The concept of rational suicide

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 11 (2):143-155 (1986)
Suicide has been condemned in our culture in one way or another since Augustine offered theological arguments against it in the sixth century. More recently, theological condemnation has given way to the view that suicidal behavior must always be symptomatic of emotional disturbance and mental illness. However, suicide has not always been viewed so negatively. In other times and cultures, it has been held that circumstances might befall a person in which suicide would be a perfectly rational course of action, in the same sense that any other course of action could be rational: that it could be sensible, i.e., defensible by good reasons, or that it could be in keeping with the agent's fundamental interests. Indiscriminate use of modern life-sustaining technologies has renewed interest in the possibility of rational suicide. Today proponents of rational suicide tend to equate the rationality of suicide with the competence of the decision to commit suicide.
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/11.2.143
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