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Explain how killing differs from letting someone die.

Examine Rachels’ reasoning on the morality of voluntary euthanasia:

To begin with a familiar type of situation, a patient who is dying of incurable

cancer of the throat is in terrible pain, which can no longer be satisfactorily

alleviated. He is certain to die within a few days, even if present treatment

is continued, but he does not want to go on living for those days since the

pain is unbearable. So he asks the doctor for an end to it, and his family

joins in the request. (http://rintintin.colorado.edu/~vancecd/phil1100/Rachels.pdf)

Explain:

1. How killing differs from letting someone die.

2. In what way is this distinction relevant to the problem of euthanasia?

3. What, if any, are the morally significant differences between killing and letting die?

4. Do you think that voluntary euthanasia is morally permissible? Explain and defend your answer.

5. Use Rachel’s essay in conjunction with this. (Hint: At one point you will need to examine the difference between killing and letting die. the Smith-Jones examples are devised for this purpose.)

6. How does a principle of universalizability enter into Rachels’ reasoning on this topic?

Respond with a well written philosophical essay 2-3 pages, typewritten and double spaced.) Use your notes, the articles we are discussing in class, your moral imagination and critical insight. Make sure that your sentences are well formed, your paragraphs exhibit thematic unity, and you answer each part of the question. Be clear, be specific, be thoughtful, and give reasons for what you say.

P. S. I will upload my typed notes from my class as they are very good for this essay. Please use my notes since the professor thought all of it in our class and I wrote it down. Thank you


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