What is Wrong with Rational Suicide

Philosophia 39 (1):111-123 (2011)
Recently, the ‘right to die’ became a major social issue. Few agree suicide is a right tout court. Even those who believe suicide (‘regular’, passive, or physician-assisted) is sometimes morally permissible usually require that a suicide be ‘rational suicide’: instrumentally rational, autonomous, due to stable goals, not due to mental illness, etc. We argue that there are some perfectly ‘rational suicides’ that are, nevertheless, bad mistakes. The concentration on the rationality of the suicide instead of on whether it is a mistake may lead to permitting suicides that should be forbidden.
Keywords Rational suicide  Decision theory  Medical ethics
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-010-9253-x
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