Read pages 266-271 from The Ethical Life. In the first half of this selection, James Rachels shows that the
consequentialist argument for active euthanasia is very straightforward. Then, beginning on page 270, he tries
to show that active euthanasia is justifiable from a deontological perspective as well. The key to his argument
is that if someone requests to be killed, the act of killing her is not a violation of her rights.
(a) Give an example in which someone requests that an action be done to them, but such that fulfilling
the request would still be a violation of her rights.
(b) Explain why this makes Rachels’s argument invalid.
(c) Make a better argument for active euthanasia by appealing to the deontologist’s value of respect for
(d) Evaluate the argument you made in (c). Does it succeed, or is there an important objection to it?
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