Rachels-thinks AMA distinguishes between active and passive euthanasia, forbidding the first
and allowing the second because they care about the difference between doing and allowing;
Steinbock-argues that Rachels misinterprets the AMA; they forbid both active and passive
euthanasia because what they care about is the distinction between intending and foreseeing.
Both active and passive euthanasia intend the patient’s death as a means, usually to freeing him
Is euthanasia morally forbidden?
Two arguments why not:
1) argument based on consent/free choice
-we’re all permitted to make whatever choices we want – we have no duties to choose one way
rather than another but instead have the right to choose as we wish ex. About how we spend our
Friday evening. Many think that this right extends to making decisions about whether we live
and when we die, so our right to life is really a choice between life and death. Voluntary
Euthanasia (with a patient’s consent) is not morally wrong but actually helps the patient exercise
his right and make a choice that he is entitled to make.
Although this argument is compelling, it wont be persuasive to those who oppose euthanasia,
many of them think that you don’t have a right to choose death. Need an argument that meets the
anti-euthanasia view on its own ground, by accepting the intending/foreseeing distinction but
denying that it applies in this case or provides any ground for objection to euthanasia, at least
when consented to.
Utilitarians value-only quality of life, understood hedonistically
Ross-quality of life, non-hedonistically
All view we have studied so far value only the quality of life.
Traditional Christian teaching has been to value the sanctity of life, and is appealed to by the
Arguments against sanctity:
(1) imagine that a person suffering painful terminal disease dies by natural causes a little
earlier than anticipated; do we feel any regret or