masthead for Hastings Center Report

Hastings Center Report

From the Editor: Choosing to Die

Abstract: Two articles in the September-October 2022 issue of the Hastings Center Report discuss health-related reasons that people might have to actively bring their lives to an end. In one, Brent Kious considers the situation of a person who, because of illness, becomes a burden on loved ones. A person in such a situation might prefer to die, and Kious argues that, while there is no obligation to hasten one’s death, the choice to do so could sometimes be reasonable. In a second article, Henri Wijsbek and Thomas Nys discuss a case in the Netherlands in which a woman with severe dementia was euthanized at a point when her advance euthanasia directive did not align with what she said, when asked, about death. Wijsbek and Nys defend the authority of her advance directive against a range of objections.

In a third article, Henry Silverman and Patrick Odonkor, physicians at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where the first pig-to-human heart transplantation was performed in early 2022, develop recommendations for clinical trials of porcine heart transplantation. And an essay in the issue criticizes the allocation recommendations developed for Covid-19 vaccines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Read the Article


Your gift will help us help society ensure just and compassionate health care for all and the wise use of emerging technologies.