Euthanasia as defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is a quiet and easy death. One may wonder, is there such a thing as a quiet and easy death? This is one point that I will discuss in my paper, however the question that my paper will answer is; should active euthanasia be legalized? First, I will look at Philippa Foot's article on Euthanasia and discuss my opinions on it. Second, I will look at James Rachel's article on active and passive euthanasia and discuss why I agree with his argument. Finally, I will conclude by saying that while the legalizing of active euthanasia would benefit many people, it would hurt too many, thus I believe that it should not be legalized.
Through Philippa Foot's article she is trying to prove that an act of euthanasia is morally permissible as long as you are doing that act for the right reasons. Foot defines euthanasia as "a matter of opting for death for the good of the one who is to die." (Foot, p. 798) I agree with Foot's definition of euthanasia more so than the dictionaries because in her definition she mentions that it's for the good of the person who is to die, which is what really makes euthanasia moral. The dictionary merely says that euthanasia is the act of dying an easy or quiet death which can very easily be an immoral act. There are four types of euthanasia that Foot describes in her article. The first is active euthanasia which is a deliberate act aimed to end a person's life. The second is passive euthanasia which is the deliberate allowing of a person to die in order to stop pain or suffering. The third is voluntary euthanasia which is the ending of a person's life in response to a request from that person. Finally, the fourth is nonvoluntary euthanasia which is the ending of a person's life where that person does not have the capacity to either request or withhold consent to do so. Foot justifies euthanasia by saying that as long as we are considering the benefits of the person...
Cited: Foot, Philippa. "Euthanasia." Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues. 2nd ed. Eds. Steven M. Cahn and Peter Markie. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. 790-805
Rachels, James. "Active and Passive Euthanasia." Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues. 2nd ed. Eds. Steven M. Cahn and Peter Markie. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. 782-786
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