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Euthanasia Philosophy Essay
Pages 5 (1255 words)
Euthanasia Part One: Summary Digest James Rachels in his article Active and Passive Euthanasia describes the moral differences between active and passive euthanasia. He has pointed out that the conventional doctrine about euthanasia is that there is such an important moral difference between the two that, although the latter is sometimes permissible, the former is always forbidden…
The doctrine rests on a distinction between killing and letting die that itself has no moral importance (Rachels 1) James Rachel pointed out that mercy killing or the intentional termination of the life of one human being by another is against the norms of medical profession and the policy of the American Medical Association. It is ethical for a doctor to withdraw the treatment of a patient in no hope condition because of the requests made by the patient and his relatives. However, the patient may intensify his pain and agony because of the withdrawal of treatment. In this case, active euthanasia should be considered more moral than passive euthanasia since the withdrawal of treatment may intensify the pain and agony of the patient for the remaining period of his life. In other words, the purpose of euthanasia may not be served in the cases of passive euthanasia. Rachels pointed out that “the process of being "allowed to die" can be relatively slow and painful, whereas being given a lethal injection is relatively quick and painless” (Rachels 2). James Rachel’s second argument is that some people perform passive euthanasia on irrelevant grounds. He has made this point clear with an example of an infant with Down syndrome. ...
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