Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy (2018)

Evangelos D. Protopapadakis
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Ever since the debate concerning euthanasia was ignited, the distinction between active and passive euthanasia – or, letting die and killing – has been marked as one of its key issues. In this paper I will argue that a) the borderline between act and omission is an altogether blurry one, and it gets even vaguer when it comes to euthanasia, b) there is no morally significant difference between active and passive euthanasia, and c) if there is any, it seems to favor active instead of passive euthanasia. Therefore, while the distinction between active and passive euthanasia might be meaningful in terms of description, if it is considered to be endowed with moral weight and used on purpose of justifying one type of euthanasia instead of the other, it becomes morally problematic and misleading.
Keywords euthanasia  act  omission  active euthanasia  passive euthanasia
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ISBN(s) 978-1-63435-038-9
DOI 10.5840/wcp232018394
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References found in this work BETA

Active and Passive Euthanasia.James Rachels - 1975 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.
The Least Worst Death.M. Pabst Battin - 1983 - Hastings Center Report 13 (2):13-16.
End-of-Life Decisions and the Law.S. McLean - 1996 - Journal of Medical Ethics 22 (5):261-262.
Cruzan: No Rights Violated.John A. Robertson - 1990 - Hastings Center Report 20 (5):8-9.
Pursuing a Peaceful Death.Daniel Callahan - 1993 - Hastings Center Report 23 (4):33-38.

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