The Moral Permissibility Of Voluntary Active Euthanasia Essay

1499 Words Nov 22nd, 2016 6 Pages
In this essay, I will contend that Brock’s argument in favor of the moral permissibility of voluntary active euthanasia (VAE) is sound and that Brock offers persuasive responses to the objection that (A) VAE is an act which involves the deliberate killing of an innocent person and (B) the deliberate killing of an innocent person is always morally wrong. To achieve this, I will begin by summarizing Brock’s argument for the moral permissibility of VAE. Then, I will synthesize the objection to Brock’s argument and Brock’s subsequent responses. Finally, I will describe why I find Brock’s responses persuasive.
Brock’s argument for the moral permissibility of VAE can be constructed as follows: (1) VAE is supported by the “values of patient well-being and self-determination,” (Brock, p. 11). In order to understand the first premise, well-being and self-determination must be defined. The value of self-determination relates to an individual’s own autonomy, their ability to make important decisions in pursuit of their personal conception of a “good life,” or their preferred state (Brock, p. 11). For some terminally ill patients, the desire to retain a certain quality of life, avoid potential suffering, protect their dignity, and be remembered in a certain way outweighs any desire to continue living. VAE would allow these patients make personal decisions about how they die and when they die, upholding the value of self-determination. The lack of an objective threshold for when a life…

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