Thursday, December 12, 2019

Active and Passive

Question: Discuss about the Active and Passive Euthanasia. Answer: Introduction Active euthanasia, which acts as the direct and deliberate cause of the patients death by injecting potassium chloride was strictly prohibited in Canada until lately. Even, active euthanasia is also prohibited in the United States. On the contrary, passive euthanasia, which allows the patient to let die by not treating them or withholding medication is permissible in both the countries. The argument of active and passive euthanasia depends on sometimes the differences between killing and letting people die. The argument sometimes relies on the moral distinction of the active and passive euthanasia as one is considered as direct killing and other is just providing zero treatment to an afflicted patient and letting him or her die naturally. However, the moral differences of the active and passive euthanasia are morally equivalent to the James Rachels views. According to him, there is no reason preferring one over the other as difference between active and passive euthanasia do not make any one of the two morally better. In this essay, I will present Rachels equivalent placement of two kinds of euthanasia and the reasons for supporting his views on euthanasia. Discussions According to Rachel, killing or letting die distinction of active and passive euthanasia is unsuccessful as both form of euthanasia are morally equivalent. His view is not depending on the acceptability of any one form of euthanasia. However, he has discussed about the equivalent rationale of the two. Rachel has presented his argument with some practical contextual basis, which has added realistic dimension to his standpoint. He has coined his argument as equivalence thesis where he has stated that there is no moral difference between the killing and letting die. His reason is simple. He simply put that the killing someone and acts of letting someone die do not provide a morally good reason to support the judgment that the former is worse than the latter. However, in the equivalence thesis, Rachel did not prove any one or the other way is right or wrong. He has given some reasons to accept the thesis by providing two cases where one is involved with killing and another is engaged in letting die. However, his argument is that these two methods of euthanasia actually do not make any differences to our moral judgment. He imagined two situations where one person has killed his six-year old cousin and another person let his cousin die. Now, in both the cases, morality cannot be a standpoint. The question of morality in these two cases is an invalid question as one has killed and another did not take any preventive measure to safe from death. Morality is a vague and confusing parameter for judging the active and passive euthanasia. From the moral and ethical point of view, letting die is not bad than killing. Rachel has argued this by commenting that if one is permissible or objectionable other must be the same. Actually, in his view, any o ne method cannot be morally better than the other method. According to him, there is no bare difference between killing and letting die in the moral ground of actions concerning the life and the death. Therefore, he wanted to call this argument as the Bare Difference Argument. The only moral ground for the medical professionals could appear if the illness is curable but application of any form of euthanasia has already occurred. However, the methods, which has been used is not important and carries no difference as from the point of view of morality, both the process is same. Rachel has given an excellent example to prove this. He stated, If a doctor lets a patient die, for humane reasons, he is in the same moral position as if he had given the patient a lethal injection for humane reasons (Rachels, 1975). The possible counter arguments have stated that the cause of someones death in case of active euthanasia makes the moral difference between the two. In case of the passive euthanasia, there are no direct or indirect causes of the human agent in patients death, stated by Ramsey. However, from ethical ground, I could support Rachels argument, which stated that if not anyone wants to be the cause of someones death, then surely, anyone does not want to be the cause of someones letting die. However, it is impossible to conclude from this about the relatively desirable ground of passive euthanasia. Another two counter arguments presented in the Rachels essay are not satisfactory to me, as these provide no logical biasness of any one out of the two. Both of the counter arguments might be logically correct from the point of view of direct killing, however, both the arguments are illogical from the moral ground as killing and letting someone die are the same immoral act. Conclusion It can be concluded by stating that Rachels view of the equivalence thesis is more convincing to me as killing and letting someone die is same action from the ground of morality. These two types of euthanasia have no difference in the core. Considering the patients condition when euthanasia is thinkable, killing or letting him die causes no harm to him. However, if a doctor does not want to involve in direct killing, he would feel hesitant in letting someone die without giving him treatment. Thus, Rachels argument is more open-ended. He has no ground to support or defend any one of the two types of euthanasia. He has rejected the other counter arguments by his equivalence thesis. However, Rachels argument could limit doctors action by how far a doctor can go to help a person. By pointing out no differences between active and passive euthanasia, Rachel could influence the doctors action in the realistic ground. However, the doctor could do whatever comfortable for him. Rachel has ment ioned this point at the end of the essay, however, it is not clear throughout the essay. Reference Rachels, J. (1975). Active and Passive Euthanasia.New England Journal Of Medicine,292(2), 78-80.

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