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A theological perspective on the withdrawal of care

J Jayakiran Sebastian


Abstract

Decisions on the withdrawal of care are not made in abstraction. They impact on the meaning and understanding of life — the life of the individual in question as well as life in a wider communitarian sense. The web of life into which we are bound makes arbitrary decisions on the withdrawal of care suspect. Ethical perspectives must play a role in the processes leading to such a decision. At the same time, debates on the quality of life, the beginning and cessation of life and the meaning of life indicate that religious and cultural factors are part of the parameters that inform such debates. Hence the role such factors play in the ethical response cannot be underestimated.

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