The Value of Life at the End of Life: A Critical Assessment of Hope and Other Factors

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 39 (2):215-223 (2011)
Abstract
Low opportunity cost, weak influence of quality of life in the face of death, the social value of life extension to others, shifting psychological reference points, and hope have been proposed as factors to explain why people apparently perceive marginal life extension at the end of life to have disproportionately greater value than its length. Such value may help to explain why medical spending to extend life at the end of life is as high as it is, and the various factors behind this value might provide normative rationale for that spending. Upon critical analysis, however, most of these factors turn out to be questionable or incompletely conceived; this includes hope, which is examined here in special detail. These factors help to explain complexity and nuance in the normative issues, but they do not provide adequate justification for spending as high as it often is. In any case, two additional factors must be added to the descriptive explanation of high spending, and they throw its normative justification into further doubt: the “insurance effect” and provider-created demand. Overall, the perception of especially high value of life at the end of life provides some normative justification for high spending, but seldom strong justification, and not for spending as high as it often is
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 11,365
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
Adrienne Martin (2008). Hope and Exploitation. Hastings Center Report 38 (5):49-55.
Citations of this work BETA
N. S. Jecker (2013). The Problem with Rescue Medicine. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 38 (1):64-81.
Similar books and articles
Marie I. Kaiser (2011). The Limits of Reductionism in the Life Sciences. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (4):453-476.
Roger Scruton (2012). Timely Death. Philosophical Papers 41 (3):421-434.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-05-12

Total downloads

14 ( #115,807 of 1,102,762 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #120,475 of 1,102,762 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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