In this paper, I will discuss euthanasia and demonstrate its immoral implications using J. Gay-Williams’ essay, “The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia”; more specifically his attempt to show the wrongfulness of euthanasia through an argument from nature. I believe that the argument is valid and presents a very good approach for those who are opposed to euthanasia. Below is my effort to summarize this view by placing it in the standard argument format.
Argument from Nature
1) If there is a person in a situation, where a natural instinct compels them to take action, it is morally wrong to intentionally suppress that instinct. 2) In all euthanasia cases, there is a doctor is in a situation where their patient’s natural instinct compels them to survive. 3) Therefore, in all euthanasia cases, it is morally wrong for a doctor to
intentionally suppress their patient’s natural instinct to survive.
The argument above is derived from part one of Gay-Williams essay. He begins his discussion of the argument from nature by asserting that each person “has a natural inclination to continue living”. He displays this furthermore by explaining, that everything about the composition of a human organism has been designed to have a conditioned reaction that makes “the continuation of life a natural goal.” It is by this rationale he claims, “that euthanasia sets us against our own nature.”
In order to further demonstrate the argument’s validity and good quality, I will explain how it follows all the rules of a good argument. The rules are as follows: 1) all the premises are reasonable 2) the conclusion follows 3) the argument does not beg the question. Premise one may be better explained in and of itself through an example having to do with a general, natural instinct. One example could be when someone is in a situation in which their family is put in harms way when an intruder with sinister motives enters their house. It is a natural reaction...
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