Act Utilitarianism Essay

362 Words2 Pages
nature are hedonistic, this means that people given the opportunity would avoid painful situations at all costs, while vigorously reaching out for pleasurable moments. An example of reasoning in act Utilitarianism can be found in the biomedical ethics book (Mapes&Gaize pg. 10). A severely ill infant who has zero chances of survival has contracted a deadly virus, the physician and parents now must make the decision to treat the virus with antibiotics or allow the infant to simply die. In this case it is clear that those involved would be best served by allowing the child to simply die, since the infant has nothing to gain and everything to lose from a painful prolonged life. The anguish and distress of the parents cannot be eliminated regardless…show more content…
James Rachel’s proposal states that in most cases, though not in all, it’s worse to kill someone than to let them die (Mappes & DeGrazia, 397). The answer to the question is yes, I believe active and passive euthanasia can be justifiably moral and ethically sound when using Act Utilitarianism. The killing of someone has been the major objection to euthanasia throughout history. According to a utilitarian by the name Peter Singer, we need to ask ourselves what makes it wrong to kill someone, not what is wrong about killing someone ( An act utilitarian would most likely answer this question by saying that whatever happiness one has ends when killing them, therefore killing is bad because when someone is dead they are no longer happy. Now we have a justifiable reason not to kill, because killing someone deprives them of the happiness they enjoyed while be alive, and we can also conclude that there is a justifiable reason to kill when life holds more unhappiness than happiness according act utilitarianism. For example someone who is suffering through a terminal illness
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