Persons, Agents, and the End-of-life Decisions

Klampfer, Friderik (2002) Persons, Agents, and the End-of-life Decisions. In: UNSPECIFIED Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, pp. 109-111.


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Extensive discussions about the nature and value of personhood, of metaphysical and normative aspects of becoming a person and ceasing to be one, having been conducted at the very center of the debates on abortion, therapeutic human cloning, embryo experimentation, and so on, for decades have proven notoriously difficult and their insights disappointingly inconclusive. In the paper I would like to turn our attention to the other end of the life span and explore the moral implications of acknowledging to, or witholding from, someone the status of a person, i.e. a rational being, for the choice between prolonging her life and facilitating her death. The philosophical challenge facing the opponent of euthanasia can then be put as follows: suppose the patient's decision to have her life terminated is both voluntary and prudent; further suppose that neither her decision nor the carrying out of it by a health professional violates anyone's rights or fails to discharge anyone's duties. What else could possibly make the doctor's compliance with the patient's request wrong and what other moral objections could possibly be raised against the proposal to provide a legal protection for such an option for the terminally-ill patients?

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Person; Agent; Euthanasia; Kant, I.
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Metaphysik
Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Wittgenstein Symposium Kirchberg, Pre-Proceedings > Kirchberg 2002
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Allgemeine Ethik
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:51

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