the right to physician assisted suicide
Not only is suicide worthy of philosophical investigation in its ownright, it is a source of insight for various philosophicalsubdisciplines: moral psychology, ethical theory, social and politicalphilosophy, the metaphysics of personhood, and action theory. Suicideis also an area where philosophical interests intersect with those ofthe empirical sciences. The collective efforts of philosophers andothers continue to illuminate one of the most enigmatic of humanbehaviors.
Essay on Assisted Suicide and the Right to Choose - …
Obviously, answers to any one of these four questions will bear on howthe other three ought to be answered. For instance, it might beassumed that if suicide is morally permissible in some circumstances,then neither other individuals nor the state should interfere withsuicidal behavior (in those same circumstances). However, thisconclusion might not follow if those same suicidal individuals areirrational and interference is required in order to prevent them fromtaking their lives, an outcome they would regret were they more fullyrational. Furthermore, for those moral theories that emphasizerational autonomy, whether an individual has rationally chosen to takeher own life may settle all four questions. In any event, theinterrelationships among suicide’s moral permissibility, itsrationality, and the duties of others and of society as a whole iscomplex, and we should be wary of assuming that an answer to any oneof these four questions decisively settles the other three.
No doubt the suicide of a family member or loved one produces a numberof harmful psychological and economic effects. In addition to theusual grief, suicide “survivors” confront a complex arrayof feelings. Various forms of guilt are quite common, such as thatarising from (a) the belief that one contributed to the suicidalperson’s anguish, or (b) the failure to recognize that anguish,or (c) the inability to prevent the suicidal act itself. Suicide alsoleads to rage, loneliness, and awareness of vulnerability in thoseleft behind. Indeed, the sense that suicide is an essentially selfishact dominates many popular perceptions of suicide (Fedden 1938, 209).Still, some of these reactions may be due to the strong stigma andshame associated with suicide, in which case these reactions cannot,without logical circularity, be invoked in arguments that suicide iswrong because it produces these psychological reactions (Pabst Battin1996, 68–69). Suicide can also cause clear economic or materialharm, as when the suicidal person leaves behind dependents unable tosupport themselves financially. Suicide can therefore be understood asa violation of the distinctive “role obligations”applicable to spouses, parents, caretakers, and loved ones. However,even if suicide is harmful to family members or loved ones, this doesnot support an absolute prohibition on suicide, since some suicideswill not leave survivors, and among those that do, the extent of theseharms is likely to differ such that the stronger these relationshipsare, the more harmful suicide is and the more likely it is to bemorally wrong. Besides, from a utilitarian perspective, these harmswould have to be weighed against the harms done to the would-besuicide by continuing to live a difficult or painful life. At most,the argument that suicide is a harm to family and to loved onesestablishes that it is sometimes wrong (Cholbi 2011, 62–64).
The Right To Die The Right To Die
Suicide, Augustine determined, was an unrepentable sin. St. ThomasAquinas later defended this prohibition on three grounds. (1) Suicideis contrary to natural self-love, whose aim is to preserve us. (2)Suicide injures the community of which an individual is a part. (3)Suicide violates our duty to God because God has given us life as agift and in taking our lives we violate His right to determine theduration of our earthly existence (Aquinas 1271, part II, Q64, A5).This conclusion was codified in the medieval doctrine that suicidenullified human beings’ relationship to God, for our controlover our body was limited to usus (possession, employment)where God retained dominium (dominion, authority). Law andpopular practice in the Middle Ages sanctioned the desecration of thesuicidal corpse, along with confiscation of the individual’sproperty and denial of Christian burial.
The Right to assisted Suicide Essay Example | Topics …
Undoubtedly our collective squeamishness around this subject exists in no small part because public consideration of suicide as a form of practice can too easily fall into encouraging suicide, which, of course, no one wants to do. Yet this most extreme fusion of life and practice appears to be a real phenomenon whether we acknowledge it or not, and one that raises a number of important issues and questions that go to the heart of what it means to direct and shape one’s own life.
Teen suicide essays Suicide is not something that can be over looked
The Protestant Reformers, including Calvin, condemned suicide asroundly as did the established Church, but held out the possibility ofGod treating suicide mercifully and permitting repentance. Interest inmoral questions concerning suicide was particularly strong in thisperiod among England’s Protestants, notably the Puritans (Sprott1961). Nonetheless, the traditional Christian view prevailed well intothe late seventeenth century, where even an otherwise liberal thinkersuch as John Locke echoed earlier Thomistic arguments, claiming thatthough God bestowed upon us our natural personal liberty, that libertydoes not include the liberty to destroy oneself (Locke 1690, ch. 2,para. 6).