Advance Directives for Voluntary Euthanasia: A Volatile Combination?
Francis, Leslie Pickering
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1993 Jun; 18(3): 297-322.
Defenders of patient autonomy have successfully supported the legal adoption of advance directives. More recently, some defenders of patient autonomy have also supported the legalization of voluntary active euthanasia. This paper explores the wisdom of combining both practices. If euthanasia were to become legal, should it be permitted by advance directives? The paper juxtaposes the most significant doubts about advance directives, with the most significant doubts about euthanasia. It argues that the doubts together raise more concern about the combined practices than about either euthanasia or advance directives separately. Not all cases of voluntary euthanasia by advance directive are equally problematic, however. Advance directives can help in the defense of euthanasia for patients who make the request in advance and reaffirm it under circumstances of severe suffering.
Active Euthanasia; Adoption; Advance Directives; Allowing to Die; Autonomy; Brain; Brain Pathology; Coercion; Competence; Comprehension; Consent; Decision Making; Economics; Euthanasia; Evaluation; Government; Intention; Involuntary Euthanasia; Killing; Living Wills; Moral Policy; Morality; Patients; Personhood; Physicians; Policy Analysis; Prognosis; Public Policy; Risks and Benefits; State Government; Suffering; Terminal Care; Third Party Consent; Values; Voluntary Euthanasia; Wedge Argument; Withholding Treatment; Wills;
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