James Rachels Death and Dying Euthanasia

James Rachels Death and Dying Euthanasia - James Rachels...

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James Rachels' Death and Dying J James Rachels is one of the most controversial philosophers talked about in today's society. One of his most talked about topics is whether a person has a right to die or not. Not much is known about Rachels expect for the many articles and books he has written. In the controversy of letting a person die or killing him, he does not try to explain which method is good and which method is bad. He however tries to explain why they both are bad to a certain degree. Rachels does not take one side, but tries to convince why one is better than the other. In his opinion, letting a person starve to death or just putting him out of his misery by killing him is an ongoing struggle. If you let a person starve to death, it might be putting that person through a lot of pain but he'll still be alive (who knows, maybe a miracle cure will be found.) If you killed him on the spot with a lethal injection, it would be a more peaceful death but you would be shortening that person's life. Putting a person to death in a peaceful manner is called euthanasia. Euthanasia is an ancient word that means "easy death." There is also the issue of morality. Would killing someone by their own will or suicide be a moral act? What about a patient that is suffering from cancer? Is it moral to let that person suffer? These are some of the many questions people have been trying to answer for year without success. Euthanasia is a very uncomfortable subject to talk about for most people because who wants to think about having to kill oneself or a person that is dear to his or her life. Even though nobody wants to go through the hardship of deciding whether a person should live or die, it happens everyday. There are two forms of euthanasia. There is an active euthanasia and a passive euthanasia (Jussim 7-13). This so-called distinction between active and passive was challenged by Rachels in a paper first published in 1975 in the New England Journal of Medicine. In that paper, Rachels challenges both the use and moral significance of that distinction. He argues that active euthanasia is in many cases is more humane than passive euthanasia. Rachels urges doctors to reconsider their views on active euthanasia. He writes: "To begin with a familiar type of situation, a patient who is dying of
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This note was uploaded on 02/24/2011 for the course PHIL 1100 taught by Professor Pelham during the Spring '11 term at York University.

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James Rachels Death and Dying Euthanasia - James Rachels...

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