Inalienable Rights: The Limits of Consent in Medicine and by Terrance McConnell

By Terrance McConnell

This ebook explains what inalienable rights are and the way they limit the habit in their possessors. McConnell develops compelling arguments to help the inalienability of the best to existence, the precise of judgment of right and wrong, and a reliable person's correct to not have clinical therapy administered with out consent. but, strangely, he argues that the inalienability of the suitable to existence doesn't entail that voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide are improper. This specific safeguard of inalienable rights will entice clinical ethicists and different utilized ethicists, political theorists, and philosophers of law.

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Extra resources for Inalienable Rights: The Limits of Consent in Medicine and the Law

Sample text

In particular, if a right is waivable or alienable, then the possessor’s informed and voluntary consent alone is sufficient to suspend the correlative duty and to justify the person to whom the consent was given to infringe the right. If a right is inalienable, then the possessor’s consent alone does not have the normative force to suspend the correlative duty. My approach assumes that rights are the basis of certain duties, understood as prohibitions or prescriptions, but that acting in ways other than what these prohibitions and prescriptions dictate is sometimes permissible.

Of course, ‘property’ must be defined within the law (of any given society); doing that will determine the rules of ownership. This assumes the prior existence of a rule-utilitarian argument for private ownership, an argument that one suspects will appeal to considerations such as maximizing the supply of things valued by persons. Given the likelihood that various individuals will have more of certain things than they need or can use and less of other things than they need, allowing them to trade, sell, or give away their possessions seems to be the policy that will most likely produce the best consequences for all affected parties.

I agree that the right remains the same, and so the rights themselves are not merely prima facie. What varies in strength is the correlative duty associated with rights. And indeed I should think that this must be the case if we are to make sense of the world in which talk about rights is invoked. For notice that the duties correlative with rights are duties on others vis-à-vis the possessor. But these other agents are subject to all sorts of different duties in different contexts, and obviously these various duties may sometimes conflict.

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