Human Exceptionalism

Leslie Burke Has Lost His Case–Sort Of

I received a call today from London telling me that Leslie Burke lost his case to require that he receive food and water through a tube should he become unable to swallow. I am striving to obtain the decision now. However, news reports appear to indicate that as long as a patient is competent and can communicate, he or she has the right to life-sustaining treatment. But if they cannot communicate or are not competent, the doctor decides.

If this is true, Leslie can take some comfort. But it is a huge victory for personhood theory, a bioethical belief that attributes moral value based on quality of cognition rather than humanhood (against which I have written often), thereby providing UK doctors and bioethicists with a powerful tool for medical discrimination against the mentally incapacitated. More when I know more.

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