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Caring for Patients at the End of LifeFacing an Uncertain Future Together$
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Timothy Quill

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195139402

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195139402.001.0001

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The Rule of Double Effect: A Critique of Its Role in End-of-Life Decision Making  

The Rule of Double Effect: A Critique of Its Role in End-of-Life Decision Making  

Chapter:
(p.165) 11 The Rule of Double Effect: A Critique of Its Role in End-of-Life Decision Making 
Source:
Caring for Patients at the End of Life
Author(s):

Timothy E. Quill (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195139402.003.0012

This chapter provides a commentary on the role of the ethical principle known as the “rule of double effect” in end-of-life clinical decision making. It discusses the rule's religious and philosophical origins and highlights its inconsistencies with current law and its shortcomings as a practical clinical guide. The chapter also proposes alternative principles to guide physicians in end-of-life decision making.

Keywords:   double effect, decision making, end of life, ethical principle, clinical guide

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