Pascal’s Wager and Deciding About the Life-Sustaining Treatment of Patients in Persistent Vegetative State Authors
First Online: 26 April 2011 Received: 07 April 2011 Accepted: 13 April 2011 DOI:
Cite this article as: Varelius, J. Neuroethics (2013) 6: 277. doi:10.1007/s12152-011-9113-9 Abstract
An adaptation of Pascal’s Wager argument has been considered useful in deciding about the provision of life-sustaining treatment for patients in persistent vegetative state. In this article, I assess whether people making such decisions should resort to the application of Pascal’s idea. I argue that there is no sufficient reason to give it an important role in making the decisions.
Keywords End of life decisions Life-sustaining treatment Pascal’s Wager Patient Persistent vegetative state References
Stone, J. 1994. Advance directives, autonomy, and unintended death.
Mappes, T.A. 2003. Persistent vegetative state, prospective thinking, and advance directives.
Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal
Stone, J. 2007. Pascal’s Wager and the persistent vegetative state.
Multi-Society Task Force on PVS. 1994. Medical Aspects of the Persistent Vegetative State. Parts I and II.
The New England Journal of Medicine 1994; 330: 1499–1508 and 1572–1579.
Nordenfelt, L. 2004. The varieties of dignity.
Health Care Analysis
Bernstein, M. 2002. Marginal cases and moral relevance.
Journal of Social Philosophy
Panksepp, J., et al. 2007. Does any aspect of mind survive brain damage that typically leads to a persistent vegetative state? Ethical considerations.
Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine
Monti, M., et al. 2010. Willful modulation of brain activity in disorders of consciousness.
The New England Journal of Medicine
Schanakers, C., et al. 2009. Diagnostic accuracy of the vegetative and minimally conscious state: clinical consensus versus standardized neurobehavioral assessment.
Gewirth, A. 1998.
Self-fulfillment. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Wolf, S. 1997. Happiness and meaning: two aspects of the good life.
Social Philosophy and Policy
Bradley, B. 2009.
Well-being and death
. New York: Oxford University Press.
Constable, C. 2010. Withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration for patients in a permanent vegetative state: changing tack.
Nozick, R. 1974.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia. New York: Basic Books.
Fins, J.J. 2009. Lessons from the injured brain: a bioethicist in the vineyards of neuroscience.
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
Mailhan, L., et al. 2005. Life satisfaction and disability after severe traumatic brain injury.
Bernat, J.L. 2006. Chronic disorders of consciousness.
Hájek, A. 2003. Waging war on Pascal’s Wager.
Beauchamp, T.L., and J.F. Childress. 2009.
Principles of biomedical ethics, 6th ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
Giacino, J.T., et al. 2002. The minimally conscious state: definition and diagnostic criteria.
Pratt, D., et al. 2010. Suicide in recently released prisoners: a case-control study.
Varelius, J. 2007. Illness, suffering, and voluntary euthanasia.
Wijsbek, H. 2010. ‘To thine own self be true’: on the loss of integrity as a kind of suffering.
Wrigley, A. 2007. Personal identity, autonomy and advance statements.
Journal of Applied Philosophy
Pascal, B. 2007.
Pensees. Mineola: Dover. Copyright information
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011