The Badness of Death and Medical Scarcity

In Announcements, by , on April 4th, 2022

Date: April 6, 2022

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Location: This event will take place over zoom. Click here to join via Zoom.

Travis Timmerman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Seton Hall University

COVID-19 has made a longstanding issue in medical ethics salient to the public. How should hospitals allocate scarce healthcare resourses? This paper will help answer that question in relation to answers about a related question, specifically, “Could your death be bad for you?” Suppose that your death cannot be bad for you. Would this undermine justifications for prioritizing treatment that would prevent fatalities? Now suppose that your death could be bad for you and that how bad it is depends on how much life it prevents you from living. Would this justify age discrimination in the allocation of healthcare resources? I’ll aim to show that, given widely accepted views about the badness of death, the answers to these questions are surprising.