intrinsically wrong.
The slippery slope argument claims that if an action, such as euthanasia, were to be permitted, then society will be led down the slippery slope, or be permitting other actions that are morally wrong, “in general form, it means that if we allow something relatively harmless today, we may start a trend that results in something currently unthinkable becoming accepted” (“Anti-euthanasia”). The House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics concluded it is virtually impossible to ensure that all acts of euthanasia are truly voluntary. The idea that patients should have the right to decide when to end their life would impose on the doctors a duty to kill, thus... ... middle of paper ... ...not possible. It includes compassion and support for family and friends. It affirms life and regards death as a normal process, neither hastening nor postponing death, but providing relief from suffering” (“Anti-euthanasia”).
In “Active and Passive Euthanasia”, author Rachels challenges the notion that there exists a moral difference between a doctor who deliberately terminates the life of a terminally ill patient or euthanizes him versus one who achieves the same result by simply withholding treatment. The first case is referred to as the “active” case while the second is referred to as the “passive” case. Such a notion, argues Rachels, is artificial i.e. choosing one case over the other is not better or worse in terms of morality. According to Rachels, the major deciding factor in determining the morality of a route of euthanasia is the physician’s intention.
Euthanasia as Mercy or Murder "In keeping with the root definition of 'euthanasia'- literally [meaning] 'good death'- [supporters] of euthanasia insist they are talking about helping terminally ill patients in insufferable pain die a dignified death- at the patient's request. But this bears no resemblance to the true picture of the actual practice of euthanasia in the United States" (Lyons np). Passive euthanasia is death by nonintervention, meaning a health care worker can discontinue providing life-sustaining treatment to the patient, thus allowing him to die more quickly. "In all actuality, [passive] euthanasia often involves withholding food and water from a patient whose death is caused by starvation or dehydration rather than the patient's underlying disease" (Lyons np). In active euthanasia, a physician or family member takes the life of a patient by means of lethal injection, before he or she dies of a terminal illness or injury.