Study Notes on Euthanasia

Topics: Euthanasia, Death, Argumentative Pages: 5 (973 words) Published: December 4, 2013
Euthanasia – Proxy Decisions
Means beautiful death
The termination of a beings life on compassionate grounds
Candidates for euthanasia are terminally ill with death being imminent that face uncontrollable pain and suffering. Typical criteria for euthanasia What are the procedures?
Are they morally equivalent? (deontological issue)
If not, why not?
Passive vs. Active Euthanasia
1. Cause of death
2. Manner of death
3. Procedure
4. Perceived moral status
5. Justification for perceived moral status
Passive Euthanasia
1. Nature – underlying illness
2. Omission to act – letting patient die from underlying illness 3. Refusal of treatment or ongoing treatment is withdrawn
4. Permissible
5. Respect patient autonomy
Alleviate further suffering
Not killing
Active Euthanasia
1. Human activity
2. Commission “Killing”
3. Physician assisted suicide
Physical administered (“Active euthanasia proper”)
4. Not permissible
5. Injunction against killing people
Injunction against physicians killing (violates aims medicine) Consequential reasons
James Rachels
Deontological issue – Is killing intrinsically worse than “letting” a person die? He says NO.
What determines moral status:- intentions and motives
What matters is why, not how.
Smith has 6 year old cousin, if cousin dies he gets huge inheritance Drowns child
Clearly kills
Motives and intentions are malevolent
Goes to kill child
Before he does anything the child slips, falls, and drowned
Let die
Motives and intentions are malevolent
Killing – taking a life
Murder – unjust taking of a life
Consequentially speaking: Active Euthanasia is actually preferable; more effective in bringing out the ___ motive. Criticism about a practice: allowing someone to die on irrelevant grounds in the most horrible possible way Down Syndrome: not operating based on blocked intestines.

Using DS as an excuse to NOT operate
Passive euthanasia can be done by withholding basic necessities ie: food Dave Cullahan
Central argument: there are limitations to
Says he will prove that killing is morally worse than letting die Does: argue that killing and letting die are different actions Specifically that letting a patient die is NOT killing
Argues there is a causal difference between both
Misuse of the word “killing”: when Dr. takes patient off Life Support Morally speaking they are the same. Cullahan doe not say this, but it is implied Isolates the disease as the cause: The diseases takes the life Not clear. Not very strong. Attempts to refute Rachels argument Argument: Limits of autonomy, Active E is one of them

Fires off 7 rhetorical questions (stating the obvious)
Argues: limits when another person is involved
“It is a fundamental moral wrong for one person to give over their life and fate to another person. And no less wrong for the other to have that kind of total final power”  asserts this because it’s the moral truth Duelling (consentual) and slavery were outlawed based on above point = because they were stupid Paternalism: restriction of autonomy for ones own good

“father knows best”
Duelling/slavery: healthy people; competitors have potential life; highly irrational behaviour Euthanasia: dying uncontrollable pain; patients are dying, reasonable to ask for assistance based on pain and suffering Dave Brock??

The cause of death goes back further
No one would say “boy merely let grandma die by pulling the plug.” Cause of Death?
Efficient cause
The last event in a causal series
Ie: window broken by a baseball
Impact of ball against a window
boy throwing the ball at the window
Total cause
The entire causal series
On Deontological case: Rachel’s makes a strong argument for showing there is no intrinsic moral difference between killing and letting die But there are consequential issues
Arras explains is the BEST
“you don’t know JACK” watch movie based on Euthanasia
October 15, 2013

Rachels states that there is no...
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