Euthanasia Considered as Device Paradigm

Pieter Tijmes

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In this paper I take as my point of departure the way euthanasia has been legally settled in the Netherlands. My concern is not with the question whether euthanasia is morally or religiously acceptable. In my view, philosophy is not well equipped to answer this question. Of course, it can sort out arguments for and against euthanasia; it can analyze and assess them. But it cannot speak with any authority about the pros and cons of the subject itself. Most arguments, even if valid, fail to seem cogent to opponents. Therefore, I shall try to avoid the moral issue and focus my attention on the regulation of euthanasia, with a glance at the practice of Dutch physicians.

After introducing the Dutch case, I shall interpret this situation from the perspective of the socalled device paradigm of technology. According to this interpretation technology is the characteristic of contemporary life. Looking at euthanasia through the spectacles of the device paradigm accentuates two specific features: namely, the role of the expert and the place of pain in a technological context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
JournalTechné: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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