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Active Euthenasia - A Kantian Perspective

Uploaded by Admin on Feb 29, 2000

Euthanasia is one of society's more widely, and hotly debated moral issues of our time. More directly, active euthanasia, which by definition, is; "Doing something, such as administering a lethal drug, or using other means that cause a person's death."1 Passive euthanasia, defined as; "Stopping (or not starting) some treatment, which allows a person to die, the person's condition causes his or her death,"2 seems not to be as debated, perhaps not as recognized, as it's counterpart. I have chosen to look more closely at the issue of active euthanasia, and whether or not it would be considered ethical, by Kantian standards.

Those who support the practice of active euthanasia might argue that helping the terminally ill to bring about their own deaths, allowing them to determine the how and when, is not only humane, but also allows the person, who is simply "living to die," to maintain dignity by orchestrating their own end, thus letting them die at peace, rather than suffer to the end, preceiving themselves to be a burden and/or disgrace, to those they love. According to recent polls, many Canadians would agree,3 but the question is, have they taken a close look at the ethical debate? Those who are against active euthanasia would say not, and would argue that by participating in the practice of active euthanasia, one is "playing God," or perhaps, even worse, that they are not acting out of mercy, but rather out of selfishness, attempting to lessen their own burden, and that therefore, the act is nothing less than cold-blooded murder. Murder is defined as; "The unlawful, premeditated killing of one human being by another."4 Euthanasia, in Canada, remains unlawful as of today, and the act of euthanasia is premeditated, thus whether for the purpose of mercy or not, euthanasia is, by definition, murder. According to Kantian perspective and the Holy Bible, murder is both a sin and a crime, therefore we ought not participate in the practice of euthanasia, because it is murder, and it is the wrong thing to do.

The euthanasia debate raises many questions. Questions such as; For whose benefit is the murder actually taking place? Ought we allow family members to make a life-or-death decision on behalf of a loved one who may never have expressed a desire to die, simply because they could not vocalize a will to live? (As was the case of Robert Latimer). If a...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   02/29/2000

Category:   Euthanasia

Length:   6 pages (1,242 words)

Views:   2570

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