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PHIL 237
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PHIL 237 READING NOTESEuthanasiaIs euthanasia or suicide ever morally permissibleIn those cases in which either of these activities is wrong what best explains their wrongnessEuthanasia the act or practice of killing or allowing someone to die on grounds of mercy1Mode of death whether the death results from actively intervening to bring about the death of the patient active euthanasia or whether the death results from withholding or withdrawing some form of treatment which had it been administered would likely have prolonged the life of the patient passive euthanasia2Consensual v nonconsensual Euthanasia cases of voluntary euthanasia are cases in which the patient has consented to the active bringing about of her death or to some means of passively allowing her to die there are various ways of giving consentwill Nonvoluntary euthanasia are cases in which the patient has not given his consent what about what may be done to him ie going into a vegetative state perhaps Involuntaryeuthanasia patient expresses or is presumed to have a desire not to be the subject of euthanasiaaThere is the grey area to consider for instance when removing a feeding tube is doing something active but then again this allows nature to take its course so rather than actively terminating a patient one is passively allowing it to come aboutbOverall we have to consider whether the euthanasia is passive or active and in addition to this whether it is voluntary nonvoluntary or involuntary Mode of DeathActivePassive Passive withdrawingwithholdingMode Voluntaryof ConsentNonvoluntaryInvoluntary SuicideoIntentionally and voluntarily ending ones own life This can include passive suicideoAssisted suicide another person is involved to some degree in assisting an individual commit suicide Often the distinction between voluntary active euthanasia and assisted suicide is ignored or perhaps considered irrelevant for purposes of moral discussionHowever there are some who think these practices are importantly different Watts HowellIn this chapter there are references to Kantian Moral Theory it has to be proven that suicide violates ones dignity Consequentialism slippery slope worries to prove something wrong under this assumption first the action must actually be proven bad second it must be plausible that the action will lead us down a path to disaster if not argumentslippery slope fallacy Natural Law Theory Ethics of Prima Facie DutyJ GayWilliams The Wrongfulness of EuthanasiaoEuthanasia is wrong even when judged from the perspective of selfinterest and judged in terms of its potentially negative effects on the quality of medical treatmentInherently wrongwrong from selfinterest and practicality standpointsoEuthanasia is intentionally the life of a presumably hopeless personWhether the life is ones own or that of another the taking of it is still euthanasiaThe killing cannot result from an accidentmust be deliberateWhen a patients condition is such that it is not reasonable to hope that any medical procedures or treatments will save his life a failure to implement the procedures or treatments is not euthanasiaIf the person dies this will be as a result of his injuries or disease and not because of his failure to receive treatment doesnt categorize the morality of thisPassive euthanasia the failure to continue treatment after it has been realized that the patient has little chance of benefiting from it is not euthanasia as the death of the patient is not the intent rather the aim may be to spare them additional and unjustifiable pain pencilgdp analogy
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