Active And Passive Euthanasia Should Be Important For Medical Ethics

892 Words Dec 8th, 2016 4 Pages
The American Medical Association states that, “The intentional termination of the life of one hu-man being by another — mercy killing — is contrary to that for which the medical profession stands and is contrary to the policy of the American Medical Association. The cessation of the employment of extraordinary means to prolong the life of the body when there is irrefutable evidence that biological death is imminent is the decision of the patient and/or his immediate family. The advice and judgment of the physician should be freely available to the patient and/or his immediate family." (Feinberg 640) This means that AMA believe the distinction between active and passive euthanasia is thought to be crucial for medical ethics. The idea is that it is permissible, at least in some cases, to withhold treatment and allow a patient to die, but it is never per­missible to take any direct action designed to kill the patient. To simplify the above statement, Passive euthanasia is when medical professionals either don’t do something necessary to keep the patient alive, or they stop doing something that is keeping the patient alive. Whereas, Active euthanasia is actively intervening, by either lethal injection or some other form of ending the patient’s life. (Feinberg 638)
To illustrate these two forms of euthanasia, picture a patient who is dying of incurable and painful cancer. Certain to die with or without treatment within days, the patient wishes to die now. Suppose the doctor…

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