Death, Dignity and Moral Status
Hershenov (David)
Source: 2016 University Faculty for Life Annual Conference Proceedings. Ed Fr. Koterski. Forthcoming
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Ronald Dworkin and David Velleman fail in their attempts to justify hastening the death of patients on the grounds that their dignity demands their demise.
  2. I argue that not only do their projects fail internally for the dignity and interests that they’re trying to protect can’t justify hastening some deaths, but their conceptions of dignity can’t even provide reasons why we should cure the extremely demented who are reduced to childlike or comatose states.
  3. I argue instead for an account of dignity more in line with the tradition that our value depends upon the kind of entity we are and thus what ends we ought to realize. Our moral status will be determined by kind of life we can live if we’re healthy and functioning properly rather than be dependent upon our present or earlier manifestation of autonomy, rationality and personhood.


For the full text, see Hershenov - Death, Dignity and Moral Status.

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