Fill This Form To Receive Instant Help

Help in Homework
trustpilot ratings
google ratings

Homework answers / question archive / Required Discussion Forum: Chapter 3 begins with two narrative accounts of people facing the question of euthanasia

Required Discussion Forum: Chapter 3 begins with two narrative accounts of people facing the question of euthanasia


Required Discussion Forum: Chapter 3 begins with two narrative accounts of people facing the question of euthanasia. Perhaps more than any other moral issues to be discussed this semester, students have direct experience with questions relating to euthanasia through personal situations similar to those discussed in these two passages. In this discussion forum you are asked to share about your personal experiences with euthanasia issues and react to the experiences of other students in light of the issues and questions raised by"Letting Go: What Should Modern Medicine Do When It Can't Save Your Life?" (Gawande) and “My Father's Death” (Wolf).  Please be respectful of others' opinions and personal experiences in the discussion; you should keep your remarks focused on the themes mentioned in the two cases and on any personal experience with euthanasia.  Avoid being judgmental or overly critical of other's experiences. 

Abortion and Euthanasia

(Hinman, Contemporary Moral Issues, Ch. 2 and Ch. 3)



Here are a couple of reminders about the format for our work in Course Module 3.

As you look through each LU for Course Module 3, most of the items there should look very familiar. The main difference will be seen in the discussion forums for this part of the course. Each moral issue discussion forum will present a scenario for you to consider and respond to. These are often “real life” situations that either have occurred or may well occur. You should respond to these based on three things: (1) your reading of the chapter in Hinman; (2) your knowledge of moral theories gained in Course Module 2; and (3) your personal life experiences. The discussion forums are a major part of this course and for that reason the point values will be increased to 50 points for each forum. Failure to participate at the minimum level of three (3) posts per week will result in a significant reduction in your overall grade for the course.

One final change in format is worthy of note in Course Module 3. The instructions for Part I recommended that you first attend to the reading assignment, then move on to the lectures as provided. In Course Module 3, I would recommend that you consult the Lecture folder first, as it will tend to provide both introductory insights for the assigned chapter AND some direction about the assignments for that week.

A few of you have not been keeping pace by participating in the required Discussion Forums. You will be penalized for failing to participate in the required forums. For Course Module 3, a major portion of your overall grade will come from participating in the discussion forums. The discussions forums for Course Module 3 have a higher point value (50 pts.) than those in the Course Modules 1 and 2 (30 pts.), so you have the opportunity to make up ground if you have been lax in that area of participation in the discussion boards so far in the course. Take the time to be involved in Course Module 3 discussion boards and make sure you complete this required weekly assignment.

Chapter 2: “Abortion”

Of all the moral issues currently debated in our society, abortion is likely the most contentious and the most familiar to you. Emotions run high in the abortion debate and most people have fairly firm ideas and viewpoints that they bring to the debate. One challenge for you in this Learning Unit will be to attempt to temper your own emotions and commitment to your own preferred viewpoint sufficiently so that you can listen to other viewpoints and reasonable analyze these.

Hinman correctly points out that there are two principal moral concerns that seem to anchor the discussion of abortion. One is the matter of determining the moral status of the fetus. This moral concern involves issues involving the criteria of personhood and whether the fetus meets these criteria. If it does, then it follows that rights and protections given to any other person under the law should also be given to the fetus. The second principal moral issue in this debate has to do with the rights of the pregnant woman. Hinman discusses four arguments (views) that have been commonly advanced in regard to a woman’s rights.

Because the fundamentals of the abortion debate are fairly clear, well understood and for many, firmly settled, one wonders if progress can be made in the debate. Hinman makes some suggestions that may facilitate this progress in his section about seeking a middle ground. As you consider this strategy for finding a middle ground on the issue of abortion you will be forced to examine your own deeply held beliefs on the issue. As you do, and as you interact with your fellow classmates on this issue, please remember our commitment to the standard of civility and be considerate of those with whom you disagree.

Chapter 3: “Euthanasia”

Conceptual Clarity: Hinman presents a good discussion of some of the fundamental distinctions in play when the issue of euthanasia is discussed. In order to understand and evaluate what the authors in this chapter are saying in regard to their views on euthanasia it is very important that you are clear about these distinctions.

The first distinction, between active versus passive euthanasia, is focused on the action or non-action associated with an incident of euthanasia. For example, assisted suicide would generally be consider active euthanasia and withholding certain medical treatments or even food and water might be considered an instance of passive euthanasia. Hinman is careful to mention that this distinction is not as black and white or straightforward as it might first appear to be. He describes it as being “slippery” and the student should be attentive to the discussion Hinman offers in this regard.

Another distinction important to this topic is that between voluntary, nonvoluntary and involuntary euthanasia. Here the focus is on the issue of who makes the decision or sets in motion the actions leading to euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is where the person chooses to die; nonvoluntary is where the person involved does not choose (either because they are unable or have given no indication of their preferences in regard to euthanasia); involuntary euthanasia is where the decision for death is made against the wishes of the person involved.

A third distinction discussed by Hinman is that between assisted and unassisted euthanasia. Here the issue is that of complicity on the part of another person when the person choosing death is unable to carry out the choice.

In addition to the need for conceptual clarity regarding these distinctions, Hinman suggests that are issues of moral significance involved as well. His point is that even if we can gain conceptual clarity, questions of moral significance remain. For example, many hold the view that active euthanasia is more troubling from a moral standpoint than is passive euthanasia. Critics of this viewpoint have sometimes argued that when moral significance is the basis of the distinction that active euthanasia is often times more compassionate than passive euthanasia and therefore morally preferable to it.

Be sure to give attention to Hinman’s chart at the bottom of p. 104. It provides a good summary of the distinctions he discusses in the chapter.

In addition to the distinctions already mentioned, there are several other relevant issues that enter into the debate over euthanasia. It is because of the number and complexity of these issues that this debate is another moral debate not easily resolved. Some of the more important issues include: positions on the sanctity of life, questions regarding the right to die, conflict between the value of life and the cost of care and of course a variety of religious and cultural traditions and values.

Perhaps the single most difficult aspect in analyzing and evaluating the passages in this chapter and the debate over euthanasia is gaining and maintaining clarity on this vast array of distinctions and issues. All too often the debate is impeded because of careless use of the terms of the distinctions and confusion between what issues are most relevant to a particular point of view.

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns you have about this Learning Unit via email and the discussion forum.

Purchase A New Answer

Custom new solution created by our subject matter experts


Related Questions