Speaking of the value of life

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 21 (2):181-199 (2011)
The notion of the value of life is often invoked in discussions regarding medical care for the sick and the dying. This theme has figured in arguments about medical ethics for decades, but many of the phrases associated with this concept have received little serious scrutiny. It is true that some philosophers have declared a few commonly used phrases such as “the sanctity of life,” “the infinite value of life,” and “the value of life itself” to be unclear at best or misguided at worst. Their hasty dismissal of these phrases, however, is not the end of the story. I generally agree with this philosophical judgment but for reasons very different from those typically given by others. Moreover, the reasons I wish to ..
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DOI 10.1353/ken.2011.0006
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