Is Euthanasia Morally and Philosophically Justifiable? Essay

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When considering whether the piece of legislation titled “The Death with Dignity Act” is morally and philosophically justifiable, the moral and philosophic viability of what is referred to as active voluntary euthanasia must first be evaluated. Because active voluntary euthanasia seeks to reduce the amount of suffering of the patients as well as offer individuals greater control over their life it can be justified, and the “Death with Dignity Act” outlines a responsible method for enacting active voluntary euthanasia. One of the most contentious issues when considering active voluntary euthanasia is the first part of the term—active. According to opponents of active voluntary euthanasia it is morally worse to actively cause the death of…show more content…
Considering the hypothetical cancer patient, the amount of pain they would endure over the course of what could be several weeks would at best be a continuation of the pain which caused them to make this demand in the first place. However, if they were to be given and to accept the option of receiving a prescription to end their life they would be able to do so while potentially experiencing far less pain. In each case the doctor, whether through the cessation of treatment or through a prescription, ends the life of the individual thus there is no real moral difference between the two by this measure. If anything passive could be considered worse as it increases the amount of pain experienced by the individual. There is a notable counter-argument to this notion presented by Thomas Sullivan which argues that when a doctor withdraws any extraordinary treatment he or she “may forsee that the decision will hasten death, but it certainly doesn't follow from that fact that he intends to bring about its death.”2 He continues to compare this instance to wearing down the tires of a car by driving it without intending it though it can be foreseen. This comparison is somewhat ridiculous, the reason Sullivan is willing to drive his car despite the wear he will inflict on his tires is because wear on tires is a trivial manner. Any given drive isn't going to force the purchase of new tires, and

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