Active and Passive Euthanasia Essay

1003 Words Oct 31st, 2013 5 Pages
PHI 2630- Introduction to Ethics

April 20, 2013

Active and Passive Euthanasia

Most moral codes state that killing another human being is morally wrong. I would agree that to kill another human being in the heat of anger, for material gain or in the event of committing a crime would be morally wrong. But I feel that our moral codes are lacking in certain areas and do not take into account some situations where killing another human being would be morally acceptable. This type of killing would be to end the person’s suffering only. These cases the killing would be called active and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia “taking a direct action to kill someone, to carry out a “mercy killing”. (Vaughn, 2010) “Passive Euthanasia is
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Others have signed a living will, or have assigned a loved one or trusted member of their inner circle to make medical decisions on their behalf in such cases. I will argue that both should be allowed and in neither case would a person be morally wrong, especially in cases where a person has made their wishes known to their loved ones or the medical personnel involved in their care. I would argue that the patient would suffer more from the withholding of food and water, suffering pain in these instances than receiving a pharmaceutical cocktail injection that would end the suffering immediately. This would also lessen the suffering the family would endure by watching their loved one linger for weeks slowly dying of dehydration or lack of food. Utilitarianism could argue the patient’s and family’s suffering would be less, if the patient were to receive the injection instead of withholding of water or food. According to Kant, either case would be immoral, as even suicide is not a moral choice. But what of the patient’s dignity? The patient is not able to move, talk, or have any semblance of a life. If the patient were able to think, could it not be said that having someone bathe them, dress them, move their limbs, would be unbearable? The patient is no longer able to achieve happiness. The happiness of the remaining family greatly diminishes as they are watching their loved one lay in such a state does

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