Active And Passive Euthanasia By James Rachels

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Is it true that people think it’s not morally right to kill a person, but that it’s morally acceptable to let them die? James Rachels, in “Active and Passive Euthanasia,” argues that there is no moral difference between active and passive euthanasia. He believes that if passive euthanasia is permissible, then active euthanasia should also be. In medical ethics, the distinction between both euthanasias are highly controversial, yet passive euthanasia is accepted and practiced by a majority of doctors. Despite critical conditions to one’s medical case, the majority of people believe active killing is morally worse than letting one die. To defeat this belief and undermine such closed minded views, I will raise an argument against active euthanasia in hopes to encourage doctors and other individuals to reconsider their current thoughts.

Although, one might disagree with Rachels stance, I agree with his argument because there is no significant moral difference between passive and active euthanasia as the person will presume to be deceased after all. Thus, making his argument consistent and the doctrine, active euthanasia, just as justifiable and permissible as passive euthanasia. In some cases, it is permissible to withhold treatment and allow a patient to die, but it is never permissible to take any direct action intended to kill the patient.

Not only is this view adopted by most doctors, but it is accepted in the American Medical Association statement: “the

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