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Active Euthanasia: Benefiting The Patient is not The Worse Act Essay

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Despite passive euthanasia being more morally permissible to the majority of society, it can most certainly be argued that the action of active euthanasia results in a better consequence. Passive euthanasia is the withdrawing or withholding of a patient’s life-sustaining medication and active defined as the act of purposely bringing someone to their deaths. Through years of debate and criticism over methods of euthanasia, it has been concluded in the medical profession that the acts of euthanasia should be beneficial. The question here lies in what is considered beneficial and to whom this benefit should be directed to. Passive euthanasia is considered to be more morally acceptable but since they have the same result they are morally equal, so it is justified that active is more preferable. As human beings, we are entitled to a right of life, bestowing us the accreditation of the authority to approach and end life with dignity.
The method of passive euthanasia is more widely accepted in the medical profession since it allows a patient’s request to be met without having the legal and moral consequences in the future, having ‘known’ that they consciously killed the patient. Some consider passive euthanasia as an act that allows the death to occur by withholding treatment that is vital to the patients’ health. Whereas performing active euthanasia, the doctor is directly responsible despite the consent given by the patient themselves. American ethics and animal right philosopher, James Rachels (1975) challenges the division of these two conceptions commenting that although he acknowledges that both can be defined as immoral, there is certainly no approval to label one as morally above another. In most incidences killing is morally wo...


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..., The Australian Nurses Journal, vol. 21, no. 8, pp. 21-22
Kuhse, H. & Singer, P. 1988, 'Doctors' practices and attitudes regarding voluntary euthanasia', The Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 148, pp. 623-627.
Riaz Hassan, Euthansia and the Medical profession : An Australian Study, Sociology Discipline, Flinders University
Aristotle, Nicomechean Ethics, Book 1
United Nations, ‘The Universal Declaration o Human Rights.’
Els Inghelbrecht, Johan Bilsena, Freddy Mortier, Luc Deliens, 2009. ‘Attitudes of nurses towards euthanasia and towards their role in euthanasia: A nationwide study in Flanders, Belgium’, International Journal of Nursing Studies Vol. 46, pp 1209-1218
American Medical Association –End of life Policy, Opinion E-2.21
Marianne Matzo, Deborah Witt Sherman. Wilson, Sinkelstein, 81 Schwartz, 2001, ‘Quality Care to the End of Life, Third Edition’



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