Chapter

Sir Ian Kennedy and the value of life: building on Glanville Williams’ shaky foundations?

John Keown

in The Law and Ethics of Medicine

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199589555
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741036 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589555.003.0003
Sir Ian Kennedy and the value of life: building on Glanville Williams’ shaky foundations?

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The chapter begins by noting Ian Kennedy’s status as a key figure in the development of medical law in the UK and beyond. It considers his approach to the evaluation of human life by examining several of his most significant papers concerning end-of-life issues. It notes that while parts of those papers are consistent with the principle of the inviolability of life, others are not. It identifies some of the tensions, not least his conflation of “quality of life benefits” and “beneficial quality of life” and, following Glanville Williams, of intended and foreseen consequences. The chapter concludes by suggesting that these tensions help to account for the shift in Kennedy’s later writing toward an endorsement of euthanasia.

Keywords: Ian Kennedy; sanctity of life; quality of life; intention; foresight; acts; omissions; Glanville Williams; euthanasia

Chapter.  13182 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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