Can life be evaluated? The jewish halachic approach vs. the quality of life approach in medical ethics: A critical view

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (2):117-137 (2000)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In recent years there has been an increase in the number of requests formercy killings by patients and their relatives. Under certain conditions,the patient may prefer death to a life devoid of quality. In contrast to thosewho uphold this quality of life approach, those who hold the sanctity oflife approach claim that life has intrinsic value and must be preservedregardless of its quality. This essay describes these two approaches,examines their flaws, and offers a golden path between the two extremepositions.We discuss the halachic and the secular views, arguing for a balancebetween the sanctity of life and the quality of life. We argue that, indeed,such a balance exists in practice, and that life is important, but it is not sacred. Life can be evaluated, but quality of life is not the solecriterion.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,369

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

A life not worth living?Craig Paterson - 2003 - Studies in Christian Ethics 16 (2):1-20.
Labor's view of quality of working life programs.Jerry Wurf - 1982 - Journal of Business Ethics 1 (2):131 - 137.
Measuring the quality of life: Why, how and what?Matti Häyry - 1991 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 12 (2):17.
On exploiting inferiors.Steve F. Sapontzis - 1995 - Between the Species 11 (1-2):1--24.
'Quality of life' and the analogy with the nazis.Cynthia B. Cohen - 1983 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 8 (2):113-136.
Quality of life - three competing views.Peter Sondøe - 1999 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (1):11-23.
The sanctity-of-life doctrine in medicine: a critique.Helga Kuhse - 1987 - New York: Oxford University Press.


Added to PP

101 (#173,769)

6 months
4 (#798,692)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2004 - Univ of California Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Philosophy 56 (216):267-268.
All Animals Are Equal.Peter Singer - 1989 - In Tom Regan & Peter Singer (eds.), Animal Rights and Human Obligations. Oxford University Press. pp. 215--226.
The sanctity-of-life doctrine in medicine: a critique.Helga Kuhse - 1987 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 9 references / Add more references