Does withdrawing life-sustaining treatment cause death or allow the patient to die?
McGee, Andrew (2014) Does withdrawing life-sustaining treatment cause death or allow the patient to die? Medical Law Review, 22(1), pp. 26-47.
The paper discusses the view of Franklin Miller and Robert Truog that withdrawing life-sustaining treatment causes death and so is a form of killing. I reject that view. I argue that even if we think there is no morally relevant difference between allowing a patient to die and killing her (itself a controversial view), it does not follow that allowing to die is a form of killing. I then argue that withdrawing life-sustaining treatment is properly classified as allowing the patient to die rather than as killing her. Once this is accepted, the law cannot be criticised for inconsistency by holding, as it does, that it is lawful to withdraw life-sustaining treatment but unlawful to give patients a lethal injection.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Acts, Causing death, Euthanasia, Killing, Letting die, Omissions, Pacemaker|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Criminal Law and Procedure (180110)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100)
|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 2014 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press|
|Copyright Statement:||This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Medical Law Review following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version [Med Law Rev (Winter 2014) 22 (1): 26-47.
doi: 10.1093/medlaw/fwt034] is available online at: http://medlaw.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/1/26
|Deposited On:||23 Apr 2014 02:43|
|Last Modified:||05 Aug 2015 05:37|
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