Thursday, 14 January 2010

Choosing Life, Choosing Death, book review

Dr. Murdo Macdonald, Policy Officer of the Science Religion and Technology Project, has sent us a link to to a book review that addresses important issues in our understanding of the reasons behind an educated choice against assited suicide. It’s a review of a book, “Choosing Life, Choosing Death: The Tyranny of Autonomy in Medical Ethics and Law” by Charles Foster. A couple of quotes from the review (I haven’t read the book itself...!)

"(Autonomy)… is commonly translated in the legal arena in positive terms of self-determinism and negative constraints of non-interference…..autonomy has arguably established itself as the dominant principle in medical ethics, operated above all else. This 'tyrannous' rule of autonomy is Foster's subject matter"

“Foster argues that autonomy, as a guiding principle, is at best unhelpful in determining a course of action (it lacks the prescriptive function the law so requires) and at worst leads to unsavoury conclusions.”


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