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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Ending Lives

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ISBN13: 9780631153290
ISBN: 0631153292
Published: June 1988
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

This book addresses the sensitive and complex issues of suicide and euthanasia. It examines the apparent contradiction that those who, in general terms, hold killing people to be wrong may well believe suicide or euthanasia to be morally justifiable, even though they are both cases of killing people. This in turn raises complex questions of subjectivism: is life just about the pursuit of happiness and the avoidance of suffering, or about doing what people want? To decide these issues we need an objective guide to what is good to help us determine whether it may be good to take someone's life. The authors cover the various approaches employed to dealing with these questions: the autonomy position (killing is wrong because people object to being killed, therefore when there is no objection as with suicide or euthanasia, killing cannot be wrong); the utilitarian position (the promotion of happiness is the basis of good actions); and the quality of life position. The authors provide a summary of the positions and controversies surrounding life and death, including the sensitive issue of whether lack of medical resources can lead to involuntary euthanasia.

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Medical Law
Killing oneself and killing others
suicide - intuitions and arguments
utilitarianism and suicide
absurdity, choice and the quality of life
the duty to live
killing and letting die
non-voluntary euthanasia and the numbers issue