To make things clear from the start, I am against euthanasia, but for the purpose of this assignment, I will be examining an argument from Philippa Foot’s Euthanasia. I would like to argue the issue of physician culpability in active euthanasia versus passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia can be thought of as any immediate action that is carried out in such a way as to terminate a person’s life; this can range from a murderer who shoots a victim on one end, to a doctor who gives a patient a lethal dosage of medicine on the other. Passive euthanasia consists of the non-procurement or removal of any measures that are not designed to either extend a person’s life. Both bring about the person’s death in a “natural” way. Physician assisted suicide is in-between active euthanasia and passive euthanasia, in that a doctor is allowed to give someone a lethal drug in order to end his or her life. In recent years, this has become a hot topic of discussion among many, especially in the medical profession. Is it morally right or morally wrong? The final major term is non-interference, which means that everyone, according to the laws of nature and of the United States of America, has the right to be left alone. That means a person who wishes to live, no matter the condition, may do so under the assumption that he has the right to be left alone.
Active euthanasia versus passive euthanasia is a hard issue to defend, especially since people against euthanasia are inclined to lean towards a form of passive euthanasia. I have never personally met someone who approves the use of active euthanasia, such as a murderer, or someone who wishes to end the life of a healthy individual with many years of life left, bar...
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... the medical profession.” Even after bringing up Foot’s argument, “But the act of turning off a respirator should surely be thought of as no different from the decision not to start it; if doctors had decided that a patient should be allowed to die, either course of action might follow, and both should be counted as passive rather than active euthanasia if euthanasia were in question.” (18) I as well as my coworkers disagreed, saying that letting the patient die without prolonging his or her life beyond a reasonable, enjoyable amount of time is the same as allowing for a natural death.
Philippa Foot’s Euthanasia provides an interesting background to further ones knowledge of euthanasia. It is difficult to read, because of the technicalities that must be in place for it to defend a pro-euthanasia viewpoint. It is thorough, technical, well planned, and well cited.
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