Active Euthanaisa Essay Research Paper The Moral

  • Просмотров 261
  • Скачиваний 13
  • Размер файла 16
    Кб

Active Euthanaisa Essay, Research Paper The Moral Permissibility of Legalizing Active Euthanasia To date, in the united States of America, active euthanasia has been seen as unacceptable in legal terms. However, the issue is not so clear in moral terms among the public, and especially among the medical community. In fact, nearly half of the doctors in the United States say that they would prescribe active euthanasia under certain circumstances. The law that prohibits active euthanasia restricts many people from doing what they feel morally justified to do. The moral aspects of killing a person would be the primary point in the argument that society would be harmed by the legalization of voluntary active euthanasia. Therefore, it is most important to morally justify the

practice of active euthanasia in order for an argument to be formed in favor of the legalization of active euthanasia. I will first prove that passive and active euthanasia have the same moral permissibility and therefore should have the same legality. I will also discuss the two main arguments for the moral justification of active euthanasia as well as refute four arguments against the legalization of active euthanasia. I believe some of the arguments against active euthanasia can be dismissed, and some of the arguments can be overridden by the importance of an individual’s self-determination and well-being. Before arguing my first point, it is necessary to understand the difference between killing and letting die. Some argue that letting die, which is the action considered to

take place in passive euthanasia, is morally permissible and killing, which is the action considered to take place in active euthanasia, is not morally permissible. I consider these both to be actions without any moral difference. James Rachels puts the distinction between killing and letting die in a very understandable way when he said, “One may let a patient die by way of not giving him medication, just as one may insult someone by way of not shaking his hand.” (p.132). In Rachels example the action, or lack of action, is not the relevant point because in each case in the example the actions are the same. Instead, it is the intentions of the person which are important and relevant because the intentions in each case are obviously not the same. I agree with Rachel and I too

believe the moral difference between killing and letting die does not lye in the action a person takes, but in the intentions of a person in carrying out those action(s). Furthermore, it is important to understand that if one of the two actions is going to be accepted it is logical that they both be accepted because the actions are not morally different. To say that killing is morally impermissible and letting die is morally permissible or vice versa seems to be ignorant. Specific cases for killing and letting die can be presented where the equality of the moral permissibility between the two can be put into question. For example, a hunter walking in the woods trips over a rock and shoots his son who dies, while in the other part of town a mother finds her baby lying face down in

water filled bathtub, does nothing about it, and the baby dies. The first part of this scenario depicts an obvious case of killing, while the second part depicts an obvious case of letting die. Although the actions in each case were the same, the case of killing is more easily morally justified than the case of letting die because the intentions in the former were good, while the intentions in the latter were bad. It is easy to see that with each set of circumstances the moral permissibility of killing and letting die may vary because of the intentions of a person. Therefore, killing, which is the action considered to take place in active euthanasia, should have the same moral permissibility as letting die, which is the action considered to take place in passive euthanasia, as