Theravada Buddhism and Roman Catholicism on the Moral Permissibility of Palliative Sedation: A Blurred Demarcation Line

Journal of Religion and Health 61:1-13 (2021)
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Abstract

Although Theravada Buddhism and Roman Catholicism agree on the moral justification for palliative sedation, they differ on the premises underlying the justification. While Catholicism justifies palliative sedation on the ground of the Principle of Double Effect, Buddhism does so on the basis of the Third Noble Truth. Despite their theological differences, Buddhism and Catholicism both value the moral significance of the physician’s intent to reduce suffering and both respect the sanctity of life. This blurs the demarcation line between Buddhism and Catholicism regarding the moral justification of palliative sedation.

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Asmat Islam
Duquesne University

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