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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dignity, Politics, and Medical Assistance in Dying

by Harry Critchley
Impact Ethics
Originally published June 6, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

A common problem with both of these approaches to understanding dignity, however, is the underlying assumption that dignity is best understood from a theoretical perspective. Another, more fruitful approach might be to examine the meaning of dignity with reference to its use in public discourse. On this view, to determine what dignity is requires that we ask what appeals to dignity are intended to do. Dignity is not only, or even primarily, appealed to in the solitude of philosophical contemplation, but rather in the company of others. Regardless of whether we understand dignity as sanctity of life or as autonomy, its emergence and acknowledgement in the political arena is an achievement not wholly dependent on its theoretical grounding.

The article is here.