David Velleman

Satisfactory Essays
David Velleman’s “Against the Right to Die”, has given me some mixed feelings as to what I feel is right or wrong when it comes to euthanasia. Euthanasia can be a touchy subject depending on the point of view one takes on. As far as Velleman’s view, he stands right in between being for it and against it from what I have come to understand. Velleman believes that one can exercise the right to die if they wish to but that the doctor should not be obligated to make it a decision if it is not necessary. We are morally entitled to die if we really wish to but giving the option to may cause more harm than good to a person. A person may have never thought of dying until the doctor brings it up, then all of a sudden it becomes an option and the patient could feel pressured to go along with the process to be euthanized. He or she might have never thought about ending their life, they might have just thought that their only option is to stay alive and fight for their life. Velleman argues that it can make someone worse off because he sees that giving someone the option to die denies him or her the possibility of staying alive by default. An example he uses to justify this is one of Dworkin’s, The example Dworkin uses is the one of a cashier working at a convenience store during a night shift. The cashier will put himself at risk if he opens the register being that he is more likely to get robbed at gunpoint for it. If it were up to the cashier he would never want to be robbed at gunpoint therefore he would rather never have the option to open the register at all. In a situation like this, the cashier having the option to open the register is harmful. When Velleman talks about the harm that the option of dying can cause, he mentions that ... ... middle of paper ... ...not looking into their capacity but instead we are looking into their opportunities. The respect from the categorical imperative is converted into objects of desire with this type of autonomy. Autonomy goes hand in hand with what Velleman sees as dignity. He believes that based on Kant’s autonomy explanations mentioned above, one should respect a patient’s dignity if they wish to die by making it easy for them. With all of these conditions and arguments in mind, Velleman suggests that there should be a weaker and vague public policy. He believes society should never force health professionals to give a patient the option to be euthanized unless they see it fit to bring up; but who is to say when it is fit and when it is not? Nobody can be in charge of saying when it is fit to bring the option up. Regardless, Velleman is not completely for or against euthanasia.
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