Many see euthanasia as inhumane and religiously erroneous, but we must view this decision from the eyes of the suffering patient. The rights we are given and promised should include the right to death, in the event that it will do more good than harm to the individual. Due to such reasons, euthanasia should be legalized and deemed one of the matters that the government does not have a hand in.
According to James Rachels, “both passive and active euthanasia are permissible.” (Luper and Brown, p.347). He gives a doctrine from American Medical Association quoting,” mercy killing is contrary to which the medical professional stands” (Luper and Brown, p. 347). He makes arguments against the doctrine as to why it would be rejected. One, a physician should let the patient end his life if he wants to so that the patient does not have to endure the suffering. However, Rachels says in that situation it’s better for the physician to kill the patient, rather than letting one die because using lethal injections can be painless and quick, whereas, letting one die can be a slow and painful process (Luper and Brown, p. 348).
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.
According to Rachels, the major deciding factor in determining the morality of a route of euthanasia is the physician’s intention. Regardless of whether or not the doctor chooses to pursue the active or passive route, the intention to perform euthanasia in order to prevent any more futile pain for an already dying patient remains constant. Therefore, if one accepts that euthanasia is morally permissible, one cannot say to a doctor who intends to perform such a procedure that he is a better or worse person morally for choosing one route over the other. Several objections can be raised to this point of view such as the fact that the passive case is to be encouraged because actively euthanizing a person would be easily likened to murder while the passive
Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide In her paper entitled "Euthanasia," Phillipa Foot notes that euthanasia should be thought of as "inducing or otherwise opting for death for the sake of the one who is to die" (MI, 8). In Moral Matters, Jan Narveson argues, successfully I think, that given moral grounds for suicide, voluntary euthanasia is morally acceptable (at least, in principle). Daniel Callahan, on the other hand, in his "When Self-Determination Runs Amok," counters that the traditional pro-(active) euthanasia arguments concerning self-determination, the distinction between killing and allowing to die, and the skepticism about harmful consequences for society, are flawed. I do not think Callahan's reasoning establishes that euthanasia is indeed morally wrong and legally impossible, and I will attempt to show that. 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.
The applied ethical issue of euthanasia, or mercy killing, concerns whether it is morally permissible for a third party, such as a physician, to end the life of a terminally ill patient who is in intense pain. The word euthanasia comes from the Greek words eu (‘well’) and thanatos (‘death’). It means a painless and gentle death. But in modern usage, it has come to imply that someone’s life is ended for compassionate reasons by some passive or active steps taken by another person. The euthanasia controversy is part of a larger issue concerning the right to die.
Therefore, by not killing the patient, the physician and caregivers are causing suffering to that patient. In certain circumstance I would agree that the intention of the killing, for being to relieve suffering, absolves the physician or caregivers of guilt normally associated with the act of killing. ... ... middle of paper ... ...ing people to be killed instead of aiming to heal. Personal judgements regarding others choice to die of natural causes or to be euthanized should be reserved, especially if the patient is choosing to no longer be a burden on their loved ones because this too is a valid reason in some circumstance. We all die in an innumerable amount of ways and our autonomous decision to choose Active Euthanasia or PAS should be respected as should our choice to refuse euthanasia.
I have reasons to believe that passive or negative euthanasia can be a humane way of end suffering, while active or positive euthanasia is not. According Richard Gula, active euthanasia is legally considered homicide (5). Another intervention and approach to euthanasia could be through the use of analgesic means. The use of morphine or other anesthetic medication could be used to allow the patient to die or hasten their dying process. I consider the latter procedure to be more humane than that of the other because it is morally wrong to kill a person, rather it's humane for someone to die naturally.
In terms of active euthanasia, the action of the doctor is what is physically causing the death of the patient, however, in the case of passive euthanasia allowing someone to die from a disease that is incurable is letting the disease act as the cause of death instead of the doctor. In this example, the cause of the death is different, therefore active and passive euthanasia are different. Thomas Fuchs, author of “The Notion of Killing” also agrees that there is a distinction between the two types of euthanasia. Fuchs states that the difference between killing and letting die is on the level of causality, in terms of the biological dimensions. Killing is described as an external impact on an organism, by another, causing the death of the organism.
Kamisar argues that once euthanasia is legalized, it cannot be constrained to the terminally ill, and the reasons as to why life may seem intolerable to a reasonable person are discussed; however, to contend that euthanasia is justifiable, “is to show oneself out of touch with the depth arid complexity of human motives” (par. 32). If one agrees to reasons as to why euthanasia is justifiable, then there is no understanding to the intricacy of human impulse. The legalization of euthanasia would make it acceptable for people to be euthanized for other reasons than suffering and being terminally