A student essay Essay question:Is there a difference between active and passive euthanasia? This difference in attitudes toward active and passive euthanasia seems generally accepted by the medical profession. Opponents of active euthanasia rely on the intuitive difference that killing someone is morally worse than letting them die.
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It is argued that a doctor who kills a patient directly causes the death, but a doctor who withdraws or withholds https://oops-essay.icu/blog14/2199-do-the-homework.php merely allows that death. In contrast to this view, however, many argue that there is not any real significant moral difference between the two actions. Choosing not to act is itself an action, and we are equally responsible for this.
Indeed, as there is no significant moral difference, active euthanasia may sometimes be preferable.
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Practical considerations of limited resources, if nothing else, warrant a distinction between active and passive euthanasia. There will always be people who die because the available resources are inadequate to save them.
There would seem to be little point in spending heroic amounts of time and effort trying to prolong the life of someone whose injuries or illnesses are so severe they essay writing on death be dead after merely an hour, or day, or week.
Given this reality, it would seem logical to divert resources from people who have no hope of surviving to those who might. Passive euthanasia prevents us futilely wasting resources, and frees them to be reallocated where they can do more good. There is an "intuitive" difference between killing and allowing to die.
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The former involves actually initiating the sequence of events that leads to someone's death. The latter, however, only involves refraining to intervene in an already established course of events leading to death Kuhse: p.
Death is not necessarily guaranteed: the patient might still recover if they were given an incorrect prognosis. When a patient is allowed to die in this manner, it seems as though nature has merely been allowed to take its course. Some commentators Gay-Williams, suggest that this should not be classified as euthanasia at all.
In reality, there does not seem to be any morally significant difference between passive and active euthanasia. Deciding to refrain from treating a patient is morally equivalent to administering a lethal injection since the doctor ceases treatment knowing that the patient will die.
The motivations and end result are the same: the only difference between the two cases is the means used to achieve death. In the case of passive euthanasia the doctor has made an informed decision that non-treatment is the better course of action.
Therefore, there is no justification for viewing these actions differently. Active euthanasia may sometimes be preferable to passive euthanasia.
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Being allowed to die can be an incredibly painful process. A lethal injection, however, is less painful. Assuming a terminally ill patient decides he or she does not want to continue to suffer, and a doctor agrees to assist the patient terminate his or her life, surely consistency demands that the least painful form of euthanasia, intended to reduce suffering, is used Rachels, Accepting that there is a distinction between active and passive euthanasia will result in decisions about life and death being made on irrelevant grounds.
Rachels offers the example of two Down Syndrome babies, one born with an obstructed intestine, and one born perfectly healthy in all other respects.
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In many cases, babies born with this condition are refused the simple operation that could cure it and so die. It does not seem right that an easily curable digestive ailment should determine whether the baby lives or dies. If Down Syndrome babies lives are judged to be not worth living, then both babies should die.
If not, they should both be given medical treatment sufficient to ensure their survival. Accepting a distinction here active and passive euthanasia results in unacceptable inconsistencies in our treatment of such babies, and should therefore be abolished.
Some philosophers Beauchamp, who accept the arguments outlined above nevertheless believe that this distinction, however fallacious, should be maintained in public policy and law. They believe that consequentionalist arguments justify this. If we permitted active euthanasia, it is argued that this would undermine our belief in the sanctity of human life.
This would begin our slide down a "slippery slope" Burgess, that would end with.
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