The Morality Of Active And Passive Euthanasia

760 Words 4 Pages
I believe that Mr. Rachels would agree with my argument above. In his article titled “Active and Passive Euthanasia,” he explains two scenarios; a case involving a patient with incurable throat cancer, and another involving a baby with Down’s syndrome and a easily treatable intestinal blockage. Though these arguments cover a wide range of cases, they don’t appear to apply to Ms. Reese’s case. Throughout James Rachels’ discussion of the morality of active versus passive euthanasia, he fails to mention a case in which a patient is diagnosed with a disease that is untreatable, not life immediately threatening, and quite painless as the disease progresses. These characteristics are reminiscent of Alzheimer’s disease as Ms. Reese has been diagnosed. …show more content…
In Ms. Reese’s case, the question is whether or not active euthanasia should be carried out per her request. Let’s discuss for a moment the possibility of passive euthanasia for Ms. Reese. As mentioned in the vignette, Alzheimer’s disease would most likely be a contributing factor to Ms. Reese’s eventually death. What this essentially means is that Ms. Reese is in no immediate danger. Over a relatively long period of time, Ms. Reese’s brain tissue will perhaps eventually deteriorate to a terminal point. That being said, this process will take a long period of time and will be painful. Rachels’ argument about the gentleman with untreatable throat cancer is known to endure a painful road to death within a short period of time. This case is almost polar opposite to Ms. Reese’s. To allow for passive euthanasia would cause an absurd amount of pain and suffering for the patient when he is bound to die within a relatively short period of time. It would be irresponsible to allow for this patient to suffer so significantly before reaching death directly caused by the cancer. Ms. Reese, however, is able to continue to live with a virtually painless disease. In fact, Ms. Reese will most likely forget about the fact that she was even diagnosed with the disease all together (of course as a result of the deterioration of her brain). These cases are very …show more content…
Reese. Based on the stance which Rachels took on both of his arguments, it appears that Rachels would agree that active euthanasia would not be called for in Ms. Reese’s case. The passive versus active euthanasia argument don’t really apply to Ms. Reese’s case considering that Alzheimer’s may eventually contribute to her death. Furthermore, the process to reach this eventual death is one without pain or suffering. Ms. Reese’s case may not fit the arguments made by Rachels, however it appears that he would, as well as most rational people should, agree with my earlier

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