Killing and Letting Die

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-01-01
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


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.

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction to the Second Editionp. 1
Notesp. 23
Introductionp. 24
Notesp. 46
Euthanasia and the Termination of Life- Prolonging Treatmentp. 49
70 N.J. 10p. 75
Majority Opinion in Cruzan v. Director Missouri Department of Healthp. 87
Prolonging Life: Some Legal Considerationsp. 102
An Irrelevant Consideration: Killing Versus Letting Diep. 109
Active and Passive Euthanasiap. 119
The Intentional Termination of Lifep. 120
Active and Passive Euthanasia: an Impertinent Distinction?p. 138
More Impertinent Distinctions and A Defense of Active Euthanasiap. 153
Coming to Terms: A Response to Rachelsp. 161
Philosophical Problemsp. 165
Whatever the Consequencesp. 167
Notesp. 191
On Killing and Letting Die Daniel Dinellop. 196
Is Killing the Innocent Absolutely Immoral?p. 206
The Moral Equivalence of Action and Omissionp. 225
Negation and Abstention: Two Theories of Allowingp. 255
The Survival Lotteryp. 265
The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of the Double Effectp. 278
Killing and Letting Die Philippa Footp. 289
Saving Life and Taking Lifep. 297
The Priority of Avoiding Harmp. 348
Actions, Intentions, and Consequences: The Doctrine of Doing and Allowingp. 376
Killing, Letting Die, and Withdrawing Aidp. 383
Conclusionp. 411
Notesp. 414
Suggested Readingsp. 421
Notes on Contributorsp. 429
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