David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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American Journal of Bioethics 12 (8):21 - 29 (2012)
The non-identity problem arises when an intervention or behavior changes the identity of those affected. Delaying pregnancy is an example of such a behavior. The problem is whether and in what ways such changes in identity affect moral considerations. While a great deal has been written about the non-identity problem, relatively little has been written about the implications for physicians and how they should understand their duties. We argue that the non-identity problem can make a crucial moral difference in some circumstances, and that it has some interesting implications for when it is or is not right for a physician to refuse to accede to a patient's request. If a physician is asked to provide an intervention (identity preserving) that makes a person worse off, then such harm provides a good reason for the physician to refuse to provide the intervention. However, in cases where different (identity-altering) interventions result in different people having a better or worse life, physicians should normally respect patient choice
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David Archard (2004). Wrongful Life. Philosophy 79 (3):403-420.
David Benatar (2006). Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence. New York ;Oxford University Press.
David McCarthy (2001). Why Sex Selection Should Be Legal. Journal of Medical Ethics 27 (5):302-307.
Tim Mulgan (2006). Future People: A Moderate Consequentialist Account of Our Obligations to Future Generations. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
David Wasserman & Adrienne Asch (2012). Selecting for Disability: Acceptable Lives, Acceptable Reasons. American Journal of Bioethics 12 (8):30 - 31.
Nancy S. Jecker (2012). The Right Not to Be Born: Reinterpreting the Nonidentity Problem. American Journal of Bioethics 12 (8):34 - 35.
Melinda A. Roberts (2012). Does the Non-Identity Problem Imply a Double Standard for Physicians and Patients? American Journal of Bioethics 12 (8):38 - 39.
Noam Zohar (2012). Advantageous Interventions: Will Someone Be Healed? American Journal of Bioethics 12 (8):32 - 33.
Robert Ranisch (2012). Impersonalism in Bioethics. American Journal of Bioethics 12 (8):40 - 41.
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