Human Rights

Download The Right to Life and Conflicting Interests by Elizabeth Wicks PDF

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By Elizabeth Wicks

The best to lifestyles is a center human correct which has now not but obtained the unique criminal research that it calls for. This booklet offers precise, serious research of the debatable human correct to existence and, particularly, assesses the burden of conflicting pursuits that may and/or should still serve to override the fitting. this modern examine of the fitting to lifestyles specializes in the felony, in addition to moral, matters raised through the worth of existence in modern-day society. It seeks to examine the advance, which means and cost of the elemental human correct to existence within the context of its conflicts with different competing pursuits. The ebook starts off with an summary of the proper to existence within which the concept that of lifestyles itself is first analysed, sooner than either the suitable and its felony safeguard and enforcement are subjected to ancient, philosophical and comparative research. the rest of the ebook identifies, and assesses the benefits of, a variety of competing pursuits. those contain armed clash; prevention of crime; rights of others; autonomy; caliber of lifestyles; and finite assets. the correct to lifestyles is uncommon in having capability software to such a lot of of today’s ethically arguable questions. This new paintings investigates particular issues of present political, criminal and moral problem comparable to the ideal to lifestyles in the course of overseas conflicts, the function of deadly strength in legislations enforcement, the loss of life penalty, the proper to lifetime of a foetus within the context of legalised abortion, and the importance of caliber of existence and autonomy concerns in recognize of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

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Extra resources for The Right to Life and Conflicting Interests

Example text

One of the leading proponents of a subjective definition of death is Robert Veatch who has argued in favour of a conscience clause to enable individuals to accept or reject a brain death criterion for death. Veatch justifies the argument as follows: A great deal is at stake in determining exactly when someone dies. Wills will be read, assets distributed, and the timing of the occurrence of the death, which may be critical for determining inheritance, prosecution of crimes, and other things, will be established.

He writes, for example, that ‘Slavery loses its bitterness when by a step I can pass to liberty. ’⁴⁷ The contrast between Seneca’s view of the value of life and that of the Judaeo-Christian tradition is stark. For Seneca, human life is a choice which it is entirely within our own hands to reject. ⁵⁰ The philosophical protection of human life even from the hands of its inhabitant is a theme more recently developed by Immanuel Kant in the eighteenth century. ⁵¹ More specifically, he applies this rule to rational beings, or ‘persons’, ‘because their nature already marks them out as ends in themselves’.

Fundamentally, Dworkin recognizes a concept of investment in human life. This investment comes in two forms: a natural investment in life and a human investment in life. Dworkin regards the question of the appropriate balance between these two investments as being at the core of the abortion and euthanasia debate. The natural investment in life is the idea with which we have become familiar in the preceding discussion: the idea of life as having an inherent value, due either to our relation to God or to nature itself.

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