Overlooking the Merits of the Individual Case: An Unpromising Approach to the Right to Die

Ratio Juris 4 (2):131-151 (1991)
.One of the strongest arguments against the legalization of voluntary euthanasia is that even though a given suffering or comatose patient may have a moral right to die, legal recognition of the right would lead inevitably to mistakes and abuses in other cases. The flaw in this argument is the assumption that it is always and necessarily a greater evil to let someone die by mistake than to keep a person alive by mistake. In fact, we cannot plausibly say that one of these two kinds of mistake is in itself, isolated from other factors, always more serious than the other. This point is illustrated by an examination both of a terminal patient whose prospect is a full year of intolerable pain and of a patient in a “persistent vegetative state” . Moreover, it is untrue that legalization would necessarily lead to greater numbers of mistakenly approved discontinuances of treatment than of mistakenly approved refusals of termination, and numbers, it is argued, do matter
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9337.1991.tb00090.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,201
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Joseph Diekemper (2015). The Ontology of Thisness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):49-71.
James Rachels (2001). Killing and Letting Die. In Lawrence C. Becker Mary Becker & Charlotte Becker (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd Edition. Routledge

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

57 ( #83,726 of 1,940,955 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #272,411 of 1,940,955 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.