Challenging some myths about the right to life at the end of life. 1: Not an absolute right

Clinical Ethics 6 (4):167-171 (2011)
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This article, and a related one in the next issue, investigates some myths surrounding the application of the right to life at the end of life. The present article focuses upon the myth that the right to life is an absolute right, always requiring the preservation of life. It identifies three distinct situations in which state authorities may be justified in declining to take intervening action in order to save a life. It argues that the right to life encompasses recognition of the impossibility and undesirability of preserving human life in all circumstances and that recognition of this fact will render the right more useful in a health-care context



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