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Biomedical - Session 10

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Kelin Emmett

Biomedical - Session 10  Doctrine of Double Effect  appealed to justify seemingly impermissible actions  actions are done for a good reason  ex. killing and self-defense  death is foreseen, but not the intention  methodology  more like a thought experiment  claims that good actions have bad effects  does not commit one to any doctrine  suggests that terminal sedation is different  death is not the means compared to euthanasia  terminal sedation  lethal doses to relieve suffering  very common  dilemma and problematic  morally permissible because the intention is to relieve suffering  difference lies in the intention  voluntary active euthanasia  illegal in Canada  How does one decide which foreseen consequences are permissible?  foreseen and unintended consequences  not always permissible  four conditions of the Doctrine of Double Effect  1. for an action to be permissible, the action taken must be  morally good  morally indifferent  2. the intention must be morally good  3. for the consequences to count as merely foreseen  cannot be part of the means to the intended consequences  most important  4. proportionality (page 154)  there must be a grave reason for bringing about the side-effects  Boyle  points out that the Doctrine of Double Effect does not say if it is or not permissible  conclusion (page 157)  Is the Doctrine of Double Effect persuasive?  it is thought of as justification for actions we know are morally impermissible  seems that the risk is known when competent people agree  it’s not enough to have the consent of the competent person  typical philosophical move  show that the opponent’s conclusion is false by assuming the opponent’s view  ex. Boyle rejects the Doctrine of Double Effect by rejecting that there is a moral distinction between the action and the intention  Rachels  famous article in Bioethics  challenges difference between killing and letting die  difference is thought to lie in the physician’s role  active euthanasia requires the action of the physician  physician has a passive role and action in passive euthanasia  natural death or death by disease compared to active euthanasia  Is there a moral distinction and can it be justified?  AMA statement  euthanasia is contrary to ethical standards and ends of the profession  active role
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