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Deconstruction of discernment in child euthanasia

Pusterla, Elia R.G. (2022) Deconstruction of discernment in child euthanasia. Philosophia (United States), 50 (2). 671 - 690. ISSN 0048-3893

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11406-021-00404-9


Belgian law on child euthanasia uses the concept of discernment to bestow the right to die to minors. Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction of oppositional logic grasps the ambiguity of this use of discernment and generally challenges the alleged force of a textual sign meaningfully to differentiate itself from its different and meaningless else. This alleged ability to discern the presence of discernment impinges the truth-value of the distinction between worthy/unworthy lives. The resulting undecidability morally suggests the respect for otherness and promotes the moral value of the suspension of arbitrary judgment (epokhē) and, in so doing, de facto converges towards the praxis of the doctrine of the sanctity of life that embraces the ‘life is always quality’ argument.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: Open access funding provided by University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) © 2021 The Author, corrected publication 2022
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
K Law > K Law (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2022 17:00
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 18:15

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