The Morality Of Euthanasia By James Rachels Essay

The Morality Of Euthanasia By James Rachels Essay

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In the essay “The Morality of Euthanasia”, James Rachels uses what he calls the argument from mercy. Rachels states, “If one could end the suffering of another being—the kind from which we ourselves would recoil, about which we would refuse to read or imagine—wouldn’t one?” He cites a Stewart Alsop’s story in which he shares a room with a terminally ill cancer patient who he named Jack. At the end of the recounting, Alsop basically asks, “were this another animal, would not we see to it that it doesn’t suffer more than it should?” Which opens up the question of, “Why do humans receive special treatment when we too are animals?” We would not let animals suffer when there is a low chance of survival, so why is it different for us humans?
Rachels shows how the argument from mercy can be expressed in utilitarian terms. For example he claims “Any action or social policy is morally right if it serves to increase the amount of happiness in the world or to decrease the amount of misery. Conversely, action or social policy is morally wrong if it serves to decrease happiness or to increase ...

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