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The Right to Privacy and the Right to Die

  • Tom L. Beauchamp (a1)

Western ethics and law have been slow to come to conclusions about the right to choose the time and manner of one's death. However, policies, practices, and legal precedents have evolved quickly in the last quarter of the twentieth century, from the forgoing of respirators to the use of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders, to the forgoing of all medical technologies (including hydration and nutrition), and now, in one U.S. state, to legalized physician-assisted suicide. The sweep of history—from the Quinlan case in New Jersey to legislation in Oregon that allows physician-assisted suicide—has been as rapid as it has been revolutionary.

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Ruth Macklin , “Which Way Down the Slippery Slope? Nazi Medical Killing and Euthanasia Today,” in Arthur L. Caplan , ed., When Medicine Went Mad: Bioethics and the Holocaust (Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, 1992), 173200

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Douglas Walton , Slippery Slope Arguments (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992).

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Alan D. Ogilvie and S. G. Potts , “Assisted Suicide for Depression: The Slippery Slope in Action?: Learning from the Dutch Experience,” British Medical Journal 309, no. 6953 (08 20–21, 1994): 492–93

David Orentlicher , “Physician Participation in Assisted Suicide,” Journal of the American Medical Association 262, no. 13 (10 6, 1989): 1844–45

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Social Philosophy and Policy
  • ISSN: 0265-0525
  • EISSN: 1471-6437
  • URL: /core/journals/social-philosophy-and-policy
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