Death is something we mourn or fear as the worst thing that could happen-whether the deaths of close ones, the deaths of strangers in reported accidents or tragedies, or our own. And yet, being dead is something that no one can experience and live to describe. This simple truth raises a host of difficult philosophical questions about the negativity surrounding our sense of death, and how and for whom exactly it is harmful. The question of whether death is bad has occupied philosophers for centuries, and the debate emerging in philosophical literature is referred to as the "badness of death." Are deaths primarily negative for the survivors, or does death also affect the deceased? What are the differences between death in fetal life, just after birth, or in adolescence? In order to properly evaluate deaths in global health, we must find answers to these questions. In this volume, leading philosophers, medical doctors, and economists discuss different views on how to evaluate death and its relevance for health policy. This includes theories about the harm of death and its connections to population-level bioethics. For example, one of the standard views in global health is that newborn deaths are among the worst types of death, yet stillbirths are neglected. This raises difficult questions about why birth is so significant, and several of the book's authors challenge this standard view. This is the first volume to connect philosophical discussions on the harm of death with discussions on population health, adjusting the ways in which death is evaluated. Changing these evaluations has consequences for how we prioritize different health programs that affect individuals at different ages, as well as how we understand inequality in health.
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Foreword by Jeff McMahan Introduction: Perspectives on Evaluating Deaths and their Relevance to Health Policy Espen Gamlund & Carl Tollef Solberg PART I Policy 1. Quantifying the Harm of Death Erik Nord 2. The Badness of Death: Implications for Summary Measures and Fair Priority Setting in Health Ole Frithjof Norheim 3. Life Years at Stake: Justifying and Modelling Acquisition of Life-Potential for DALYs Andreas Mogensen 4. Putting a Number on the Harm of Death Joseph Millum 5. Age, Death and the Allocation of Life-Saving Resources Espen Gamlund PART II Theory 6. Epicurean Challenges to the Disvalue of Death Carl Tollef Solberg 7. The Badness of Dying Early John Broome 8. Early Death and Later Suffering Jeff McMahan 9. A Gradualist View About the Badness of Death Ben Bradley 10. The Badness of Death and What to Do About It (if Anything) F. M. Kamm 11. Deprivation and Identity Jens Johansson 12. How Death is Bad for us as Agents Susanne Burri PART III Population Ethics 13. Against 'the Badness of Death' ? Hilary Greaves 14. People Aren't Replaceable: Why it's Better to Extend Lives Than to Create New Ones Michelle Hutchinson 15. The Worseness of Nonexistence Theron Pummer PART IV Critical Perspectives 16. The Badness of Death for Us, the Worth in Us, and Priorities in Saving Lives Samuel J. Kerstein 17. How Much Better Than Death is Ordinary Survival Ivar R. Labukt 18. Healthcare Rationing and the Badness of Death: Should Newborns Count for Less? Timothy Campbell 19. A Defense of the Time-Relative Interest Account: A Response to Campbell Jeff McMahan Index
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This remarkable collection of essays sets for itself - and achieves - the rare goal of bringing together philosophers, medical doctors and health economists to have an important dialogue about the harm of death. * Molly Gardner, University of Florida, Bioethics 10.1111/bioe.12807 *The questions raised [in this book] are both important and universal. * Erling Rimehaug, Vart Land *Questions about the evaluation of death, in other words, have so far...remained in the theoretical (mostly philosophical) domain and [have] lost sight of the answers to these questions [that] have very serious and far-reaching consequences in everyday life. The collection in front of us is an attempt correcting that omission. As its editors note in the introduction, the goal is to "challenge philosophers, physicians, and health economists to address several neglected and unresolved issues at the intersection of the harmfulness of death and health policy "(p. 5).It is a collection of high-quality papers, many of which should be of interest to anyone working on the philosophy of death, and of particular interest to ethicists with a focus on the beginning or the end of life. * Karl Ekendahl, The Philosophical Quarterly *
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Espen Gamlund is professor of philosophy at the University of Bergen, Norway. He specializes in moral philosophy and bioethics, and has published work on forgiveness, moral status of animals, death, and resource allocation in health. In addition, he has published on the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza. Gamlund also runs a philosophy blog (in Norwegian), and in 2015 he won The Faculty of Humanities' prize for his research dissemination. Carl Tollef Solberg is a philosopher and medical doctor at the University of Bergen and the University of Oslo. He specializes in bioethics and medical ethics and has published work on priority setting in health care, death, and medical ethics. Further, he has worked at several clinical levels of the health care system. His research interests stand at the intersection of medicine and philosophy.