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The Ethics of KillingProblems at the Margins of Life$
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Jeff McMahan

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195079982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195079981.001.0001

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The Ethics of Killing

Jeff McMahan (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Argues that we must have two concepts of death – the death or ceasing to exist of the person and the death of the human organism. Brain death is not the proper criterion for either of these. Persistent vegetative state involves the death or ceasing to exist of the person, even though the human organism continues to live. This chapter also defends the permissibility of assisted suicide and euthanasia in a broad range of cases and concludes by discussing the authority of advance directives in cases involving dementia.

Keywords:   advance directives, assisted suicide, brain death, death, dementia, euthanasia, persistent vegetative state

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