Descendants and advance directives

Monash Bioethics Review 32 (3-4):217-231 (2014)
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Some of the concerns that have been raised in connection to the use of advance directives are of the epistemic variety. Such concerns highlight the possibility that adhering to an advance directive may conflict with what the author of the directive actually wants at the time of treatment. However, at least one objection to the employment of advance directives is metaphysical in nature. The objection to be discussed here, first formulated by Rebecca Dresser and labeled by Allen Buchanan as the slavery argument and David DeGrazia the someone else problem, aims to undermine the legitimacy of certain uses of advance directives by concluding that such uses rest upon an incorrect assumption about the identity over time of those ostensibly governed by the directives. There have been numerous attempts to respond to this objection. This paper aims to assess two strategies that have been pursued to cope with the problem.



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Christopher Buford
University of Akron

References found in this work

The Human Animal: Personal Identity Without Psychology.Eric Todd Olson - 1997 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
Personal identity.Derek Parfit - 1971 - Philosophical Review 80 (January):3-27.
Personal identity.Sydney Shoemaker - 1984 - Oxford, England: Blackwell. Edited by Richard Swinburne.
Human Identity and Bioethics.David DeGrazia - 2005 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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