The term assisted suicide refers to a state or situation in which an individual’s death is aided or fastened so that the death takes place within a brief while, as opposed to the standard time in which the same person would have taken to dying (Touhy & Ebersole.2014). Active euthanasia, on the contrary, refers to a situation in which medical practitioners do undertake activities that, in the end, lead to the eventual death of their patients. Either, passive euthanasia refers to situations whereby medical practitioners deliberately avoid execution of certain necessary actions that, in the end, result in the death of a patient. This paper seeks to explain passive euthanasia as a form of letting die and not a killing.
There have been numerous arguments, both for and against the usage of passive euthanasia as a means of helping patients die. Passive euthanasia is mostly argued for in cases of chronic diseases (Touhy & Ebersole.2014). Either, diseases that are considered chronic or long term do offer painful experiences to both patients and their loved ones. In families, the caregivers may reach a point of allowing their loved one to die either because of financial reasons, desire for a dignified death or even the pain of watching their loved one struggle to live. In such cases, passive euthanasia is moral and it becomes a source of relief.
Even though there are arguments against passive euthanasia, its practices can be considered ethical and relieving to both the families of the dying patients and the patients (Carr. 2009). Rather than allow the patient and the family go through the painful experience that is associated with chronic diseases, which are sometimes long term in nature, passive euthanasia can be administered as a remedy to the experience. Even though the sick or the suffering are never given the opportunity of deciding between death and life, it is more painful to allow a patient suffering from chronic disease stays longer thus the need to administer passive euthanasia.
In concluding, am convinced that passive euthanasia is a better option that can be employed by medical practitioners. This is pegged on the belief that it helps patients die painlessly, and is morally accepted within societies. It does not directly link the practitioners to the patient’s death as opposed to both active euthanasia and assisted suicide do. Therefore, it should be prioritized over the other two.
Touhy, A., Jett, F. & Ebersole, P. (2014). Ebersole And Hess' Gerontological Nursing & Healthy Aging. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier/Mosby.
Carr, F. (2009). Physician-Assisted Suicide: Religious Perspectives On Death With Dignity. Tucson, Ariz: Wheatmark.