Can life be evaluated? The jewish halachic approach vs. the quality of life approach in medical ethics: A critical view
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (2):117-137 (2000)
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of requests formercy killings by patients and their relatives. Under certain conditions,the patient may prefer death to a life devoid of quality. In contrast to thosewho uphold this quality of life approach, those who hold the sanctity oflife approach claim that life has intrinsic value and must be preservedregardless of its quality. This essay describes these two approaches,examines their flaws, and offers a golden path between the two extremepositions.We discuss the halachic and the secular views, arguing for a balancebetween the sanctity of life and the quality of life. We argue that, indeed,such a balance exists in practice, and that life is important, but it is not sacred. Life can be evaluated, but quality of life is not the solecriterion.
|Keywords||quality of life sanctity of life concern self-determination indicators of humanhood speciesist|
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