Is Active Euthanasia Ever Justified?

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AUTHOR: Norm Edwards Whilst the issue of active euthanasia (or assisted suicide) raises a number of arguments, for and against, the dilemma faced by doctors, parents, the individuals themselves and lawmakers is, should active euthanasia be allowed or ever justified? To answer this, justification of good cause requires analysis in terms of the pro's and con's as well as the role that moral consideration plays in terms of how we value life, and to what extent we place emphasis on that value and at what point do we say that suffering is good for life. The notion that prolonged suffering is not good for the value of life is assumed here, as is the propensity to save life without causing further distress and pain. Given that several…show more content…
As already discussed, the term "killing" appears to be worse than "letting die" in the moral sense. However at what point does the morality of killing not exceed the allowing of insufferable pain and agony that a patient must endure, even though it is probably already known, as in the throat cancer patient example, that the patient will die anyway. Moral consideration, I believe, is what society deems to be acceptable and what is not. I would argue that if society wants to accept that active euthanasia is morally wrong, then they must also accept that in doing so they are supporting the notion of unwanted pain and suffering to those that are experiencing that pain and by doing so are at best contradicting what they term as being morally correct. It is ridiculous to accept that society would allow pain and suffering; therefore, the term "letting die" should be equally applied to active euthanasia as it is to passive euthanasia. The AMA does allow passive euthanasia, as already explained, but again, at what point should the moral view of the termination of life disregard pain and agony? In my view, any causing death argument is flawed in terms of who is responsible for the death. With active euthanasia a doctor actively takes action to cause death; but wait, passive euthanasia effectively does the same because the doctor is still taking action, albeit passive, by not administering medicine, therefore, the causing death argument does not convince.
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