Philosophy:Contemporary Moral Problems

1. Is Beauchamp more concerned with the morality of individual cases of euthanasia, or are his arguments intended to support a policy on legalization?

2. What is the difference between killing and letting die, according to Beauchamp? What is the “redefinition” he wants to resist? Do you agree with him?

3. Explain the point of Beauchamp’s example of Mr. Policeman & Mr. Mafia. Do you agree with him?

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4. What is Beauchamp asserting about the difference between a “valid refusal” and a “valid authorization?”

5. On which points does Beauchamp agree with Bernat, Gert, & Mogielnicki? On which does he disagree? With whom do you agree? Does Beauchamp think that a physician is responsible for the outcome only when they honor a patient’s request, or also when they refuse them? What is his reasoning for this?

6. What does Beauchamp identify as the “wrong” in cases when killing a person is wrong?

7. Under what circumstances does Beauchamp think one can make the strongest case for euthanasia? What example does he use to illustrate this?

8. Why does Beauchamp suggest there is both something right and wrong about “slippery slope” arguments? What example does he offer as at least partially addressing these concerns?