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euthanasia articles.docx

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Chad Horne

Gay WilliamsGay Williams arugues that delibrerately killing a hopelessly ill person is morally wrong because such an act is inconsistent with natural law as it goes against the stron antural tendency of all humans to continue living The practice is also in conflict with our own self interest and is a treacherous slippery slope toward involuntary euthanasia Gay Williams presents two arguments here The argument of nature and the argument of self interest First GayWilliams argues that active euthanasia goes against human nature Secondly GayWilliams presents the argument from self interest in which he contends that active euthanasia is irreversible and that doctors cannot accurately predict when or even whether a patient will dieGayWilliams begins by asserting that passive euthanasia is not euthanasia at all For Gay Williams euthanasia involves directly taking the life of another Passive euthanasia does not have the same causal status as active euthanasia Because in passive euthanasia the patients disease or injury kills the patient and the doctor does not GayWilliams does not consider passive euthanasia to be euthanasia at allIn his argument from nature GayWilliams claims that as human beings we have a natural inclination to preserve our lives On an external level we human beings do things like eat and exercise to continue life On an internal level our cells produce antibodies when they are invaded by bacteria and fibrogen to heal our wounds in order to preserve our lives The goal of humanity is survival and active euthanasia is fundamentally incompatible with survivalIn his argument from selfinterest GayWilliams contends that because death is final we do injury to ourselves if we allow euthanasia to be practiced on us GayWilliams claims that a mistaken diagnosis is always possible as is a mistaken prognosis If a patient were indeed misdiagnosed then a cure might be possible If a cure is possible then allowing euthanasia is maleficentregardless of the physicians intention because allowing euthanasia harms the patient Similarly if the patients prognosis is wrong and the patient has six years to live instead of six months then allowing euthanasia is also maleficent because it injures the patient Doctors are frequently mistaken about prognosis The patient could always linger on indefinitely or slip into spontaneous remission so it goes against the patients selfinterest to allow euthanasia
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