Poverty: Not a Justification for Banning Physician‐Assisted Death

Hastings Center Report 48 (6):38-46 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Many critics of the legalization of physician‐assisted death oppose it in part because they fear it will further disadvantage those who are already economically disadvantaged. This argument points to a serious problem of how economic considerations can influence medical decisions, but in the context of PAD, the concern is not borne out. We will provide empirical evidence suggesting that concerns about money influence medical decisions throughout the full course of illness, but at the end of life, financial pressure is much more likely to influence a decision to pursue or reject aggressive life‐extending care than it is to influence a request for PAD. We will also address the question of whether financial pressure as a result of being poor—particularly in the context of an inadequate social safety net—robs people of their autonomy, rendering their informed request and consent invalid. We argue that it does not. We will emphasize the impracticality and injustice of rejecting the role of poverty as a legitimate factor in decision‐making, the irrational distinction between PAD and withdrawal of life‐sustaining care, and the more appropriate focus on the great flaws in the American health care system.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,560

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

Physician-Assisted Suicide: Where to Draw the Line?Ernlé W. D. Young - 2000 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 9 (3):407-410.
Physician Assisted Death and Hard Choices.D. J. Mayo & M. Gunderson - 1993 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 18 (3):329-341.
Altruism and Physician Assisted Death.M. Gunderson & D. J. Mayo - 1993 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 18 (3):281-295.
Legalizing Physician-Aided Death.Alexander M. Capron - 1996 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 5 (1):10.
Does physician assisted suicide violate the integrity of medicine?Richard Momeyer - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (1):13-24.
Public and Private.Gregory E. Kaebnick - 2010 - Hastings Center Report 40 (5):2-2.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-12-27

Downloads
25 (#535,886)

6 months
3 (#431,291)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Stuart Youngner
Case Western Reserve University

Citations of this work

Add more citations