philosophy take home test 1

philosophy take home test 1 - Jeremy LaMell Take Home Test...

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Jeremy LaMell Take Home Test #1 March 12, 2008 Take-Home Test #1: Euthanasia   1) Explain the difference between active and passive euthanasia. The difference between active and passive euthanasia can be crucial when looking at medical ethics. Active euthanasia takes place when a doctor takes direct action that is designed to kill the patient. One common example of this would be a lethal injection. Passive euthanasia, on the other hand, is when treatment is withheld that allows a patient to die. This practice is commonly accepted in extreme circumstances because it allows the patient to die with much less pain and agony than they otherwise would have. There are many different views about how acceptable passive euthanasia is, and whether it is any different than active euthanasia. 2) Why does James Rachels state that there is no moral difference between active and passive euthanasia? James Rachels states that the bare difference between killing and letting die does not make a moral difference. If a doctor allows a patient to die he is in the same moral position as if he had administered a drug which killed the patient. One reason is that if the doctor happens to be wrong about the patient’s illness and that it could in fact have been cured, the decision to either kill the patient or let him die would be equally regrettable either way. If the diagnosis is correct and the patient would have died anyways, it does not make a difference whether active or passive euthanasia was used. Rachels believes that the only difference between killing someone and letting someone
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die is that usually one kills for reasons of personal gain, while a doctor lets someone die for humanitarian reasons. In short, Rachels believes that there is not a moral difference between active and passive euthanasia, whether there is just reason or not. 3)
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course PHIL 320 taught by Professor Stafford during the Spring '08 term at Loyola Marymount.

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philosophy take home test 1 - Jeremy LaMell Take Home Test...

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