Analysis of Philippa Foot's Article on Euthanasia Essay

1376 Words Apr 26th, 2006 6 Pages
Euthanasia as defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is a quiet and easy death. One may wonder, is there such a thing as a quiet and easy death? This is one point that I will discuss in my paper, however the question that my paper will answer is; should active euthanasia be legalized? First, I will look at Philippa Foot's article on Euthanasia and discuss my opinions on it. Second, I will look at James Rachel's article on active and passive euthanasia and discuss why I agree with his argument. Finally, I will conclude by saying that while the legalizing of active euthanasia would benefit many people, it would hurt too many, thus I believe that it should not be legalized. Through Philippa Foot's article she is trying to …show more content…
"It would be hard to devise procedures that would protect people from being persuaded into giving their consent." (Foot, p. 804) There is no way of knowing if a person is giving their consent because the truly want to or because they were persuaded to do so. Finally, the last problem, according to Foot, with legalizing active euthanasia would be that it might change the social scene and in and bad way. "It might come to be expected that someone likely to need a lot of looking after should call for the doctor and demand his own death." (Foot, p. 804) I have to agree with Foot's idea's here. I think that she is correct in saying that once legalized, active euthanasia will be more than abused. People will look to euthanasia as a way out of caring for a person instead of a relief from pain, which is its initial purpose. The question we have to consider now is that if such things could go wrong with legalizing euthanasia, why would anyone want to legalize it in the first place? James Rachels believes that if passive euthanasia is legal medically, then so should active euthanasia. He doesn't believe that there is a moral difference between active and passive euthanasia. "Part of my point is that the process of being "allowed to die" can be relatively slow and painful, whereas being given a lethal injection is relatively quick and painless." (Rachels, p. 782) Might I add here that euthanasia is defined as "an easy and quiet death." So, it would seem to me that

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