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Euthanasia Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on November 24, 2012
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,080 words

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Below is an essay on "Euthanasia" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In James Rachels’ “Active and Passive Euthanasia” on page 121 of our text, Rachels states “…the process of being ‘allowed to die’ can be relatively slow and painful, whereas being given a lethal injection is relatively quick and painless” (Hinman, 2006). To illustrate this point, he uses the example of a patient who is suffering greatly and dying of incurable throat cancer. While it would be morally permissible for the patient’s physician to cease treatment, allowing the patient to die “on his own,” this choice and succeeding action would likely bring about additional, prolonged pain and suffering for the patient – the very thing he was attempting to avoid by being “allowed to die.” Rachels goes on to state, “This fact provides strong reason for thinking that, once the initial decision not to prolong his agony has been made, active euthanasia is actually preferable to passive euthanasia, rather than the reverse.” (Hinman, 2006).
A second argument Rachels makes against the distinction between passive and active euthanasia is that decisions regarding life and death are sometimes made on irrelevant or unrelated grounds. Rachels uses the example of parents who have given birth to a child with Down’s syndrome. If that child is not afflicted with any other life threatening conditions, the child will be treated as any other infant. It will be sent home to live and grow without any choice for alternative action by the parents or physician. If, however, an infant with Down’s syndrome also needs corrective surgery for an unrelated condition in order to survive, the parents and attending physician may choose the route of passive euthanasia. This passive euthanasia will lead to the death of the infant as a result of its untreated, life threatening condition. Rachels argues that the real reason the parents would be inclined to engage in passive euthanasia would be related to the Down’s syndrome alone, not because of the secondary affliction. It’s as though the secondary...

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"Euthanasia". Anti Essays. 10 Dec. 2018


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Euthanasia. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 10, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/Euthanasia-357123.html