Single Idea 4666

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 3. Abortion]

Full Idea

Supporters of the theory that 'viability' is the boundary at one end of life have to explain why it is not equally relevant at the other end.

Gist of Idea

If viability is a test or boundary at the beginning of life, it should also be so for frail old people


Jonathan Glover (Causing Death and Saving Lives [1977], 9.3)

Book Reference

Glover,Jonathan: 'Causing Death and Saving Lives' [Penguin 1982], p.125

A Reaction

A very nice problem for what looks at first like an intuitively good test. Someone dependent on a dialysis machine is not 'viable'. Before modern medicine, this objection was much less forceful. But I'm not 'viable' if I have to be fed.