Killing and Letting Die

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Bonnie Steinbock, Alastair Norcross
Fordham Univ Press, 1994 - Law - 431 pages
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This collection contains twenty-one thought-provoking essays on the controversies surrounding the moral and legal distinctions between euthanasia and "letting die." Since public awareness of this issue has increased this second edition includes nine entirely new essays which bring the treatment of the subject up-to-date. The urgency of this issue can be gauged in recent developments such as the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in the Netherlands, "how-to" manuals topping the bestseller charts in the United States, and the many headlines devoted to Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who has assisted dozens of patients to die. The essays address the range of questions involved in this issue pertaining especially to the fields of medical ethics, public policymaking, and social philosophy. The discussions consider the decisions facing medical and public policymakers, how those decisions will affect the elderly and terminally ill, and the medical and legal ramifications for patients in a permanently vegetative state, as well as issues of parent/infant rights. The book is divided into two sections. The first, "Euthanasia and the Termination of Life-Prolonging Treatment" includes an examination of the 1976 Karen Quinlan Supreme Court decision and selections from the 1990 Supreme Court decision in the case of Nancy Cruzan. Featured are articles by law professor George Fletcher and philosophers Michael Tooley, James Rachels, and Bonnie Steinbock, with new articles by Rachels, and Thomas Sullivan. The second section, "Philosophical Considerations," probes more deeply into the theoretical issues raised by the killing/letting die controversy, illustrating exceptionally well the dispute between two rival theories of ethics, consequentialism and deontology. It also includes a corpus of the standard thought on the debate by Jonathan Bennet, Daniel Dinello, Jeffrie Murphy, John Harris, Philipa Foot, Richard Trammell, and N. Ann Davis, and adds articles new to this edition by Bennett, Foot, Warren Quinn, Jeff McMahan, and Judith Lichtenberg.
 

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Contents

Introduction to the Second Edition
1
Introduction
24
EUTHANASIA AND THE TERMINATION OF LIFEPROLONGING TREATMENT
49
In the Matter of Karen Quinlan Supreme Court of New Jersey
51
Majority Opinion in Cruzan v Director Missouri Department of Health selections Supreme Court of the United States
79
Prolonging Life Some Legal considerations
88
An Irrelevant Consideration Killing Versus Letting Die
103
Active and Passive Euthanasia
112
Whatever the Consequences
167
On Killing and Letting Die
192
Is Killing the Innocent Absolutely Immoral?
197
The Moral Equivalence of Action and Omission
210
Negation and Abstention Two Theories of Allowing
230
The Survival Lottery
257
The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of the Double Effect
266
Killing and Letting Die
280

The Intentional Termination of Life
120
Active and Passive Euthanasia An Impertinent Distinction?
131
More Impertinent Distinctions and a Defense of Active Euthanasia
139
Coming to Terms a Response to Rachels
155
PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS
165
Saving Life and Taking Life
290
The Priority of Avoiding Harm
298
Actions Intentions and Consequences The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing
355
Killing Letting Die and Withdrawing Aid
383
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Page 5 - ... the intentional termination of a life. This is where the mistake comes in, for what is the cessation of treatment, in these circumstances, if it is not "the intentional termination of the life of one human being by another?

References to this book

Normative Ethics
Shelly Kagan
No preview available - 1998
Equal Justice
Eric Rakowski
Limited preview - 1991
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About the author (1994)


Bonnie Steinbock is Professor of Philosophy at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where she holds a joint appointment in the departments of Public Policy and Health Policy. She was Vice-President of the Hastings Center and has been a Fellow since 1986. Alastair Norcross is Professor of Philosophy at University of Colorado, Boulder.

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