Quality and value of life
This chapter discusses values and valuing, the quality of life, Sisyphus in Greek mythology, choice, happiness or well-being, society and material needs, society and culture, incommensurability and scales, and the value of life. Discussions of the value of life, or of what makes human life worthwhile, tend to be confined to philosophical contexts. Nevertheless, presuppositions about what that value consists of underlie the withholding or withdrawal of many medical treatments. On the other hand, discussions about quality of life tend to take place in a medical context and can easily become distorted because of the deep-rooted desire of medical researchers to quantify what is inherently qualitative. Moreover, discussions of quality of life are rarely linked with those of the value of life, but clearly there must be a link. It emerges that these concepts have directed the approaches we have taken to many issues, such as treatment decisions and rationing.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.