James rachels argument against the traditional medical doctrine in active and passive euthanasia

In certain situations, passive euthanasia "letting die" is morally permissible. However, active euthanasia physician-assisted death is never morally permissible.

James rachels argument against the traditional medical doctrine in active and passive euthanasia

James rachels argument against the traditional medical doctrine in active and passive euthanasia

There is no principal difference between active euthanasia and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia is in many cases more humane than passive euthanasia - Article: Intentions and actions are two separate ideas which cannot be compared. He also explains how inaction is still an action because there is a consequence.

When performing euthanasia, no matter the intentions, someone still dies. If letting a person die is morally permissible then killing someone is also, and vice versa. We will write a custom essay sample on Article: The reason it is unmistakably incorrect for active euthanasia to be thought of as no different from passive euthanasia is that there is an inherent moral distinction between killing and letting die.

Killing someone is not worse than letting someone die. There is a doctrine that exists which is what the medical world bases its actions upon, and it is this argument which Rachels believes is irrelevant to the human condition: His first example is that of a patient who is in a terrible state, knows he set to die very soon due to his incurable cancer, even if the present treatment is continued, so he would rather end his life as quickly and painlessly as possible instead of living in excruciating pain.

To say otherwise is to endorse the option that leads to more suffering rather than less, and is contrary ti the humanitarian impulse that prompts the decision not to prolong his life in the first place. To investigate this issue, Rachels makes use of two cases that are exactly alike, except for one involves killing whereas the other involves letting someone die.

In the first case, a man by the name of Smith is certain to gain a large inheritance if anything happens to his six-year-old-cousin. While the kid is taking a bath, Smith sneaks into the bathroom and drowns the child, afterwards making it seem like an accident.

The second case involves Jones in the same situation as Smith: Jones sneaks into the bathroom, planning to drown the child, only just as he enters, the child slips, hits his head and falls face down in the water. Jones passively watches his cousin drown, all the while overcome with happiness.

The only difference between the two cases is that Smith actually killed the child, whereas Jones simply let the child die. Did either man behave better, from a moral point of view? But does one really want to say that? This does not apply however, to the world of medicine.

Doctors are not concerned with personal gain or the intentional murder of an individual, they only wish to apply the correct procedure if that ensures the patient has no further use for his or her life.

Rachels admits that there may be important moral differences between active and passive euthanasia considering their consequences, but this only strengthens his idea that these differences make active euthanasia the preferable option.

It is simple to criticize the argument of Rachels by saying that the intentions of an action are more important than the outcome of an action.

This situation proves that although there may not be a concrete distinction between killing and letting die, there is always a conscious decision made that evaluates the morality of the situation.

The argument of Rachels that killing someone is not worse than letting someone die in regards to passive and active euthanasia is morally unsound for a number of reasons, one being the precious entity of human life.

Although Rachels is correct in saying that active euthanasia is considered more human than passive euthanasia in the situation of a terminally ill patient who is experiencing unneeded amounts of pain and suffering, the preservation of life is something that needs to be considered.

According to philosopher Daniel Callahan, people suffer, but suffering is as much a function of the values of individuals as it is of the physical causes of that suffering. For example, there have been many survivors of terminal variations of cancer, so there is always a possibility of survival.

It is the people who repress their will to live because the going gets tough that stipend this miracle. The natural right to life is not something that should be taken lightly, especially when the challenge of living seems too much to overcome.

The first would be to confirm many physicians in their already too-powerful belief that, when patients die or when physicians stop treatment because of the futility of continuing it, they are somehow both morally and physically responsible for the deaths that follow.

There does exist, however, a moral dilemma between the distinctions of passive and active euthanasia. Passive euthanasia, also known as letting someone die, in the medical world holds no responsibility for the physician.A.

AGS Ethics Committee, Physician-Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Active Euthanasia. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, May , 43(5) Please check,James Rachels’s Defense of Active Euthanasia: A Critical & Normative Study in my thesis section. I don't believe passive euthanasia should be called euthanasia at all.

There would be many more detailed objections from a number of standpoints, but this is a quick description of my initial response. In response to Rachels’ thoughts on active and passive euthanasia, I concede to his point on the lack of a moral difference given the argument that he presented.

James rachels argument against the traditional medical doctrine in active and passive euthanasia

The argument is a good argument. What I mean by a “good” argument is that his argument has sound logic and reason and if we accept the premises, we must accept the . 1 Active and Passive Euthanasia by James Rachels () Abstract The traditional distinction between active and passive euthanasia requires critical analysis.

The conventional doctrine is that there is such an important moral difference between the two that. More Essay Examples on Ethics Rubric. My Thesis: James Rachels’ argument in the article “Active and Passive Euthanasia” challenges the traditional distinction between active and passive euthanasia, stating that there is no important moral difference between the two.