Consider the following claims:
(a) In general, there is an intrinsic moral difference between killing a person and letting a person die.
(b) In specifically medical contexts, there is typically no difference between killing a person and letting a person die. This is particularly so when dealing with terminal patients who are in considerable suffering.
(c) In certain contexts—again, involving the sort of patient mentioned in (b)—a person has a right to die, using the means that, of those available, would involve the least amount of suffering.
Can any of these claims be defended, in your view? If so, how? (Make sure to consider the relevant objections.)
1. Discuss the main ethical theories we have looked at in this course in making out your argument.
2. Consider and take seriously opposing positions and arguments against the position you are defending.
3. Try to be as comprehensive as possible in your consideration of the relevant ethical considerations. Do not leave out important arguments or other pertinent matters, even if you yourself as not as inclined as others to find them persuasive.
4. Finally, be sure to provide clear evidence that you have completed and assimilated the relevant assigned readings and materials.
Answer & Explanation
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