Sunday, July 31, 2016

Active and Passive Euthanasia

From guest blogger, Bryan.

In class we discussed about euthanasia which is categorized in two groups, active and passive euthanasia.  Many people including the American Medical Association, hold that active euthanasia is immoral because it involves an intention to kill other by another human. However,   I agree with James Rachels who argues that active euthanasia is morally permissible in certain situations.

We discussed a lot about a comparison between killing and letting die.  If some people think it is morally permissible to use passive euthanasia to help illness people to reduce pain, then there is no difference between active and passive euthanasia because the intention (to reduce pain) and the result will be the same. In fact, practice active euthanasia may be more preferable because it can end up illness people’ life more quickly and happily. Hence, it is to me that practicing active euthanasia is morally permissible. 

1 comment:

Kara said...

Bryan, I think your pain reduction argument is compelling. After all, why should doctors be allowed to let cancer painfully kill its victim, but not give the patient a pain relieving shot of morphine that will kill them all the same, just less fast and with more dignity?

However, I think active euthanasia in practice can get extraordinarily dangerous. At the end of one's life, in extreme agony, and perhaps being pressured by friends and family to do one thing or another, how can one truly consent to getting killed by a force different than the original one?

Not only that, but pill pharms have already roared their ugly head in Florida and other places across the country. The medical care system has allowed for a prescription pill epidemic. This is a huge flaw which has no known solution yet. I fear that such a bad system allowing doctors to kill patients could yield some awful repercussions. If it's cheaper for a patient to choose active euthanasia than passive euthanasia, how can we make sure their healthcare provider (or lack thereof) does not make cost a contributing factor to their timely/untimely death? What is to stop death pharms, doctors who are known to use active euthanasia and use manipulative tactics to do so?