Allowing to Die
Attitudes to Death
Quality of Life
Right to Die
Value of Life
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AbstractThere are a number of arguments that purport to show, in general terms, that there is no difference between killing and letting die. These are used to justify active euthanasia on the basis of the reasons given for allowing patients to die. I argue that the general and abstract arguments fail to take account of the complex and particular situations which are found in the care of those with terminal illness. When in such situations, there are perceptions and intuitions available that do not easily find propositional form but lead most of those whose practice is in the care of the dying to resist active euthanasia. I make a plea for their intuitions to be heeded above the sterile voice of abstract premises and arguments by examining the completeness of the outline form of the pro-euthanasia argument. In doing so, I make use of Nussbaum's discussion of moral perception and general claims to be found in the literature of moral particularism.
Bioethics. 1994 Oct; 8(4): 312-328.