Essay on The Moral Difference Between Killing And Letting Die

1862 Words Aug 10th, 2015 8 Pages

Advances in medical science have enabled people to live longer by providing more health care options to ill patients. These advances have also presented many complications. Patients who would normally die from natural causes are now able to live longer, even with poor quality of life. One issue, in particular, arises when a terminally ill patient wishes to take his life in order to relieve suffering. Two main options available to these patients are active (“killing”) or passive (“letting die”) euthanasia. While some argue that there is a moral difference between killing and letting die, others believe that the two are not morally different. By using Utilitarianism to support my argument, I do not believe that there is a moral difference between killing and letting die because the end result is death, and the intention is to diminish suffering. Utilitarianism seeks to maximize happiness and values the consequences of actions. Therefore, since both actions maximize happiness by relieving suffering, and result in death, there is no moral distinction between the two.
Review of Relevant Ethical Issues

Euthanasia can be defined as the act of purposefully ending a person’s life in order to alleviate pain and suffering. Many philosophers further define euthanasia by the means used to end life, by active euthanasia or passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia can be seen as “killing” a patient by taking direct action, such as administering a legal injection, to take his…

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