Chapter

Indirect Death

L.W. Sumner

in Assisted Death

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199607983
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729652 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199607983.003.0003
Indirect Death

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The argument in this chapter examines two accepted palliative care measures that may have the capacity to hasten death: pain control by means of high doses of opioids and terminal sedation. The standard defence of these measures through the Doctrine of Double Effect is then explored and three conclusions are drawn: (1) the Doctrine has no application to these end‐of‐life cases since it assumes that death is invariably a harm; (2) the concept of intention does not allow a bright line to be drawn between permissible and impermissible measures; and (3) in these end‐of‐life contexts the intending/foreseeing distinction makes no ethical difference.

Keywords: pain control; terminal sedation; double effect; intention; intending/foreseeing

Chapter.  13932 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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