Advance Directives and Personal Identity: What Is the Problem?

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (1):60-73 (2012)
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Next SectionThe personal identity problem expresses the worry that due to disrupted psychological continuity, one person’s advance directive could be used to determine the care of a different person. Even ethicists, who strongly question the possibility of the scenario depicted by the proponents of the personal identity problem, often consider it to be a very potent objection to the use of advance directives. Aiming to question this assumption, I, in this paper, discuss the personal identity problem’s relevance to the moral force of advance directives. By putting the personal identity argument in relation to two different normative frameworks, I aim to show that whether or not the personal identity problem is relevant to the moral force of advance directives, and further, in what way it is relevant, depends entirely on what normative reasons we have for respecting advance directives in the first place



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Precedent autonomy and personal identity.Michael Quante - 1999 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 9 (4):365-381.
Advance directives and the personal identity problem.Allen Buchanan - 1988 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 17 (4):277-302.


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Elisabeth Furberg
Linkoping University

References found in this work

The concept of precedent autonomy.John K. Davies - 2002 - Bioethics 16 (2):114–133.
Precedent autonomy and subsequent consent.John K. Davis - 2004 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (3):267-291.

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