08.05 EUTHANASIA - WHAT IT IS, WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT IT, AND SOME ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST
Lars Johan Materstvedt, Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, NTNU
Euthanasia is one of the most fiercely debated issues within bioethics and medicine. Although one concept, there are several, and conflicting, definitions of euthanasia. This presentation takes as its point of departure the Dutch understanding of euthanasia and gives an overview of legal international developments since 1973. Furthermore, I address empirical research on doctors’ attitudes towards, and practice of, euthanasia. What is known about patients’ views is also a topic. The idea of a so-called “right to die” is analysed with the aid of the liberal philosophies of John Locke, Robert Nozick and Immanuel Kant. Thereafter, I look at moral philosopher (and member of House of Lords, UK) Mary Warnock’s argument that the old and sick have a “duty to die” through assisted suicide. The presentation closes with some remarks on bioethicist Peter Singer’s utilitarian attack on what he calls “the old ethic”, which he sees as standing in the way of acceptance of both euthanasia and medicalised infanticide (the killing of newborns).
Me startar presis 19.15 på Bybroen Antikvariat. Møt gjerne opp tidlegare!