Applying theoretical ethics to applied ethics

Passive euthanasia is assisting the patient to die with non provision of treatment or life sustaining procedures to save the patient’s life. The permissibility of each however is bombarded with many controversies making proponents of each view provide intelligent arguments and examples to indicate their point. Generally, the argument lies on the morality of active and passive euthanasia. Rachel claims that active and passive euthanasia has no moral difference and that both should be accepted with equal treatment. A different view holds that the morality of euthanasia depends on what the person cares about. This paper is going to argue that the stand of Rachel on active and passive euthanasia uses only hypothetical imperatives. Hypothetical is defined by Foot as “acts which are good only as a means to something else”. The paper has the following structures. Part 1 is going to explicate Rachel’s argument on active and passive euthanasia. Part 2 will present my arguments using the idea of Foot that the morality of active killing and passive omission is situated on what a person cares about. Part 1 Rachel claim there is no moral difference between active and passive euthanasia. The morality depends on how people view active killing and passive omission of duty. …
Most people look at active killing as more evil owing to the reason that the cause of death would be the action of the physician. On the contrary, if the medical team refrains from resuscitating a terminally ill patient in a situation where she/he is in cardiac arrest, it is acceptable because it is inculcated in the mind of many that it is the right thing to do. Passive method is not considered evil since the cause of death would be the illness itself although there is a deliberate withholding of foods and treatments. The ultimate result of withholding treatment is not directly seen and connected with death making passive euthanasia acceptable to most people. Another factor influencing the view of people on active killing and passive omission is how death is conceptualized by many. In most part of the globe, death is considered bad or evil since a love one is expected to die. The painful separation from that person and the unacceptable truth that death is inevitable makes death evil and people who cause it goes with that concept. If the doctors caused the death through injection, he is considered evil. Letting die on the other hand is viewed as natural death regardless of the intentional omission of a duty to care, feed, comfort, and most especially to treat the sick. Rachel is clear in maintaining his point that there is no difference in the morality between active and passive methods even in situations where the physician simply does not act. It was pointed out that omission of duty does not mean lesser evil more so that it does not justify the end. Omission of the act has the same ultimate goal with that of active killing. The difference is situated in how the act is done. For instance,

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