Full text Read free See used
Foot, Philippa. Euthanasia
1977, Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (2):85-112. Reprinted in her Virtues and vices. Oxford: Blackwell.
Expand entry
Added by: Simon Fokt

Comment: This text is of central interest in teaching about moral issues related to euthanasia. The text introduces the vital distinctions between active and passive, voluntary and nonvoluntary euthanasia, and argues in favour of moral permissibility of all but the active nonvoluntary type.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free
Foot, Philippa. Virtues and Vices
1978, Oxford University Press.
Expand entry
Added by: Laura Jimenez, Contributed by: Nomy Arpaly

Publisher’s Note: This collection of essays, written between 1957 and 1977, contains discussions of the moral philosophy of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and some modern philosophers. It presents virtues and vices rather than rights and duties as the central concepts in moral philosophy. Throughout, the author rejects contemporary anti? naturalistic moral philosophies such as emotivism and prescriptivism, but defends the view that moral judgements may be hypothetical rather than (as Kant thought) categorical imperatives. The author also applies her moral philosophy to the current debates on euthanasia and abortion, the latter discussed in relation to the doctrine of the double effect. She argues against the suggestion, on the part of A. J. Ayer and others, that free will actually requires determinism. In a final essay, she asks whether the concept of moral approval can be understood except against a particular background of social practices.

Comment: Foot stands out among contemporary ethical theorists because of her conviction that virtues and vices are more central ethical notions than rights, duties, justice, or consequences. Since the author discusses multiple relevant topics (abortion, euthanasia, free will/determination, and the ethics of Hume and Nietzsche) this book is a really complete reading for Ethics courses. The book can be used in both, undergraduate and postgraduate courses, but the last eight essays are more suitable for postgraduates.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free
Garcia, Jorge L. A.. Health versus Harm: Euthanasia and Physicians’ Duties
2007, Journal of Medicine and Philsophy, 31 (1): 7-24.
Expand entry
Added by: Rochelle DuFord

Abstract: This essay rebuts Gary Seay’s efforts to show that committing euthanasia need not conflict with a physician’s professional duties. First, I try to show how his misunderstanding of the correlativity of rights and duties and his discussion of the foundation of moral rights undermine his case. Second, I show aspects of physicians’ professional duties that clash with euthanasia, and that attempts to avoid this clash lead to absurdities. For professional duties are best understood as deriving from professional virtues and the commitments and purposes with which the professional as such ought to act, and there is no plausible way in which her death can be seen as advancing the patient’s medical welfare. Third, I argue against Prof. Seay’s assumption that apparent conflicts among professional duties must be resolved through ‘balancing’ and argue that, while the physician’s duty to extend life is continuous with her duty to protect health, any duty to relieve pain is subordinate to these. Finally, I show that what is morally determinative here, as throughout the moral life, is the agent’s intention and that Prof. Seay’s implicitly preferred consequentialism threatens not only to distort moral thinking but would altogether undermine the medical (and any other) profession and its internal ethics.

Comment: This text will mostly be of use to advanced students (or courses) focusing on the ethics of physician assisted suicide or euthanasia. It presents a detailed rebuttal to Seay's "Euthanasia and Physicians' Moral Duties," so it will be of most use to students who have read Seay's text or are deeply familiar with defenses of euthanasia based in consequentialist moral reasoning.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Kuhse, Helga. Critical Notice: Why Killing Is Not Always Worse – and Is Sometimes Better – Than Letting Die
1998, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 7 (4):371-374.
Expand entry
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Abstract: The philosophical debate over the moral difference between killing and letting die has obvious relevance for the contemporary public debate over voluntary euthanasia. Winston Nesbitt claims to have shown that killing someone is, other things being equal, always worse than allowing someone to die. But this conclusion is illegitimate. While Nesbitt is correct when he suggests that killing is sometimes worse than letting die, this is not always the case. In this article, I argue that there are occasions when it is better to kill than to let die

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Kuhse, Helga. The Sanctity-of-Life Doctrine in Medicine: A Critique
1987, Oxford University Press.
Expand entry
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Publisher’s Note: According to the “sanctity-of-life” view, all human lives are equally valuable and inviolable, and it would be wrong to base life-and-death medical decisions on the quality of the patient’s life. Examining the ideas and assumptions behind the sanctity-of-life view, Kuhse argues against the traditional view that allowing someone to die is morally different from killing, and shows that quality-of-life judgments are ubiquitous. Refuting the sanctity-of-life view, she provides a sketch of a quality-of-life ethics based on the belief that there is a profound difference between merely being alive and life being in the patient’s interest.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text Read free
Palmer, Clare. Killing Animals in Animal Shelters
2006, In: Killing Animals, edited by The Animal Studies Group. Champaign: Illinois University Press.
Expand entry
Added by: Rochelle DuFord

Summary: In this article, Palmer provides a clear survey of positions on killing domestic animals (cats and dogs) in animal shelters. She argues that there are three ways of understanding the killing that occurs in animal shelters: consequentialism, rights based, and relation based. She considers the relationship of humans and domesticated animals that leads to their killing in animal shelters as well as providing an ethical assessment of the practice.

Comment: This text is a clear introduction to the ethical issues involved in keeping 'pets' or 'companion animals.' It would serve as a clear introduction to the problem of 'painless killing' in a course on ethics of killing, environmental ethics, or animal ethics.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Steinbock, Bonnie. The case for physician assisted suicide: not (yet) proven
2005, Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (4):235-241.
Expand entry
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Simon Fokt

Abstract: The legalisation of physician assisted suicide in Oregon and physician assisted death in the Netherlands has revitalised the debate over whether and under what conditions individuals should be able to determine the time and manner of their deaths, and whether they should be able to enlist the help of physicians in doing so. Although the change in the law is both dramatic and recent, the basic arguments for and against have not really changed since the issue was debated by Glanville Williams and Yale Kamisar nearly 50 years ago. In this paper, the author argues in favour of Kamisar’s consequentialist framework. Any change in law and social policy should not be based solely on individual cases, heart wrenching though these may be. Instead, we need to assess the need for PAS, and weigh this against the risks of mistake and abuse

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Steinbock, Bonnie. The Intentional Termination of Life
1979, In Steinbock, Bonnie and Alastair Norcross (eds.), Killing and Letting Die. Fordham University Press.
Expand entry
Added by: Carl Fox

Content: Steinbock argues that cessation of treatment can be for reasons other than the ending of life, specifically respecting a patient’s right to refuse treatment and when treatment would not be a net benefit. She concludes that the AMA can consistently reject intentional killing and hold that it is sometimes permissible to withdraw treatment without relying on the controversial passive/active euthanasia distinction.

Comment: Very useful chapter for discussion in a module about ethical issues at the end of life.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Thomson, Judith Jarvis. Physician-Assisted Suicide: Two Moral Arguments
1999, Ethics 109 (3):497-518.
Expand entry
Added by: Simon Fokt

Introduction: What I will discuss are two of the moral arguments that have been put forward as reasons for objecting to the legalization of physician-assisted suicide. They have been taken seriously by a great many people and have had a powerful impact on the state of American law in this area. I will argue that they are bad arguments. I should say at the outset, however, that even if these are bad arguments, there may be others that are better. Many people oppose the legalizing of physician-assisted suicide on the ground that (as they think) there is no way of constraining the practice so as to provide adequate protections for the poor and the weak. They may be right, and if they are, then all bets are off. Alternatively, they may be wrong. I will simply bypass this issue.

Comment: The two arguments focus on the distinction between killing and letting die, and the doctrine of double effect. The arguments offered are central to the discussion on the moral permissibility of euthanasia and assisted suicide, which makes this text very useful in teaching applied ethics. It can be also useful in more general teaching on the doctrine of double effect.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Warren, Mary Anne. Moral status: obligations to persons and other living things
1997, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Expand entry
Added by: Simon Fokt

Publisher’s description: Mary Anne Warren investigates a theoretical question that is at the centre of practical and professional ethics: what are the criteria for having moral status? That is: what does it take to be an entity towards which people have moral considerations? Warren argues that no single property will do as a sole criterion, and puts forward seven basic principles which establish moral status. She then applies these principles to three controversial moral issues: voluntary euthanasia, abortion, and the status of non-human animals.

Comment: Particular chapters are useful in teaching on the applied ethics of abortion, euthanasia and obligations towards non-human animals.

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Can’t find it?
Contribute the texts you think should be here and we’ll add them soon!