Ronald Dworkin on abortion and assisted suicide

Journal of Ethics 5 (3):221-240 (2001)
In the first part of this article, I raisequestions about Dworkin''s theory of theintrinsic value of life and about the adequacyof his proposal to understand abortion in termsof different ways of valuing life. In thesecond part of the article, I consider hisargument in ``The Philosophers'' Brief on AssistedSuicide'''', which claims that the distinctionbetween killing and letting die is morallyirrelevant, the distinction between intendingand foreseeing death can be morally relevantbut is not always so. I argue that thekilling/letting die distinction can be relevantin the context of assisted suicide, but alsoshow when it is not. Then I consider why theintention/foresight distinction can be morallyirrelevant and conclude by presenting analternative argument for physician-assistedsuicide.
Keywords abortion  Doctrine of Double Effect  intending and foreseeing death  intrinsic value  inviolability  killing and letting die  The Philosophers' Brief on Assisted Suicide  physician-assisted suicide  value of life
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1012755208057
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