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Reading: A legal right to euthanasia, the most uncontroversial option: a reply to David Velleman

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A legal right to euthanasia, the most uncontroversial option: a reply to David Velleman

Author:

Previn Desai

About Previn
MSc Philosophy and Public Policy graduate
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Abstract

David Velleman argues against a legal right to euthanasia. By introducing such a right, we deprive individuals of a default option where euthanasia is illegal, forcing them to justify why they would not want to be euthanized. Consequently, they may succumb to social pressures which forces them to choose to exercise their legal right to euthanasia, even though they desire not to. In order to avoid criticism from antipaternalists, Velleman claims this is the case for infallibly rational patients who would always choose what is in their best interests. In this paper, I highlight several inconsistencies with this view and possible responses to them. I argue, it is unlikely that infallibly rational individuals would be unable to realise their top preferences, and even if they could not, this would not be morally problematic. Ultimately, it is unclear why infallibly rational patients would be harmed by an increase in their choice-set.

How to Cite: Desai, P., 2017. A legal right to euthanasia, the most uncontroversial option: a reply to David Velleman. Rerum Causae, 9(1), pp.11–24.
Published on 01 Jan 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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