Ending the life of the act/omission dispute: Causation in withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining measures
McGee, Andrew (2011) Ending the life of the act/omission dispute: Causation in withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining measures. Legal Studies: Journal of the Society of Legal Scholars, 31(3), pp. 467-491.
My aim in this paper is to challenge the increasingly common view in the literature that the law on end of life decision making is in disarray and is in need of urgent reform. My argument is that this assessment of the law is based on assumptions about the relationship between the identity of the defendant and their conduct, and about the nature of causation, which, on examination, prove to be indefensible. I then provide a clarification of the relationship between causation and omissions which proves that the current legal position does not need modification, at least on the grounds that are commonly advanced for the converse view. This enables me, in conclusion, to clarify important conceptual and moral differences between withholding, refusing and withdrawing life-sustaining measures on the one hand, and assisted suicide and euthanasia, on the other.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Omissions, Acts, Causation, Letting die, Withholding and Withdrawing Life-sustaining Measures, Life-prolonging treatment, Euthanasia, Prolonging life, Shortening life|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Bioethics (human and animal) (220101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Medical Ethics (220106)
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2011 Wiley-Blackwell|
|Copyright Statement:||This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: McGee, A. (2011), Ending the life of the act/omission dispute: causation in withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining measures. Legal Studies, 31: 467–491, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-121X.2011.00193.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.|
|Deposited On:||12 Jul 2011 22:56|
|Last Modified:||19 May 2016 00:58|
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