This week we explore the pro and con arguments concerning the highly emotional issue of euthanasia. Several years ago the news reporting and national furor regarding Terri Schiavo and her condition in a Florida nursing home grabbed the nation`s attention. The resulting publicity regarding Terri`s husband, Michael, and her parents, the Schindlers, shows that this moral issue is currently a lively topic of significant social concern. Arguing against euthanasia is Arthur Dyck( 1931- ) of Harvard University Divinity School. Arguing for euthanasia is James Rachels( 1941-2003) who had been a professor of philosophy and dean at the University of Alabama at Birmingham until his untimely death. James Rachels was dissertation mentor to your instructor in this course when your instructor was a doctoral candidate at New York University some years ago.
For Arthur Dyck, euthanasia is a dangerous and morally bankrupt social policy because it is inherently wrong for people to kill another person or oneself. Dyck introduces a new term, “benemortasia” to distinguish his approach to the issue from the more commonplace term, “euthanasia”, which for many people carries a strong negative emotional reaction. Rachels writes that he is not interested in defending or attacking euthanasia. Rather, he distinguishes between two kinds of euthanasia, active(killing) and passive(letting die). Most people believe that passive euthanasia is permissible but morally condemn active euthanasia because they believe that “killing” is worse than “letting die”. Rachels then considers examples which he thinks show that there is no moral diffrence between the two. Rachels concludes that if the decision to terminate a suffering person`s life to prevent needless suffering is made, then it follows that active euthanasia is actually preferable to passive euthanasia because it results in less suffering for the individual. He then explains that the current policy of the American Medical Association needs to be reconsidered. The AMA has a current policy of allowing and at times even supporting passive euthanasia but condemning active euthanasia
First, please read the attached document specifically for your Discussion submission: New England Journal of Medicine ( Redfining Physicians’ Role in Assisted Dying) – Physician Assisted Suicide.docx.Preview the documentView in a new window In your discussion write a response to the article. Secondly, how do you personally feel about the news items over the last decade or so concerning the actions of Dr. Jack Kevorkian? Was he an evil “Dr. Death” or was he a benevolent “Angel of Mercy”? Please integrate both the assigned readings and/or the videos into your discussion submission and make sure you make at least three direct connections to specific items in the readings and videos. Failure to do this will result in a lower discussion grade and a successful discussion post that refers to specific readings and videos will receive a higher discussion.
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