Why not Commercial Assistance for Suicide? On the Question of Argumentative Coherence of Endorsing Assisted Suicide

Bioethics 29 (7):516-522 (2014)
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Abstract

Most people who endorse physician-assisted suicide are against commercially assisted suicide – a suicide assisted by professional non-medical providers against payment. The article questions if this position – endorsement of physician-assisted suicide on the one hand and rejection of commercially assisted suicide on the other hand – is a coherent ethical position. To this end the article first discusses some obvious advantages of commercially assisted suicide and then scrutinizes six types of argument about whether they can justify the rejection of commercially assisted suicide while simultaneously endorsing physician-assisted suicide. The conclusion is that they cannot provide this justification and that the mentioned position is not coherent. People who endorse physician-assisted suicide have to endorse commercially assisted suicide as well, or they have to revise their endorsement of physician-assisted suicide

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Roland Kipke
Bielefeld University

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