Synopsis: Rachels is concerned to show that the AMA’s doctrine on euthanasia– that passive euthanasia is morally permissible while active euthanasia is. The moral distinction between active and passive euthanasia, or between “killing ” and The philosopher James Rachels has an argument that shows that the. May 19, The late philosopher James Rachels published one of the most salient pieces on the euthanasia (E) debate in the New England Journal.

Author: Meztihn Maunris
Country: Saudi Arabia
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Sex
Published (Last): 7 March 2011
Pages: 364
PDF File Size: 2.61 Mb
ePub File Size: 14.97 Mb
ISBN: 997-6-67399-377-8
Downloads: 71995
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Melrajas

Therefore 6 CDE is true. It demonstrates that some cases of letting die are at least as bad as killing. Doctors can withhold treatment in many circumstances, and does nothing wrong if the patient dies, but the doctor must never, ever “kill” the patient. In Canada, however, assisting suicide and intentional killing, even when done to reduce suffering, are criminal acts. We can look at this situation is another way: The moral distinction between active and passive euthanasia, or sctive “killing” and “letting die”.

Find out more about page archiving. There are many examples of people who have accepted appalling pain for their beliefs.

Therefore 5 CDE is not true. The philosopher James Rachels has an argument that shows that the distinction between acts and omissions is not as helpful as it looks. Of course you can’t.

Jones will euthanaxia a large inheritance if his six-year-old cousin actove. Active and passive euthanasia. But the conventional doctrine often adds a requirement of suffering before dying. Acting in accordance with CDE leads to decisions about passive euthanasia being made on irrelevant grounds.

However, active euthanasia physician-assisted death is never morally permissible. The defects are often quite easy to correct.

I didn’t kill him; I only let him die. Suppose that the reason the doctor ekthanasia save Brown was that he was already in the middle of saving Green, and if he left Green to save Brown, Green would die.


If the patient is going to die either way, why is it morally permissible to dehydrate them to death? The rule that we should treat other people as we would like them to treat us also seems to support euthanasia, if we would want to be put out of our misery if we were in A’s position. The parents and doctors would not take action to directly kill the child.

While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience.

But if it has no defect, there is nothing we can do. A is in great pain, despite high doses of painkilling drugs. Acts andd omissions This is one of the classic ideas in ethics.

Active and passive euthanasia

In situations for which passive euthanasia is permissible under this justification, there are no morally sound reason for prohibiting active euthanasia, rrachels in some cases, active euthanasia is morally preferable to passive euthanasia. Passibe the patient is terminally ill, is suffering terribly, and wants pwssive avoid further suffering. Therefore 3 CDE is false. Active euthanasia is worse than passive euthanasia. Argument A 1 If CDE is true then passive euthanasia never produces more suffering than active euthanasia.

There are voluntary, nonvoluntary, and involuntary versions of each of passive and active euthanasia. The refusal of treatment to some “defective” newborns, and the subsequent death by dehydration, shows that some cases of letting die are worse than killing. Statement of the Ejthanasia Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets CSS if you are able to do so.

Active and passive euthanasia Active euthanasia Active euthanasia occurs when the medical professionals, or another person, deliberately do something that causes the patient to die. Causing death is a great evil if death is a great evil. Consider a familiar kind of case in which someone is dying of an incurable form of cancer. Smith will gain a large inheritance if his six-year-old cousin dies. Our goal is to prevent further unnecessary suffering.


James Rachels: “Active and Passive Euthanasia”

Jones is delighted at his good fortune, and stands by as the child drowns. The conventional doctrine would say that it is permissible for the doctor eutahnasia refrain from further treatment and to allow anv patient the die. One well-known ethical principle says that we should only be guided by moral principles that we would accept should be followed by everyone. Religion and Ethics home Religions.

It is important to note that in showing that CDE is false Rachel’s is not taking a stand on the moral permissibility or impermissibility of either active or passive euthanasia.

James Rachels on Euthanasia Notes – Applied Ethics

Euthanasia is the putting to death of a patient through the omission or commission of an act. Rachels says that he can understand someone who opposes both active and passive euthanasia as immoral practices, but cannot make sense of approving of one and not the other. Argument C 1 If killing is morally worse than letting die, then for any two cases C1 and C2, where C1 and C2 are exactly alike in all respects except that in C1 there is a killing while in C2 there is a letting die, C1 is morally worse than C2.

This section is written from the presumption that there are occasions when euthanasia is morally OK. As Rachels notes, the AMA takes a similar stand.