Save

We Should Widen Access to Physician-Assisted Death

In: Journal of Moral Philosophy
Authors:
Jordan MacKenzieDepartment of Philosophy, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, va, United States, jmackenzie@vt.edu

Search for other papers by Jordan MacKenzie in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
Adam LernerDepartment of Philosophy, Princeton University, Princeton, nj, United States, adamjl@princeton.edu

Search for other papers by Adam Lerner in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$34.95

Abstract

Typical philosophical discussions of physician-assisted death (“pad”) have focused on whether the practice can be permissible. We address a different question: assuming that pad can be morally permissible, how far does that permission extend? We will argue that granting requests for pad may be permissible even when the pad recipient can no longer speak for themselves. In particular, we argue against the ‘competency requirement’ that constrains pad-eligibility to presently-competent patients in most countries that have legalized pad. We think pad on terminally ill, incapacitated patients can be morally permissible in cases where advance directives or suitable surrogate decision-makers are available, and should be legally permissible in such cases as well. We argue that this view should be accepted on pain of inconsistency: by allowing surrogate decision-makers to request withdrawal of life-sustaining care on behalf of patients and by allowing patients to request pad, we rule out any plausible justification for imposing a competency requirement on pad.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 342 273 29
Full Text Views 53 42 2
PDF Views & Downloads 138 117 8