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Abstract
Euthanasia is a “mercy killing”. More formally, it is killing of those who are incurably ill, in great pain or distress. Euthanasia can take three forms: voluntary, involuntary and non-voluntary. All three kinds of euthanasia can be either active or passive. Buddhism rejects euthanasia in its voluntary and non-voluntary forms. Thus, Buddhism – that is supposed to be opposed to euthanasia – is thereby not committed to life being an absolute value to be preserved at all cost. In the case of active euthanasia, a Buddhist would say that to kill another person is simply not a skillful deed. Regarding passive euthanasia, a Buddhist would allow a patient to die by failing to introduce life preserving procedures, by stopping them once begun or by taking steps to alleviate pain which might hasten the dying process. Contrary to the case of active euthanasia, there is no Buddhist consensus on passive euthanasia, either voluntary or involuntary. Various cases of killing and even inciting to suicide are condemned in vinayapitaka as unsuitable activities for monks.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 978-1-63435-038-9
DOI 10.5840/wcp23201820493
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