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This is an original contribution to the much debated area of the value that we should place on human life. With the euthanasia issue highlighted in the public arena this book argues for a non-absolutist highest value on life ethic and how that fits with society's current emphasis on individual autonomy. Not only are the arguments for and against placing a highest value on life explored but the way of arguing particularly the use of slippery slopes is discussed. By the use of everyday examples the impact of placing a high value on life is explored. A futuristic intensive care ward round illustrates the ethical and resource issues with which we would be challenged in adopting a highest value on life policy for medical decisions. This book will be useful for students of ethics, nursing and medicine as well as those engaged in the public debate on euthanasia.