The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia
He argues that euthanasia as international killing goes against natural law because it violates the natural inclination to preserve life. Furthermore, in Gay-William’s view, both self-interest and possible practical effects of euthanasia provide reasons for rejecting it.
is slowly gaining acceptance within our society.
the result of unthinking sympathy and benevolence.
Case study: Karen Quinlan’s tragic story
Elicit from us deep feelings if compassion. We think to ourselves, “She and her family would be better off if she were dead.”
To view that if someone better off dead, then it must be all right to kill that person.
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This may be the unintended consequence of my action. But it is not the aim of my action.
It is with failing to continue the treatment of a dying person. I intent his death no more than I intent to reduce the GNP by not using medical supplies.
An unintended dying and so-called “passive euthanasia” is not euthanasia at all.
1. THE AGRUMENT FROME NATURE
- Every human being has a natural inclination to continue living.
- Euthanasia dose violence to this natural goal of survival.
It is literally acing against nature because all the processes of nature are bent towards the end of bodily survival.
- To recognize that the organization of the human body and our patterns of behavioral responses make the continuation of life a natural goal > Euthanasia sets us against our own nature.
- Euthanasia does violence to our dignity.
Our dignity comes from seeking our ends.
>> Euthanasia denies our basic human character and requires that we regard ourselves or others as something less than fully human.
2. THE ARGUMENT FROM SELF-INTEREST
- Because death is final and irreversible, euthanasia contains within it the possibility that we will work against our own interest if we practice it or allow it to be practiced on us.
- 1. A mistaken diagnosis is possible, and so is a mistaken prognosis.
We may think that we have no hope of recovery. In such circumstances, if euthanasia were permitted, we would die needlessly.
Death is final and the chance of error too great to approve the practice of euthanasia.
- 2. The possibility that an experimental procedure or a hitherto untried technique will pull us through.
Euthanasia closes this option off
- 3. Spontaneous remission does occur in many cases.
For no apparent reason, a patient simply recovers when those all around him, including his physicians, expected him to die.
Euthanasia guarantees their expectations and leaves no room for the “miraculous” recoveries that frequently occur.
- 4. Knowing that we can take our life at any time might well incline us to give up too easily.
The will to live can be weakened by pain and suffering and feelings of hopelessness.
Recovery from a serious illness requires that we fight for it, and anything that weakens our...