My view of the sanctity of life: a rebuttal of John Keown’s critique
In a previous paper in this journal I responded to Professor John Keown’s criticisms of the British Medical Association guidance on withholding and withdrawing life-prolonging treatment, arguing that the sanctity of life principle he endorses is indefensible as a juridical and moral guide. Professor Keown replied recently, also in this journal, alleging that I wrongly caricatured the sanctity of life position he supports, which continues to illuminate the proper decision-making path in relation to the withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining medical treatment. In this present paper it is submitted that Keown’s riposte is misconceived and disguises the true nature of the sanctity of life stance, which both rests upon unconvincing premisses and tends towards unacceptable repercussions, thus leading to its inevitable and rightful rejection.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Professor of Medical Law, De Montfort University School of Law, Leicester
Publication date: 01 December 2007