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Active and passive euthanasia - Essay Example

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For a long time, euthanasia is considered one of the most controversial problems in medical practice.During many years of debate euthanasia has heated discussions in the society and medical practice unveiling ethical and philosophical dilemma of easy death in the case of incurable and painful diseases…
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Active and passive euthanasia
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Download file to see previous pages For a long time, euthanasia is considered one of the most controversial problems in medical practice.During many years of debate euthanasia has heated discussions in the society and medical practice unveiling ethical and philosophical dilemma of easy death in the case of incurable and painful diseases. Still, there is no right or wrong opinion about active and passive euthanasia because much depends upon the conditions and causes which frce people to look for this problem-solving. Thesis Following Rachel, there is a no great difference between active and passive euthanasia if the actions of a doctor: "designed to kill the patient", although patients should have a right to die.The question of active and passive euthanasia is based on ethical and moral dilemma. Rachel underlines that every specific case should be discussed separately in accordance with the circumstances and patients' medical conditions. It is unethical to use people as a mean but it's more unethical to deprive them of a chance to avoid sufferings, because of speculative ethical arguments esist6ing in modern medical practice. Rachel states: "The important difference between active and passive euthanasia is that, in passive euthanasia, the doctor does not do anything to bring about the patient's death" (248)In favr of active euthanasia, the author illustrates the cases of terminally ill patients. The only question is when they will die. There are cases, when patients remain in a "persistent vegetative state" and will never alive. Active euthanasia can be used as the nly pssible tool to relieve sufferings and pain. In this situatin, the problem is that it is impossible to develop the ethical and moral law which will be suitable for all the cases and can be applied in all situations. It is important to note that it is more unethical to allw relatives to suffer with mortally ill hopeless members of the family. For instance, in some cases of terminal cancer palliative care is the only possible way to prevent sufferings of patients.
Ethics refers to the first and most obvious category of values, but in time it might come to be seen as merely a special case of a more general concern. Individuals' illnesses are a fusion of biological processes and biographical experiences; this is true to some extent of all illnesses, but is especially true of chronic illnesses. Following Rachel: "active euthanasia is condemned not merely as illegal but as 'contrary to that for which the medical profession stands' whereas passive euthanasia is approved" (p. 248). The treatment of chrnic illnesses in particular requires a fusion of biolgical understanding. In this case, "Letting someone die" is certainly different, in some respects, from other types of action- mainly in that it is a kind of action that one may perform by way of not performing certain other actions" (p. 248).
In spite of the fact that only God can decides when the life should end, many seriously ill patients want to stop suffering and pass away without pain. Although, Rachel compares active euthanasia with the killing of people, but many people kill themselves in order to avid pain. The concept of active euthanasia cntradicts with moral norms and ethical practice of a doctor who should relief pain. Also, Rachel argues that "If a doctor lets a patient die, for humane reasons, he is in the .same moral position as if he had given the patient a lethal injection for humane reasons" (p. 247). At one time or another in their lives, most people reflect on their relationship to a higher order of existence, whether one perceives it as an eternal force, the universe around, a defined spiritual entity, or a concept that answers to a basic human need for a sense of order behind the turbulent appearance of everyday life.
Taking into account the cases under discussion, it is possible to say that Rachel's argument has many limitations, because people are entitled to the control over their own bodies. But they do not take into account unethical behavior. For instance, "the term ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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