Active Euthanasia: Physician Assisted Suicide is Wrong

1511 Words7 Pages
Active Euthanasia: Physician Assisted Suicide is Wrong The issue at hand is whether physician-assisted suicide should be legalized for patients who are terminally ill and/or enduring prolonged suffering. In this debate, the choice of terms is central. The most common term, euthanasia, comes from the Greek words meaning "good death." Sidney Hook calls it "voluntary euthanasia," and Daniel C. Maguire calls it "death by choice," but John Leo calls it "cozy little homicides." Eileen Doyle points out the dangers of a popular term, "quality-of-life." The choice of terms may serve to conceal, or to enhance, the basic fact that euthanasia ends a human life. Different authors choose different terms, depending on which side of the issue they are defending. Maguire argues by defining his terms. After explaining on page 447 how difficult it is to decide "to impose death," he says on page 448 that it is a moral argument, not a legal argument. In the final sentence of the fifth paragraph, he contends that "morality and legality are not identical." His transition, the first sentence of the sixth paragraph, invites the reader to "face up to the objection." The objection, according to the fourth paragraph, is "that there is no moral way in which death could be imposed on a person who is incapable of consent because of youth or irreversible loss of consciousness." The fifth paragraph begins by admitting the truth of this objection. These transitions tie together an argument that seems to agree with the objection, while defining the terms of the argument. When all the terms have been defined, however, the objection is rejected. He argues that, in some cases, it would be "morally good . . . to terminate a life" (p. 448). The ter... ... middle of paper ... ...ing, however, is that somebody is killing somebody else, and that is wrong. Therefore, the definition always means that somebody is doing something that is wrong. Bibliography: Bernards, Neal, Ed. (1989). Euthanasia: Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints Series, Series Eds. David L. Bender and Bruno Leone. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press. Doyle, Eileen. "Consequences of Imposing the Quality-of-Life Ethic." Bernards pp. 463-466. Johnson, Dana E. "Euthanasia Should Not Be Based Based on Economic Factors." Bernards, pp. 132-137. Leo, John. "Cozy Little homicides." Bernards pp. 461-463. Maguire, Daniel C. "Death by Choice." Bernards pp. 447-452. Neff, David. "Dial 119 for Murder." (1991). Commonweal, Aug. 9, pp. 452-453. Neuhaus, Richard John. (1991). "All Too Human." National Review, Dec. 2, p. 45. of Notre Dame Press, 1979.

More about Active Euthanasia: Physician Assisted Suicide is Wrong

Open Document