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In the theory of rights we repeatedly encounter the problem of reconciling someone's having a right with his properly suffering damage to the interest protected by the right. In the case of right to life, we have to assess numerous cases in which individuals are killed or allowed to die, and we wish nonetheless to affirm their right to life. These cases include killing an aggressor in self-defense, accidental homicide, terminating life-sustaining therapy, and capital punishment.

My program in this Article is to provide an account of how it is that those with a right to life may nonetheless be properly subject to an untimely death. Among the advantages of this account, it avoids the shortcomings of theories that stress either the prima facie nature of rights or the forfeiture of rights through conduct.


Human Rights Law | Law