The difference between active and passive euthanasia are not quite as cruel and malicious as commonly thought. Passive euthanasia is the fairly common practice of withholding medical treatment from a patient whose biological chances of surviving are obsolete. This is often considered to be morally correct. This because the patient or immediate families decide whether life is worth the pain and agony. However, this act of withstanding from medical amenities is quite often more painful than living out you life under medication. Another form of euthanasia is active.
This is the deliberate and intentional practice, in which the patient is killed by his own request. This is usually practiced when there is serious physical or mental deterioration due to illness. This practice is thought to be immoral and against doctors motives. Therefore, it is illegal. To judge something to be immoral, I believe that there has to be a contemptuous motive. Like Rachels, I believe that assisted suicide is looked at in such disregard for the fact that killing is always held with unethical and hateful aspects.
In spite of this, being that the motive for the doctor’s killing is to help stop unbearable pain and to speed up his patient’s inevitable and immediate death, the doctor is in no way acting immoral or unethical. I believe that assisted suicide should be legal in the United States, but it should also be strictly restrained. There has to be undeniable proof of an unavoidable death or of an uncurable disease, that may cause its victim uncontrollable and severe pain and distress. It is not my contention that suicide is always the best solution, but more simply that it should be an available alternative when warranted by extreme discomfort.
It is my belief that letting someone die is no more or less immoral than to give that same person a lethal injection. Many practicing Christians may and do have problems with this concept. This because of one of the cardinal rules of Christianity and many other religions, “Thou shall not kill. ” Another conflicting belief is that we are not supposed to interfere with God’s doing. However to truly abide by this rule all modern and past medications, vaccines, and so forth, would have to be eliminated. This to me is utterly ridiculous.
For one without us “playing god,” our natural life span would be seriously reduced as well the quality of the short lives we would be living. I choose to look at it like this, God gave us the brain capacity to produce such wonderful technology, therefore the technology is in fact God’s work. This paper was written before Dr. Kevorkian’s famous struggles with the same concept. And although he has continually been tried in court he continues to assist people in their suicides. I cannot say I object to his profession nor do I believe he is an immoral or unethical human being.
For if I put myself in one of these unfortunate situations, I believe it should be either my right or my immediate families right to put an end to my suffering. It should not be my government’s right. The difference between passive and active euthanasia is without a doubt more of a political and legal issue than it is of morality. In fact not only do I feel that Kevorkian is moral, I feel he is somewhat of a hero. Not only to those people he helped die, but just as well to their families.