Introduction With an ageing population, end-of-life care is increasing in importance. The present work investigated characteristics and time trends of older peoples' attitudes towards euthanasia and an end-of-life pill. Methods Three samples aged 64 years or older from the Longitudinal Ageing Study Amsterdam (N=1284 (2001), N=1303 (2005) and N=1245 (2008)) were studied. Respondents were asked whether they could imagine requesting their physician to end their life (euthanasia), or imagine asking for a pill to end their life if they became tired (...) of living in the absence of a severe disease (end-of-life pill). Using logistic multivariable techniques, changes of attitudes over time and their association with demographic and health characteristics were assessed. Results The proportion of respondents with a positive attitude somewhat increased over time, but significantly only among the 64–74 age group. For euthanasia, these percentages were 58% (2001), 64% (2005) and 70% (2008) (OR of most recent versus earliest period (95% CI): 1.30 (1.17 to 1.44)). For an end-of-life pill, these percentages were 31% (2001), 33% (2005) and 45% (2008) (OR (95% CI): 1.37 (1.23 to 1.52)). For the end-of-life pill, interaction between the most recent time period and age group was significant. Conclusions An increasing proportion of older people reported that they could imagine desiring euthanasia or an end-of-life pill. This may imply an increased interest in deciding about your own life and stresses the importance to take older peoples' wishes seriously. (shrink)
To describe the content of practice guidelines on euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS) and to compare differences between settings and guidelines developed before or after enactment of the euthanasia law in 2002 by means of a content analysis. Most guidelines stated that the attending physician is responsible for the decision to grant or refuse an EAS request. Due care criteria were described in the majority of guidelines, but aspects relevant for assessing these criteria were not always described. Half of the (...) guidelines described the role of the nurse in the performance of euthanasia. Compared with hospital guidelines, nursing home guidelines were more often stricter than the law in excluding patients with dementia (30% vs 4%) and incompetent patients (25% vs 4%). As from 2002, the guidelines were less strict in categorically excluding patients groups (32% vs 64%) and in particular incompetent patients (10% vs 29%). Healthcare institutions should accurately state the boundaries of the law, also when they prefer to set stricter boundaries for their own institution. Only then can guidelines provide adequate support for physicians and nurses in the difficult EAS decision-making process. (shrink)
Howard Callaway's new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Society and Solitude is an invaluable contribution to both the primary and secondary literature on Emerson. Its contribution to the primary sources is its use of the original 1870 edition of Emerson's text, though with modernized spellings to facilitate the reader's understanding. Its contribution to the secondary literature consists in the scholarly apparatus of page-by-page annotations, an introduction, a chronology, a bibliography, and an index. Callaway's Society and Solitude is a worthy companion (...) to his earlier edition of Emerson's The Conduct of Life. (shrink)
D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie (1976) II An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, ed. R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner; textual editor W. B. Todd, 2 vols. (1976) III Essays on Philosophical Subjects, ed. W. P. D. Wightman ...
I am very grateful to Professor R. W. Sleeper for his critical comments on my article, as also for the kind way in which he has expressed them. I should now like to make a few comments on his comments. May I first say that I have no objection to being metaphysical? I do not like the word ‘metaphysics’ very much, and wish that we could find a less provocative one. But still, I do think that the difference between the (...) reducible and the irreducible belief-in is a difference which there really is . Moreover, I fully admit that when we believe in God we are making a factual claim. It is, of course, a factual claim of rather a special kind. If it is a fact that there is a supreme Being, ‘The Lord of All’, this is not just one fact among others. It is not quite like the fact that there is a stormy north-westerly wind this morning. One could not just give a list of facts and add at the end, ‘There is also another fact which I had forgotten to mention: there is a God’. All the same, this factual claim, like others, does need to be justified; and how is it to be justified? I am afraid that the brief hint which I offered elsewhere on this subject is indeed ‘not good enough’ as it stands . To be even half good enough, it needs much more elaboration, and I agree that there is much force in Mr Gunderson's criticisms. (shrink)
We find before us an excellent edition of the book which the influential American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-82) published in December of 1860, four months before the outbreak of the American Civil War. The central question which Emerson poses in this volume concerns the conduct of life, that is, of how to live. The titles of the nine essays, which compose the book, illustrate the themes tackled: “Fate,” “Power,” “Wealth”, “Culture,” “Behavior,” “Worship”, “Considerations by the Way,” “Beauty” and “Illusions.” (...) As Callaway suggests, Emerson’s is not a philosophy in the sense of contemporary technicalities, “the basic tendency of his thought is a metaphysical idealism in which the soul and intuition or inspiration are central.” (p. xvi). As an essentially religious thinker, profoundly preoccupied with the human soul and with the development of human potentialities, he has always firmly opposed to slavery: one cannot refuse to others human beings the development of their distinctively human potentialities (p. xxvii). (shrink)
In the last few years H.G. Callaway has produced several helpful editions of some important texts by Emerson. Emerson's Conduct of Life was originally published in 1860, and it has appeared in a number of editions since then, but Callaway's edition has several noteworthy features that cause it to stand out from the crowd and make it an important contribution to Emerson studies. This is a rare volume that will serve students, academic philosophers, and causal readers alike: a critical edition (...) of a less-familiar text that is attractive to ordinary readers without sacrificing scholarly rigor. (shrink)