Essay about James Rachel 's Argument On Active And Passive Euthanasia

1038 Words Dec 19th, 2016 5 Pages
In this paper, I will summarize James Rachel’s argument on active versus euthanasia, and explain the examples he has written about to further explain it. After that I will summarize Thomas Sullivan’s objection. And at the end I will state my stance and conclusion on the subject. Rachels argument is on the difference between active and passive euthanasia and if that is really a distinction that needs to be made. He states in his introduction that active euthanasia is never allowed but passive euthanasia is sometimes allowed. Active euthanasia is when the doctor has a specific treatment that bring about the end of a patient’s life, such as a lethal injection. Passive euthanasia is when a doctor withholds treatment that would otherwise keep the patient alive, and therefore let the disease kill the patient. The AMA says in its official statement, that the intentional ending of a life, or mercy killing, is impermissible because it is contrary to what the AMA stands for, but the stopping of extraordinary treatments to keep the patient alive is permitted. Rachel says that this policy is unsound and not needed.
Rachels case that contradicts the AMA’s statement starts with an example about a patient with throat cancer. In this case, the patient 's cancer is incurable, he is in terrible pain and is bound to die in a few days at most even with treatment. The patient would like to withhold treatment, but he would have to go through days of agonizing pain, as it’s against the law for…

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