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Dual or single gauge? Govert den Hartogh’s ‘dual-track’ assisted death

Black, Isra; (2024) Dual or single gauge? Govert den Hartogh’s ‘dual-track’ assisted death. Filosofie en Praktijk (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

In What Kind of Death: The Ethics of Determining One’s Own Death (2023), Govert den Hartogh offers a ‘dual-track’ model for assisted death. According to Den Hartogh’s model, mere access to lethal drugs would be lawful on the basis of an autonomous decision (Track 1), while ‘full-blown physicianassisted death’ (provision of lethal means under professional supervision and care) would be lawful in the presence of an autonomous decision and satisfaction of further conditions instantiating values including dignity and well-being (Track 2). I offer a critical reading of Den Hartogh’s argument in respect of the nature and justification of Track 1. I argue that permitting mere access to lethal medication may be both ‘lifting a blockade’ (as Den Hartogh argues) and assisting an individual to die (as he denies). This conclusion about the nature of Track 1 opens the question of the sufficiency of Den Hartogh’s claim that autonomy is its sole normative ground. A revised account of the justification for Track 1 is possible, however. I argue that Track 1 assistance may be permissible on the same grounds as Den Hartogh provides for Track 2: autonomy in conjunction with other values (albeit in a different mix). Rather than conceive of Den Hartogh’s model for assisted death as ‘dual-track’, dual gauge, we might rather consider mere access to lethal drugs and full-blown physician assisted death as two services on a single normative gauge.

Type: Article
Title: Dual or single gauge? Govert den Hartogh’s ‘dual-track’ assisted death
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: assisted death; assisted dying; assisted suicide; euthanasia; Govert den Hartogh
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10186025
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