The Debate Concerning The Morality Of Euthanasia

915 Words Oct 16th, 2015 4 Pages
Americans , arguably more than any other nationality, have a right to their opinion and there exists few subjects that generate more opinions than does euthanasia. The debate concerning the morality of euthanasia parsimoniously rests on the moral assessment of whether or not the physician intentionally kills or intentionally let die the patient. An assumption has been perpetuated that there is a line of demarcation between intending to let die and intending to kill. This pseudo-practical barrier is so relevant that our laws have determined that killing for humane reasons is morally inferior to letting someone die an agonizing and prolonged death. The problem with either position is that they are based on emotions disguised as morality. I believe that the emotional and moral challenge occurs at the moment “the initial decision not to prolong his agony has been made” (Rachels, 1975) not when intending to kill or intending to let die. I argue that in light of the initial decision to allow death and alleviate suffering that there exists a moral distinction between intending to let die and intending to kill especially since it was the initial decision that dictated the intention. It is at that moment that active euthanasia becomes the most morally relevant option.

Active euthanasia and passive euthanasia are two topics that have generated much of the debate over end of life choices for terminally ill patients. Active euthanasia occurs when someone other than the patient acts…
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