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The University of Southampton
Southampton Ethics Centre

'Is Withdrawing Life-Prolonging Treatment Killing?' Event

15:00 - 17:00
4 December 2013
Room 3007 Building 4 Highfield Campus

Event details

HEAL Seminar


This paper discusses recent arguments of Franklin Miller and Robert Truog about withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and causation. The authors argue that traditional medical ethics, and the law, are mistaken to take the view that withdrawal does not kill the patient but merely allows the patient to die, describing such a view as ‘patently false'. In so arguing, Miller and Truog join a long line of academic criticism of the law that extends back to the seminal decision of Airedale NHS Trust v Bland [1993] AC 789 (HL) and beyond. In this paper, I take issue with the authors' claims. I argue that there are reasonable grounds upon which traditional medical ethics and the law can regard withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment as allowing the patient to die rather than as killing the patient.

Speaker information

Dr Andrew McGee,Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia,Lecturer

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