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Abortion Case

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1. Rachels offers two principal arguments against the distinction between active and passive euthanasia, "to kill or let die." Firstly, he argue that active is often more humane than passive. Once the decision not to prolong agony is made, active euthanasia is preferable to passive. He gave an example of patient, who is dying of incurable cancer, in terrible pain, subject to certain imminent death. Because of that, the patient and his immediate family have decided to end it. If the doctor withholds treatment, he would justify the action by noting that the patient would die anyway, and it is wrong to prolong suffering needlessly. However, if one simply withholds treatment, the patient may take longer to die, would thus suffer more, relative to the case of active euthanasia, i.e., lethal injection. He also argues the doctrine leads to decisions concerning life and death on irrelevant grounds. A Down's syndrome infant needs a medically doable operation unrelated to the Syndrome in order to live. The operation is not done because the child has Down's syndrome, and thus it is better for the child to die. It is Down's syndrome defining grounds for death, not the operation.

2. Rachels said in passive euthanasia, the doctor does not do anything to bring about the patient's death. The doctor is not the cause of the patient's death; instead, the illness is the cause. In active euthanasia, on the other hand, the doctor does something to bring about the patient's death. In this case, the doctor is the cause of the patient's death. Rachels then concludes, "Right and wrong are not to be understood in terms of God's will; morality is a matter of reason and conscience, not religious faith; and in any case, religious considerations do not provide definitive solutions to most of the moral problems that we face". In my own point of view, the doctor is responsible and he should be accountable in both cases. Additionally, religious faith play very important role in helping one understand what is right and wrong. Faith teaches about moral issues.

3. Rachel's claims that killing is not any worse than letting someone die and argue that motive is what matter. He uses two cases to support his claim, where the intention to do an act are the same. In both cases, the perpetrator stands to gain, perhaps through a large inheritance, if their 6-year old cousins were to die. In case one, the perpetrator Smith purposefully drowns his cousin and in case two the perpetrator Jones plans to drown his cousin, but his cousin dies in an accident which he did not cause, which Jones witnesses in full sight. Jones has the power to save his cousin, but he merely stands by and does nothing. The only difference between these cases, Rachels claims, is that Smith killed the child and Jones allowed the child to die. Rachels points out that it does not matter how the child died, but rather that the motive. He states



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