End-of-life care in the 21st century: Advance directives in universal rights discourse

Bioethics 24 (3):105-112 (2010)
Abstract
This article explores universal normative bases that could help to shape a workable legal construct that would facilitate a global use of advance directives. Although I believe that advance directives are of universal character, my primary aim in approaching this issue is to remain realistic. I will make three claims. First, I will argue that the principles of autonomy, dignity and informed consent, embodied in the Oviedo Convention and the UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, could arguably be regarded as universal bases for the global use of advance directives. Second, I will demonstrate that, despite the apparent consensus of ethical authorities in support of their global use, it is unlikely, for the time being, that such consensus could lead to unqualified legal recognition of advance directives, because of different understandings of the nature of the international rules, meanings of autonomy and dignity which are context-specific and culture-specific, and existing imperfections that make advance directives either unworkable or hardly applicable in practice. The third claim suggests that the fact that the concept of the advance directive is not universally shared does not mean that it should not become so, but never as the only option in managing incompetent patients. A way to proceed is to prioritize work on developing higher standards in managing incompetent patients and on progressing towards the realization of universal human rights in the sphere of bioethics, by advocating a universal, legally binding international convention that would outlaw human rights violations in end-of-life decision-making.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,169
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2010-02-02

Total downloads
45 ( #118,776 of 2,191,856 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #288,547 of 2,191,856 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature