Should People Die a Natural Death?
Health Care Analysis: An International Journal of Health Care Philosophy and Policy 2005 December; 13(4): 275-287
In the article the concept of natural death as used in end-of- life decision contexts is explored. Reviewing some recent empirical studies on end-of-life decision-making, it is argued that the concept of natural death should not be used as an action-guiding concept in end-of-life decisions both for being too imprecise and descriptively open in its current use but mainly since it appears to be superfluous to the kind of considerations that are really at stake in these situations. Considerations in terms of the quality of life cost of the intervention in relation to the quality and length of life benefits of the same intervention. In referring to the concept of natural death we risk to blur these considerations and end up in difficult distinctions between what is a natural and non- or un-natural death, a distinction which it is argued is of no real moral interest.
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