Active and Passive Euthanasia by James Rachels - Assignment Example

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Active euthanasia is preferable to passive euthanasia in some instances like when a patient is suffering and is pain since from a moral stand point, by actively euthanizing a patient (through injections), you are easing their suffering and pain. In addition, the intention for…
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Active and Passive Euthanasia by James Rachels
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Active and Passive Euthanasia al Affiliation) Question One Active euthanasia is preferable to passive euthanasia in some instances like when a patient is suffering and is pain since from a moral stand point, by actively euthanizing a patient (through injections), you are easing their suffering and pain. In addition, the intention for actively euthanizing the person is not death itself but to ease the person’s suffering and pain. Death is merely unavoidable.
Question Two
According to Rachels, the conventional moral doctrine, which permits passive euthanasia but disallows active euthanasia, can facilitate people to base life and death decisions on moral grounds that are irrelevant. This is because the doctrine exclusively asserts that it is morally better to let someone die rather than kill him/her without stipulating the conditions. In some instances, both actions may have a similar outcome that is morally repugnant (self-interest and greed). In other instances like in a cancer patient, active euthanasia may ease the pain of the patient rather than letting them suffer in the name of morality (Rachels, 2010).
Question Three
The Smith case shows how he actively killed his six year old cousin while the Jones case shows how even if he did not actively kill his six year old cousin, he let him die even though he had the power to save him but chose not to. According to Rachels, there are no moral differences between the two cases even though one is passive and the other active. In this case, the act of killing (active) is not worse than letting someone die (passive). The two cases are in fact morally equivalent as none is worse or better than the other.
Question Four
It’s a mistake to assert that passive euthanasia isn’t intentional killing because in some instances, it is logically permissible for the act actively killing someone to be equivalent to the act of letting someone die, as evidenced in the Smith and Jones case. In some instances, the reason behind active and passive killing may be the intent to kill, thus making both acts morally equal.
Question Five
It’s inaccurate to state that a doctor adopting passive euthanasia is in a moral sense doing nothing because in some instances, the inaction of the doctor may result to a terminal patient enduring more pain and suffering for a longer period of time. In fact, if the doctor euthanizes the patient actively, he may ease the patient’s pain, whose intention is morally acceptable.
Reference List
Rachels, James. (2010). Active and Passive Euthanasia. New England Journal of Medicine, 78-80. Read More
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