Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally letting a person die to relieve them of the pain and suffering they are experiencing. It is critical to grasp the discrepancy between the two major forms of euthanasia that is passive and active euthanasia. The variance between the two primary forms of euthanasia creates controversies in relation to medical ethics. Passive euthanasia defines the act of allowing someone to die by giving way to the disintegration of the person’s organs. On the other hand, active euthanasia refers to the acceleration of death by use of drugs. James Rachels makes an impressive argument for the two forms of euthanasia. The paper takes into consideration the concepts in Rachels argument on the medical ethics and justifies the use of active euthanasia in the medical industry.
Active euthanasia faces criticism from all sides as it gives the doctors mandate similar to God’s or the laws of nature to take the life of another. Others consider it as a form of murder covered with professional cover up. However, people should take into the intent of the practice first before shoving any form of criticism. It is crucial to identify that the intent in both passive and active euthanasia is the same, but the difference emerges in the way of handling the practice. Active euthanasia offers a moral advantage over passive euthanasia based on the following reasons.
Since both forms of euthanasia bear the same intention, it would be better to accelerate the death of the person in suffering to reduce the pain they are experiencing. Passive euthanasia just lets the person die naturally and in the process the patient goes through a lot of pain (Rachels, 2007). As an act of compassion, it would be reasonable to accelerate the inevitable that is, their death. I believe that active euthanasia is preferable if it is possible to compare an act of compassion.
It is also crucial to consider the emotional burden the family, relatives, friends and any other person associated with the patient are going through when they see them suffering due to the disease. If there is no hope of remedy of the situation, it would be pointless to prolong the inevitable. Sure advances in the medicine are forming methods of prolonging life; however, in so doing they are prolonging suffering. Therefore, it is better to accelerate the death of the patient and reduce the period of suffering.
Other than offering the patients and the relatives physical and emotional relief the act of active euthanasia gives the patient or the relative choice. The patients or the family can choose the appropriate time of death. It reduces the burden most doctors have to bear by playing God. The patients should have the right to choose how and if not possible the relatives should, if at all euthanasia is an option (Rachels, 2007). It is the most appropriate form of death for patients suffering from terminal illnesses.
It is imperative to note that euthanasia whether passive or active should be a kind of last resort. Therefore, doctors can only carry out this practice when there is no hope for the patients, and they are going through unnecessary turmoil. Therefore, the states should intervene by providing the fundamental policies and laws to ensure that the practice does not blow out of proportion. Through the collaboration with all stakeholders, the practice of active euthanasia can offer better options for all.
passive and active forms of euthanasia
bear the sane
intentions; however active euthanasia has a moral advantage over passive euthanasia. Therefore, states should legalize active euthanasia
and come up with reasonable and appropriate
measures to control the practice.
Rachels, J. (2007). Active and passive euthanasia. Bioethics: An Introduction to the History, Methods, and Practice, page 64.
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