Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (6):573-587 (1992)

Using the right to die and the United States Supreme Court case of Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health as exemplars, this article explores the notion of third-order decisionmaking. If first order decisionmaking is about what should happen, and second-order decisionmaking is about who should decide what should happen, then third-order decisionmaking is about who should decide who decides. This turns out to be an apt characterization of constitutionalism, which is centrally concerned with the allocation of responsibility for making decisions about the allocation of responsibility. Deference to erroneous second-order decisions, as in the Cruzan case itself, may merely be an example of this central feature of constitutionalism. Keywords: constitutionalism, Cruzan case, right-to-die, rules CiteULike Connotea What's this?
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/17.6.573
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