There are different ways of understanding this distinction.
According to one, the distinction is between killing someone by omission ( i.e. Alternatively, the distinction is between the primary causes of death.
With those dimensions in place, we can construct the following grid.
The grid captures all the possible forms of euthanasia.
An instance of euthanasia is non-voluntary if the person who is euthanised does not have the capacity to communicate their desires (e.g. And finally, an instance of euthanasia is involuntary if the person is euthanised against their will.
The second dimension captures the distinction between passive and active forms of euthanasia.
That’s not to say there’s no controversy to be had — of course there is — but at least he tries to build a comprehensive case.
In the euthanasia essay, Tooley presents his argument initially as one whole unit and then works through the justification of the various stages.
a family can withdraw life-support from a relative who is in a persistent vegetative state.
What we’re interested in here is whether active voluntary euthanasia is morally permissible.