Passive Euthanasia Summary

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The article by author James Rachel is a crucial criticism to the doctrine accepted by the doctors that is endorsed in a statement by the American Medical Association. The main argument is challenging the conventional doctrine of using passive euthanasia i.e. letting the patient die then active euthanasia i.e. killing the patient directly, even though the latter one is considered more humane than the former. He supports this argument by saying that for a patient with an incurable disease, it is better to kill the patient saving them from the pain and suffering, rather then just ceasing the treatment and letting them suffer until they die. Secondly, the author argues that conventional doctrine leading to their decisions is based on irrelevant …show more content…
Active euthanasia is defined, as the intentional act of causing the death if a patient is suffering from illness that is incurable in a biological perspective i.e. biological death is imminent. And passive euthanasia is defined as withdrawal of treatment to a patient and allowing them to die. The conventional doctrine states that there is a moral difference between the two, and consider the latter one as being more permissible than the former one. But the author argues that these two in it self has no moral importance. And to investigate the same issue, he considered two cases that are exactly alike except that one involves letting someone die and the other involves killing. He suggests that it is important to have all the other conditions alike for making the only difference the obvious choice for any variation in the assessment. And the important extracts from the case he stated in the article are: 1) Smith kills his cousin for money 2) Jones lets his cousin die for money. Just looking at the statement, the first judgment would be that killing is worse than letting die. But the author questions that judgment stating that both the men acted for the same motive of killing the cousin, and that their action cannot be assessed differently …show more content…
Most of the cases of letting die are the actions of doctors that are motivated by humanitarian reasons, and are heard of rarely. And it is very easy to mix up the question of whether killing is worse than letting die and if the actual cases of killing are more reprehensible than cases of letting die. The author states this as one of the reason why he thinks that is tough for people to accept the judgment that there is no moral difference between killing and letting

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