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Type: Journal article
Title: Double meanings will not save the principle of double effect
Author: Douglas, C.
Kerridge, I.
Ankeny, R.
Citation: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 2014; 39(3):304-316
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0360-5310
Statement of
Charles D. Douglas, Ian H. Kerridge, Rachel A. Ankeny
Abstract: In an article somewhat ironically entitled "Disambiguating Clinical Intentions," Lynn Jansen promotes an idea that should be bewildering to anyone familiar with the literature on the intention/foresight distinction. According to Jansen, "intention" has two commonsense meanings, one of which is equivalent to "foresight." Consequently, questions about intention are "infected" with ambiguity-people cannot tell what they mean and do not know how to answer them. This hypothesis is unsupported by evidence, but Jansen states it as if it were accepted fact. In this reply, we make explicit the multiple misrepresentations she has employed to make her hypothesis seem plausible. We also point out the ways in which it defies common sense. In particular, Jansen applies her thesis only to recent empirical research on the intentions of doctors, totally ignoring the widespread confusion that her assertion would imply in everyday life, in law, and indeed in religious and philosophical writings concerning the intention/foresight distinction and the Principle of Double Effect.
Keywords: double effect; end-of-life; foresight; intention; sedation
Description: First published online: April 15, 2014
Rights: © The Author 2014
RMID: 0030006955
DOI: 10.1093/jmp/jhu011
Appears in Collections:History publications

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