Final Study Guide

Final Study Guide - PHIL 2025-001 Final Exam Study Guide Be...

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PHIL 2025-001 Final Exam Study Guide Be prepared to answer questions similar to the following: What is the current legal definition of brain death in the United States? Cessation of all electrical activity in the brain, total brain death. What does Singer claim is the current medical practice regarding brain death? What does Singer see as “a very fundamental flaw in the idea of moving to a higher brain definition of death?” (348) A set of tests are used by doctors to see that all functions of the brained have stopped. He thinks there is a problem with each definition. New brain death – “The permanent loss of consciousness resulting from the cessation of all electrical activity in the cerebral cortex (“upper brain”).” We could bury someone with is still breathing on own. Doesn’t seem like a right thing to do. Old brain death - This definition had a point, they needed this to solve problems, the new one is just redefining terms for the hell of it. Why does Callahan think that the arguments from self-determination in support of legalizing voluntary active euthanasia fail? Unlike suicide, voluntary active euthanasia requires the assistance of another person in order to kill oneself. This is the reason Callahan thinks arguments of self-determination for this fail. Voluntary active euthanasia is not an issue of self-determination, but instead, it is a social decision between the physician, the patient, and the society that makes it acceptable. It makes a moral move from the patient’s right of self-determination to the doctor’s right to kill the patient. If I don’t want something can you take it. Right to self-determination does not extend to someone else’s right to kill patient. With this right, doctors must contain their own independent set of moral beliefs in order to judge what constitutes a life worth living. How can a doctor possibly make this type of judgment? What three (maybe four) consequences of legalizing voluntary active euthanasia does Callahan think are likely? 1
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1. Inevitability of some abuse of the law. Not everyone will agree with the law as written and will bend or ignore it if they can get away with doing so. The law is likely to have a low enforcement priority in the criminal justice system and violations will ordinarily be tolerated. 2. It will be difficult to precisely write the law and enforce it. Terms such as “unbearable” suffering are indefinable and highly subjective. Declaring when an illness is “terminal” will be difficult as well. Enforcement will be hindered because euthanasia will ordinarily take place within the boundaries of the private and confidential doctor-patient relationship. 3. There is inherent slipperiness in the moral reasoning for legalizing euthanasia in the first place. The moral logic of the motives for euthanasia contain within them the ingredients for abuse. There are no good moral reasons to limit euthanasia once the principle of taking life for that purpose has been legitimized. Therefore, there will be no reasonable or logical
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2008 for the course PHIL 2025 taught by Professor Worrel during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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Final Study Guide - PHIL 2025-001 Final Exam Study Guide Be...

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