August 3, 2019 posted by

The distinction between active and passive euthanasia is thought to be crucial for medical ethics. The idea is that it is James Rachels. James Rachels. The late philosopher James Rachels published one of the most salient pieces on the euthanasia (E) debate in the New England Journal. The moral distinction between active and passive euthanasia, or between “killing ” and The philosopher James Rachels has an argument that shows that the.

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In either case, the matter is being decided on irrelevant grounds.

Active and passive euthanasia

Or, if one thinks that it is better that such an infant not live on, what difference does it make that it happens to have an obstructed intestinal tract? Suppose that the reason the doctor didn’t save Brown was that he was already in the middle of saving Green, and if he left Green to save Brown, Green would die.

Racyels to PP index Total downloads 16, of 2, Recent downloads 6 months jamws 14, of 2, How can I increase my downloads? A is in great euthaasia, despite high doses of painkilling drugs. Only rules that apply to everyone can be accepted One well-known ethical principle says that we should only be guided by moral principles that we would accept should be followed by everyone.

Passive euthanasia Passive euthanasia occurs when the patient dies because the medical professionals either don’t do something necessary to keep the patient alive, or when they stop doing something that is keeping the patient alive.


And this is best achieved not by letting the patient die, but by directly killing him. The doctor gives A a lethal injection – A becomes unconscious within seconds and dies within an hour. If we accept that active euthanasia is wrong, then we accept as a universal rule that people should be permitted to suffer severe pain before death if that is the consequence of their sctive.

Here’s a case to consider: O’Neil – – Philosophy 55 Bob Rcahels – – Humanist Perspectives The Case of Smith: First argument against the conventional doctrine is that many cases of “letting die” are WORSE for the patient than is killing them. Switching off a respirator requires someone to carry out the action of throwing the switch. Doctors faced with the problem of an incurable patient who wants duthanasia die have often felt it was morally better to withdraw treatment from a patient and let the patient die than to kill the patient perhaps euthanasis a lethal injection.

If passive euthanasia would be right in this case then the continued existence of the patient in a state of great pain must be a greater evil than their death.

Some medical people like this idea. Although most actual cases of killing are morally worse than most actual cases of letting die, we are more familiar with cases of killing especially the terrible ones that are reported in the mediabut we are less familiar with the details of letting die. No keywords specified fix it. The doctor stops giving A the drugs that are keeping him alive, but continues pain killers – A dies 3 days later, after having been in pain despite the doctor’s best efforts.


Our goal is to prevent passiev unnecessary suffering. The moral distinction between active and passive euthanasia, or between “killing” and “letting die”.

Return to Theodore Gracyk’s Home Page. The parents and doctors would not take action to directly kill the child. The Case of Jones. Abrams on Active and Passive Euthanasia.

Active and Passive Euthanasia: Doctors can withhold treatment in many circumstances, and does nothing wrong if the patient dies, but the doctor must never, ever “kill” the patient. The Dutch parliament very recently approved a bill that would allow doctors to directly administer a lethal dose of medication.

James Rachels, Active and passive euthanasia – PhilPapers

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The dagger in his heart killed him,” we wouldn’t think this an adequate moral argument either. The conventional doctrine would say passibe it is permissible for the doctor to refrain from further treatment and to allow the patient the die. So the decision whether to let the child die, or allow it to live, turns on whether the child has a congenital defect.

Thus suppose I wish you dead, if I act to bring about your death I am a murderer, but if I happily discover you in danger of death, and fail to act to save you, I am not acting, and therefore, according to the doctrine, not a murderer.