Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 5 (2) (1984)
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There is a classic problem which confronts any attempt to assign death a value. On the assumption that death is personal annihilation, death deprives evil of a requisite subject, for no misfortune can befall something which does not exist. Recent efforts to provide a reasonable basis for counting death as a bad thing have centered on an analysis of the loss of life's goods which it brings. So long as the analysis assumes that death is a simple state, loss can be explained only by reference to a realm of possible things which exist after death. An alternative analysis of death is offered in which death is defined as a limit on life. That analysis provides a basis for evaluative judgements about death, while avoiding any commitment to post-mortem existence.



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