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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

ONLINE FIRST

published on February 8, 2019

Christopher A. Riddle

Assisted Dying, Disability Rights, and Medical Error

In this brief paper, a case is made for the moral permissibility of assisted dying. The paper proceeds by highlighting a common critique from within disability rights scholarship and advocacy that emphasizes the vulnerability of people with disabilities and the risks associated with permitting assisted dying. The paper suggests that because medicine necessarily involves risk, primarily through the high likelihood of medical error, that the risk and harm being utilized as a justification to prohibit assisted dying by disability rights scholars is in fact, not conceptually or morally unique. Finally, it is argued that because all medicine involves a risk of harm, and assisted dying is not unique in this respect, that one cannot effectively launch a critique of assisted dying on this basis.

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