David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Bioethics 24 (8):412-420 (2010)
This article addresses the question of whether the arguments for a duty to die given by John Hardwig, the most prominent philosophical advocate of such a duty, are sound. Hardwig believes that the duty to die is relatively widespread among those with burdensome illnesses, dependencies, or medical conditions. I argue that although there are rare circumstances in which individuals have a duty to die, the situations Hardwig describes are not among these.After reconstructing Hardwig's argument for such a duty, highlighting his central premise that ill, dependent, or aged individuals can impose unfair burdens upon others by continuing to live, I clarify precisely what Hardwig intends by his thesis that many of us have a duty to die. I then show that an important disanalogy exists between an uncontroversial example in which an individual has a duty to die and the situations in which Hardwig proposes individuals have a duty to die. More specifically, in situations where a duty to die exists, an individual's having a duty to die logically implies that those she burdens have a right to kill that individual in self-defense. I then suggest that the burdens that ill, dependent, or aged individuals impose on their families, loved ones, or caregivers do not constitute the kind of threat that warrants the latter killing the former in self-defense. Hence, the duty to die is much rarer than Hardwig supposes
|Keywords||duty to die self‐defense suicide Hardwig non‐maleficence justice|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jeremy Snyder (2009). Easy Rescues and Organ Transplantation. HEC Forum 21 (1):27-53.
P. J. Markie (2009). Political Obligation and the Particularity Problem. Ratio 22 (3):322-337.
James Rachels (2001). Killing and Letting Die. In Lawrence C. Becker Mary Becker & Charlotte Becker (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd edition. Routledge.
Marcia Baron (1984). The Alleged Moral Repugnance of Acting From Duty. Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):197-220.
J. Angelo Corlett (2001). Is There a Moral Duty to Die? Health Care Analysis 9 (1):41-63.
Felicia Ackerman (2000). "For Now Have I My Death": The "Duty to Die" Versus the Duty to Help the Ill Stay Alive. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 24 (1):172–185.
John Hardwig (1983). Action From Duty but Not in Accord with Duty. Ethics 93 (2):283-290.
John Hardwig (1997). Is There a Duty to Die? Hastings Center Report 27 (2):34-42.
Added to index2009-02-17
Total downloads90 ( #13,118 of 1,099,017 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #43,697 of 1,099,017 )
How can I increase my downloads?