A rebuttal on externalism

Maung, Hane Htut (2024) A rebuttal on externalism. Journal of Medical Ethics. ISSN 0306-6800

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In a recent paper, I argued that an externalist understanding of mental disorder from the philosophy of psychiatry presents an ethical challenge to the practice of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) for psychiatric illness, because it highlights the ways in which the suffering associated with psychiatric illness is sustained by features of the external environment wherein the person is embedded, including social barriers and injustices. In a response to my paper, Harry Hudson argues that addressing social inequality lacks relevance to the immediate permissibility of psychiatric MAiD and that the issue of psychiatric MAiD should be informed by 'pragmatic politics' rather than by 'obfuscatory philosophy'. Herein, I contend that Hudson's response misconstrues my position and ascribes to me views I neither express nor endorse. My paper does not claim that psychiatric MAiD should be denied to people who are presently in intolerable distress. Rather, it suggests that the provision of psychiatric MAiD comes along with social responsibilities of the state to attend to the barriers and injustices that sustain and exacerbate psychiatric illness, as well as ethical responsibilities of clinicians to consider a wider range of presently available psychological and social interventions which may have been neglected under a traditional internalist approach.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Medical Ethics
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Research Output Funding/no_not_funded
?? euthanasiamental disorderssuicideno - not fundedhealth(social science)issues, ethics and legal aspectshealth policy ??
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Deposited On:
04 Jun 2024 11:05
Last Modified:
19 Jun 2024 00:52