Chapter 10 : Care of the Dying
Section 4. Readings
J. Gay-Williams: The Wrongfulness of Euthanasia
1. it is against Nature
2. It is against Self Interest
chance of cure
pessimism- self defeating
3. Practical Effects
a. Dr's and RN's are committed to saving lives. They would be corrupted to think that there are occasions when the person (Patient) is better off dead.
b. Slippery Slope!!-
from Self Administered to Other Administered
from Voluntary to non-voluntary
from for the benefit of the person to the benefit of others, society, humankind
Today we considered one way of classifying different kinds of euthanasia.
Outline by Don Berkich, University of Texas, Corpus Christi (by permission)
The article, by Gay-Williams, presents what might be called the 'Traditional View' of euthanasia and the standard arguments against it.
It is easy to show that the standard arguments against the traditional view of euthanasia are unsound since each argument clearly has at least one, and in some cases more than one, false premise. We conclude that Gay-Williams gives us no reason to think that other-administered voluntary active euthanasia is morally impermissible. You should be sure that you are able to clearly explain why each of Gay-Williams' arguments are unsound.
What we learn from Gay-Williams is that the standard arguments are worthless.
Gay-Williams does us the favor of spelling out what he means by 'euthanasia'. Of course, his definition is rather narrow. But it suffices to frame his arguments.
Gay-Williams gives three arguments to show that all instances of Euthanasia are morally wrong as he defines 'Euthanasia'.
Unfortunately for Gay-Williams, it is a fairly trivial matter to show that each of these arguments is unsound. I leave it as an exercise for you to show that at least one premise of each argument is false by supplying a counter-example.
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© Copyright Philip A. Pecorino 2002. All Rights reserved.
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