Active And Passive Euthanasia Analysis

1747 Words 7 Pages
Smriti Kochhar James Rachel in “Active and Passive Euthanasia” tells us the difference between active and passive euthanasia and the role it plays in medical ethics. Being directly involved in the killing of an individual is more socially unacceptable than withholding treatment and watching someone die. However, according to Rachel, both are equally reprehensible. Rachel’s views on active and passive euthanasia are predominantly neutral. He does not defend active euthanasia over passive euthanasia and vice versa. My paper focuses mainly on the four paragraphs on page 639 in which Rachel argues that the distinction between killing and letting one die is not a morally important one. The paragraphs start from “One reason why...”; the fourth …show more content…
This term is common to the medical profession where doctors kill terminally ill patients when their end is inevitable. Passive euthanasia involves doing nothing to prevent the end of life and letting nature run its course. The major controversy in medicine nowadays is whether or not killing an individual is worse then letting him or her die, since over the years we have considered the medical profession as one that saves lives in any and every situation. However, the defenders of active euthanasia suggest that the medical profession is not just one that saves lives but is also one that eases the pain, even if that involves inducing death. This contradicts the American Medical Association’s (AMA) views on euthanasia. Rachel tries to show that there is morally no difference between active and passive euthanasia. He thinks that if in a scenario where active euthanasia is allowed, passive euthanasia should also be …show more content…
“One reason why so many people think that there is an important moral difference between active and passive euthanasia is that they think killing someone is morally worse than letting someone die” (pg 639). The opinion of the majority is that active euthanasia is looked down upon because it involves killing someone, while passive euthanasia does not involve the murder of an individual since he or she is at the mercy of nature. Killing someone has long been linked to murder, therefore, the society has given a negative connotation to active euthanasia, comparing it to murder. Rachel does not have an opinion in this case but his argument portrays that both killing and allowing one to die are equally reprehensible – both morally and also by the

Related Documents