James Rachel's Argument On Active Vs. Euthanasia

1038 Words 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 …show more content…
In the first situation, a man named Smith is in line for a large inheritance, but only if something happens to his six year old cousin. So one night when his cousin is bathing, Smith sneaks in and drowns the child ,and makes it look like an accident. In the second situation, a man named Jones is in the exact situation, and has the same plan. But when he goes into the bathroom, he sees his cousin slip and fall, hitting his head. Jones stands by and watched as the child drowns, but is willing to push his head back under if needed. Clearly Smith’s situation is meant to symbolize active euthanasia, and Jones is meant to symbolize Passive euthanasia. While smith killed the child, and jones just “let” the child die, but both men were working under the same motive of getting their inheritance. If letting die was less bad morally than killing, Jones wouldn 't be as wrong in this situation, yet he is. This proves that the distinction between killing and letting die, isn 't important morally. The AMA is also wrong in the wording of it statement, it condemns “intentionally” ending someone 's life, or mercy killing, but it allows the ending of treatment used to keep the person alive. Rachel says that this is also intentionally killing the person, because when you stop treatment that is the action that is causing the end of the person 's

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