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Assisted DeathA Study in Ethics and Law$
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L. W. Sumner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199607983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199607983.001.0001

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Deciding for Others

Deciding for Others

(p.101) 5 Deciding for Others
Assisted Death

L.W. Sumner

Oxford University Press

The argument here moves on to the justifiability of non‐voluntary euthanasia for patients lacking decisional capacity. Two categories of cases are examined: patients who were formerly competent and those who are never competent. For patients in the first category, especially those who have come to suffer from severe dementia or permanent vegetative state, reliance on advance directives, including euthanasia directives, is defended. For patients in the second category, especially infants with serious disabilities, euthanasia can sometimes be justified as being the best means of preventing unnecessary suffering.

Keywords:   non‐voluntary euthanasia, decisional capacity, competence, dementia, permanent vegetative state, advance directives, infants, disability

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