Killing And Letting Die / Edition 2

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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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823215621
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 431
  • Lexile: 1380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Second Edition 1
Introduction 24
Pt. I Euthanasia and the Termination of Life-Prolonging Treatment
1 In the Matter of Karen Quinlan 51
2 Majority Opinion in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health (selections) 79
3 Prolonging Life: Some Legal considerations 88
4 An Irrelevant Consideration: Killing Versus Letting Die 103
5 Active and Passive Euthanasia 112
6 The Intentional Termination of Life 120
7 Active and Passive Euthanasia: An Impertinent Distinction? 131
8 More Impertinent Distinctions and a Defense of Active Euthanasia 139
9 Coming to Terms: a Response to Rachels 155
Pt. II Philosophical Problems
10 Whatever the Consequences 167
11 On Killing and Letting Die 192
12 Is Killing the Innocent Absolutely Immoral? 197
13 The Moral Equivalence of Action and Omission 210
14 Negation and Abstention: Two Theories of Allowing 230
15 The Survival Lottery 257
16 The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of the Double Effect 266
17 Killing and Letting Die 280
18 Saving Life and Taking Life 290
19 The Priority of Avoiding Harm 298
20 Actions, Intentions, and Consequences: The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing 355
21 Killing, Letting Die, and Withdrawing Aid 383
Suggested Readings 421
Notes on Contributors 429
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