When is self-perceived burden an acceptable reason to hasten death?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Many terminally ill patients perceive themselves to be a burden to loved ones who care for them. The self-perception of being a burden can play a significant role in terminal patients' decisions to take courses of action, such as ceasing life-sustaining treatment or requesting physician-assisted suicide, that hasten death. I will use the term `burden-based decision' as a shorthand for cases in which a terminal patient's perception that she is a burden to her loved ones influences her decision to hasten death. When should we view a terminal patient's inclination to make a burden-based decision to be an ethical problem or a failure of treatment? And when should we view it to be an acceptable response rather than a problem or failure? I argue here that such decisions are acceptable more often than many who write on this topic imply.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Directions in the Ethics of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
EditorsMichael Cholbi, Jukka Varelius
PublisherSpringer International Publishing Switzerland
Pages315-336
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783031253157
ISBN (Print)9783031253140
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Publication series

NameThe International Library of Bioethics
PublisherSpringer
Volume103
ISSN (Print)2662-9186
ISSN (Electronic)2662-9194

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • self-perceived burden
  • terminal illness
  • hastening death

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