Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (2):77-78 (2019)

It is sometimes said by legal scholars that ‘hard cases make bad law’, by which they mean an extreme case provides a poor lens through which to view general laws. It can be said in retort that ‘bad laws make hard cases’; implying that the case may be a controversial one only because the general laws that govern it are poorly formulated. The same tension may be found in medical ethics. Perhaps extreme cases provide a poor lens through which to view general ethical standards, or perhaps the case is controversial by virtue of the prevailing ethical standards being poorly formulated. It becomes important to consider whether a case is controversial or extreme. At first blush, the case of ‘Mrs A’—outlined in this edition by Miller et al 1—is both. The article by Miller et al raises a series of ethical questions concerning Advanced Euthanasia Directives and highlights weaknesses in the Dutch regulatory procedures. Also included in this edition are responses to the Miller et al article, by Menzel2 and Jongsma et al.3 These responses challenge some of implications that Miller et al seek to draw from the case. Miller et al have also replied to Jongsma et al in this edition.4 While the Miller et al article provides a detailed account of the formulation …
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DOI 10.1136/medethics-2019-105351
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AEDs Are Problematic, but Mrs A is a Misleading Case.Paul T. Menzel - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (2):90-91.

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Advance Euthanasia Directives and the Dutch Prosecution.Jonathan A. Hughes - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (4):253-256.

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