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12/19/2017 11:22 am  #21

Re: Euthanasia for organ donation

RomanJoe wrote:

Timocrates wrote:

But as to someone considering euthanasia that others - even many others - might be saved, in this case I wouldn't class it as suicide simply, as that implies final despair and seeks the destruction of one's life as the object and goal; however, in that case, one's self destruction is accidentally necessary and not the desired object. Men risk their lives all the time to save others and this is usually accounted as heroism; indeed, men have died certain of their deaths as being necessary to save others from certain impeding death and destruction - but there still seems to be a difference even here.

Yes, this is an issue for me. I might understand--say--a father wanting to donate a vital organ to a dying son because it is the son's only chance of survival, but what of someone who just wants to donate all of his organs to the list of individuals waiting for transplants? I'm also wondering what this would look like? Would they lethally inject you and then harvest the organs? For some reason this doesn't seem right to me.

I can see a soldier on the battlefield throwing himself on a grenade to protect his comrades. But, in this instance, he isn't really directly taking his own life--that is, he is not the agent that imposes on himself his own destruction. Rather, it is the enemy soldier that has thrown the grenade which puts soldier 1 in a circumstance in which he has the option of bravely smothering the explosion with his own body to save his comrades. Now in something like medically administered killing for organ harvesting, it seems like there is a degree of premeditation--that is, the patient seeks out his own death as a means to some good goal. In the case with the solider, the soldier does not seek out his own death, rather the circumstance presents him with a dilemma that may compel him to use his death as a means to some good goal. But, even in this case, he is not directly killing himself, rather, he is foregoing his life to the misfortunes of war in order to save his buddies. In the euthanasia-organ donation case, the patient collaborates with the doctor (i.e. the man who will kill him) to bring about the circumstance that will end his own life.

So in the first case, the victim does not seek out, will, or play an active participation in the circumstance that may compel him to use his death as a means to a good end. In the second case the victim does seek out and plays an active participation in the circumstance that will result in his own death as a means to a good end. Perhaps this is the distinguishing factor? Perhaps this is why I find the former case praiseworthy and the latter case morally repugnant and morbid. It has to do with self-imposition and active participation, perhaps premeditation, of one's own death. 

This is a fuzzy analysis. 

Fuzzy maybe but edifying. I think you are definitely tracking something.

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