When understanding a specific case in bioethics, it is important to acknowledge four basic bioethical principles: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. These four principles are crucial to understanding, and devising a solution, for a case but certain principles are given more weight than others on a case-by-case determination. The principles guide particular cases, but are open to adjustment. In the biomedical issue of euthanasia pertaining to terminally ill consenting individuals, the most relevant bioethical principles are autonomy and beneficence. My argument is twofold: (1) Both active and passive euthanasia are morally permissible because the ability for patients to have this choice allows them to act upon their autonomy, and (2) the distinction between active and passive euthanasia, in itself, actually diminishes the autonomy of the patient because this deems the agent as external in contrast to the patient acting as the agent.



Publication Place

Tacoma, Washington


The University of Puget Sound