David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Bioethics 24 (9):453-460 (2010)
Conventional medical ethics and the law draw a bright line distinguishing the permitted practice of withdrawing life-sustaining treatment from the forbidden practice of active euthanasia by means of a lethal injection. When clinicians justifiably withdraw life-sustaining treatment, they allow patients to die but do not cause, intend, or have moral responsibility for, the patient's death. In contrast, physicians unjustifiably kill patients whenever they intentionally administer a lethal dose of medication. We argue that the differential moral assessment of these two practices is based on a series of moral fictions – motivated false beliefs that erroneously characterize withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in order to bring accepted end-of-life practices in line with the prevailing moral norm that doctors must never kill patients. When these moral fictions are exposed, it becomes apparent that conventional medical ethics relating to end-of-life decisions is radically mistaken
|Keywords||fictions withdrawing life‐sustaining treatment end‐of‐life decisions euthanasia|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert F. Weir (1989). Abating Treatment with Critically Ill Patients: Ethical and Legal Limits to the Medical Prolongation of Life. Oxford University Press.
Earl Winkler (1985). Decisions About Life and Death: Assessing the Law Reform Commission and the Presidential Commission Reports. [REVIEW] Journal of Medical Humanities and Bioethics 6 (2):74-89.
Mark J. Bliton & Stuart G. Finder (2002). Traversing Boundaries: Clinical Ethics, Moral Experience, and the Withdrawal of Life Supports. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 23 (3):233-258.
Gerald Logue (1994). Toleration of Moral Diversity and the Conscientious Refusal by Physicians to Withdraw Life-Sustaining Treatment. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 19 (2):147-159.
Mark Poorman (1995). "Playing God" and the Removal of Life-Prolonging Therapy. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (4):403-418.
Arthur R. Derse (1999). Making Decisions About Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment in Patients with Dementia. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 20 (1):55-67.
Thomas S. Huddle (2013). Moral Fiction or Moral Fact? The Distinction Between Doing and Allowing in Medical Ethics. Bioethics 27 (5):257-262.
Dan W. Brock (1993). Life and Death: Philosophical Essays in Biomedical Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-07-09
Total downloads79 ( #17,263 of 1,102,867 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #120,639 of 1,102,867 )
How can I increase my downloads?