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The Law and Ethics of MedicineEssays on the Inviolability of Human Life$
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John Keown

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199589555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589555.001.0001

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Sir Ian Kennedy and the value of life: building on Glanville Williams’ shaky foundations?

Sir Ian Kennedy and the value of life: building on Glanville Williams’ shaky foundations?

Chapter:
(p.60) Chapter 3 Sir Ian Kennedy and the value of life: building on Glanville Williams’ shaky foundations?
Source:
The Law and Ethics of Medicine
Author(s):

John Keown

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589555.003.0003

The chapter begins by noting Ian Kennedy’s status as a key figure in the development of medical law in the UK and beyond. It considers his approach to the evaluation of human life by examining several of his most significant papers concerning end-of-life issues. It notes that while parts of those papers are consistent with the principle of the inviolability of life, others are not. It identifies some of the tensions, not least his conflation of “quality of life benefits” and “beneficial quality of life” and, following Glanville Williams, of intended and foreseen consequences. The chapter concludes by suggesting that these tensions help to account for the shift in Kennedy’s later writing toward an endorsement of euthanasia.

Keywords:   Ian Kennedy, sanctity of life, quality of life, intention, foresight, acts, omissions, Glanville Williams, euthanasia

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