Moral Problems

Topics: Medical ethics, Terri Schiavo case, Logic Pages: 2 (282 words) Published: March 5, 2015
JAMES RACHEL READING
First mini paper due Wednesday

Traditionally:
active v. passive euthanasia
active= never permissible
passive= sometimes permissible

Rachels’ argument:
1. active is more humane in some instances
passive euthanasia can prolong suffering unnecessarily
it is morally acceptable to choose the more humane option
2. the conventional model makes decisions on irrelevant grounds bowel obstruction is irrelevant grounds to make a life or death decision 3. conventional makes no moral distinction between killing and letting die 4. most common arguments in favor of passive euthanasia are invalid

medical ethics suggest that withholding treatment is permissible but actively killing the patient is forbidden

Example: Painful throat cancer resulting in certain death anyway why withhold treatment and prolong the pain and when administering something to kill the patient would alleviate pain and speed up the inevitable anyway

*idea of killing a baby seems more like genetic cleansing and makes e uncomfortable especially because infants don’t have autonomy* 

a little confused about the baby example used to argue the second premise “irrelevant ground decision”

moral distinction between killing and letting one die- drowning someone versus not intervening when someone is drowning

Terri Schiavo case

Argument ignores the concept of patient autonomy particularly in the example of the baby in which both active and passive are morally wrong because babies don’t have a concept of death and life

Good point bad example

PAPERS
Dan’s List
1. use sequential language i.e. “first” ,”second”, “third” etc. 2. clearly layout what you’ll do
3. provide evidence to back up empirical claims
4. empathetic arguments
5. lays out possible positions
6. don’t use overly complicated examples that bring up irrelevant details that detract from the philosophical issue at hand
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