Rachel's Critique of Euthanasia Doctrine

In the essay Active and Passive Euthanasia James Rachels argues against the traditional doctrine in medical ethics that prohibits the physician from doing anything that would assist in the death of a patient. Rachels explains that passive euthanasia (letting the patient die) leads to more suffering In the situation where continued medical support would prolong suffering, doctors have the option of discontinuing support. If they choose this method then suffering can be best reduced with active euthanasia He argues that there is not a difference between active and passive euthanasia.

Both are intentional acts to end the life a patient in pain which is murder. Letting someone die (passive euthanasia) is morally the same as killing someone(act_ive euthanasia). When a doctor lets a patient die, the doctor is not doing anything to help the patient sustain life.

An example used by Rachels is of a situation in which a doctor does not treat a patient of a life-threatening illness that is treatable.

By not treating the patient, the doctor is committing murderr If the doctor chooses to prolong the patient‘s life, the doctor is prolonging the suffering of the patient, or being a torturer, If the doctor chooses to withdraw from medical support, then doctor is a murderer. Rachels argues that passive and active euthanasia are both intentional acts to stop the life of a patient. I disagree with James Rachels in that passive and active euthanasia are both murder. I believe that it is only murder if it is involuntary euthanasia (without the patient’s consent) or if it is passive voluntary euthanasia.

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Involuntary euthanasia is definitely murder because the patient has no say in whether they get to live or diet I believe that life and death is and should be up to the patient.

Passive euthanasia is also murder because it causes the patient lots of suffering, This is completely against the purpose of euthanasia which is to let a patient die or kill them to stop the suffering. If it is the patient’s wish to terminate their life to stop suffering, then they should be allowed to end life In most cases the patient will die with or without the suffering and so it would be better if the patient dies without having to suffer. Also I believe that the patient has the right to choose whether they want to live or die and if they patient can not commit suicide by themselves then a doctor can help without being considered a murderer.

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Rachel's Critique of Euthanasia Doctrine. (2022, Oct 13). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/james-rachel-s-against-the-traditional-medical-doctrine-in-active-and-passive-euthanasia/

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