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Week 15 Notes

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Chad Horne

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Lecture 15 November 3rd, 2011 • the reason why cases of killing are different than letting die are because in cases of killing, there are other intentions and wants to kill the other person with malicious feelings against the others will -the action of killing is not really relevant- the other factors are -there is no reason to think about the person letting the 6 year old die that he is a better person • on the other side of the debate, we see the argument against euthanasia is the slippery slope argument; if we allow physicians to kill patients out of their request more and more vulnerable people are going to be pressured to end their lives sooner and this will lead to non voluntary forms of euthanasia -right now we allow passive euthanasia but if we allow active voluntary euthanasia, this may lead to active non voluntary euthanasia -what we are really worried about is the difference between voluntary and non voluntary -the slippery slope concerns voluntariness of the euthanasia is no longer a requirement; this is killing some one against their will or that has no will -more worried about voluntariness, not the passiveness or non passiveness • physician assisted suicide is different than euthanasia because in active euthanasia, there is an active dose of lethal substance but in physician assisted suicide, the patient asks for help in ending their life (prescribing something or doing something; but ultimately, the patient initiates this) -in a free society it should be left up to citizens to decide what makes their life of value and why their life is worth living -for the state to prohibit physician assisted suicide, is for the state to take a position on the meaning of life that rational citizens could disagree with -adopt a particular conception of what makes life worth living and impose this on citizens; the philosophers argue that this is not right -the state is not allowed to take positions about the meaning of life -the fundamental problem is about human dignity; for a person being forced to stay alive is not only bad because they are in intense pain but it is also a violation of their
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