Do physicians have an inviolable duty not to kill?

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 26 (1):75 – 91 (2001)
An important part of the debate over physician-assisted suicide concerns moral duties that are specific to physicians. It is sometimes argued that physicians, by virtue of special commitments rooted in the nature of their profession, may never intentionally kill a patient, and that therefore, whether or not assisted suicide may be justifiable, it can never be right for a physician to take part in such an act. I examine four types of argument that have been offered in support of this conclusion, and find that none succeeds. Each attempts to show why the duty to conserve life must be unconditional for physicians, yet a consideration of the ways in which contemporary medicine has evolved shows that such a duty is now no more fundamental to the profession than a duty to relieve suffering, which may in some cases override it.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1076/jmep.
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,658
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Gary Seay (2005). Euthanasia and Physicians' Moral Duties. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (5):517 – 533.
G. Seay (2011). Euthanasia and Common Sense: A Reply to Garcia. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (3):321-327.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #136,179 of 1,725,989 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,693 of 1,725,989 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.