Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (5):529-553 (2015)

Abstract
Patients who are imminently dying sometimes experience symptoms refractory to traditional palliative interventions, and in rare cases, continuous sedation is offered. Samuel H. LiPuma, in a recent article in this Journal, argues that continuous sedation until death is equivalent to physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia based on a higher brain neocortical definition of death. We contest his position that continuous sedation involves killing and offer four objections to the equivalency thesis. First, sedation practices are proportional in a way that physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia is not. Second, continuous sedation may not entirely abolish consciousness. Third, LiPuma’s particular version of higher brain neocortical death relies on an implausibly weak construal of irreversibility—a position that is especially problematic in the case of continuous sedation. Finally, we explain why continuous sedation until death is not functionally equivalent to neocortical death and, hence, physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia. Concluding remarks review the differences between these two end-of-life practices
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhv018
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,431
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

Brain Death and Personal Identity.Michael B. Green & Daniel Wikler - 2009 - In John P. Lizza (ed.), Philosophy and Public Affairs. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 105 - 133.
A Defense of the Whole‐Brain Concept of Death.James L. Bernat - 1998 - Hastings Center Report 28 (2):14-23.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Medicine, Morality, and Mortality: The Challenges of Moral Diversity.Mark J. Cherry - 2015 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (5):473-483.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Just When You Thought the Euthanasia Debate Had Died.Alan Rothschild - 2008 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 5 (1):69-78.
Death is Not Always the Greatest Evil: Killing and Letting Die in Bioethics.James Green - 2002 - Dissertation, Queen's University at Kingston (Canada)

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-08-05

Total views
15 ( #634,687 of 2,372,020 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #559,821 of 2,372,020 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes