Euthanasi Active And Passive Euthanasia

1562 Words Dec 9th, 2015 7 Pages
Euthanasia, also known as voluntary or assisted suicide, is used for terminally ill patients to end their lives instead of undergoing painful treatments and torment of waiting for death. There are, however, two different ways in which A can bring about B’s death. In this essay I will present the distinction between active and passive euthanasia as explained by James Rachels in his article called “Active and Passive Euthanasia”. I will also debate whether euthanasia is justified or not by presenting arguments both pro and against euthanasia including pain and financial burden as justifications for euthanasia and abuse of rights as against euthanasia.
The major distinction described by Rachels would be, simply put, killing and letting die. For example, A can kill B by administering a lethal injection (that would be active euthanasia) or A can allow B to die by withholding or removing life-sustaining treatment (this would be passive euthanasia). Active euthanasia occurs when a person actually takes the life of a suffering or dying individual instead of allowing them to die from natural causes. Passive euthanasia, on the other hand, implies an indirect act of killing.
Moving on, conversely, Rachels attacks the distinction between active and passive euthanasia, and the doctrine accepted by the American Medical Association that taking direct action to kill a patient (active euthanasia) is wrong, but withholding treatment and allowing a patient to die (passive euthanasia) is…
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