PHLB09H3 Chapter Notes -Organ Transplantation

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7 Nov 2011
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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
dignity
-appealing to the value of autonomy in a free, liberal society
-the ability to decide what makes your life worth living is what you decide makes your
life not worth living
the right to refuse treatment is not just a right against battery from medical
professionals, but that people should decide things for themselves
the moral important difference between killing and letting die; a patience would not be
doing anything wrong if they patient needed an organ transplant and none was
available- it would not be acceptable to kill some one fo their organs and give them to
the healthy person
-the reason why one case is okay and one isnʼt is because in the case where you kill
the healthy person, you are acting against an autonomous personʼs wishes to bring
about their death
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