Global Life Expectancies and International Justice

Margaret Pabst Battin

in Ending Life

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780195140279
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850280 | DOI:
Global Life Expectancies and International Justice

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Is there a duty to die? This inflammatory question, often originally attributed to then-Governor of Colorado Richard Lamm, was being explored some years ago within the context of American health care, but lately has dropped out of sight. If the strongest argument for the existence of a duty to die, rooted in Norman Daniels' early Rawlsian reconstruction, is supplemented by Allen Buchanan's distinctive approach to issues of international justice, it is possible that a new, stronger duty to die might emerge from this conjunction. This “duty to die” is sneaking up on us as we explore multilateralist, cosmopolitan accounts of international relations. In some familiar senses, we already recognize a variety of “duties to die” — including obligations to allow oneself to die, to risk dying, to let oneself be killed, or kill oneself — in a wide range of traditional circumstances. This chapter examines the notion of the duty to die and global life expectancies and compares the views of Dan Callahan, Norman Daniels, and John Hardwig.

Keywords: Dan Callahan; Norman Daniels; John Hardwig; duty to die; health care; international justice; life expectancies

Chapter.  11192 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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