Ending Life, Morality, and Meaning

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):559-574 (2013)
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Abstract

Opponents of voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide often maintain that the procedures ought not to be accepted because ending an innocent human life would both be morally wrong in itself and have unfortunate consequences. A gravely suffering patient can grant that ending his life would involve such harm but still insist that he would have reason to continue living only if there were something to him in his abstaining from ending his life. Though relatively rarely, the notion of meaning of life has figured in recent medical ethical debate on voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. And in current philosophical discussion on meaning of life outside the medical ethical debate on voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide several authors have argued that being moral and having a meaningful existence are connected to each other. In this article, I assess whether his intentionally refraining from causing the harm related to voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide would involve something to such a patient in the sense that it would promote the meaningfulness of his life.

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Citations of this work

Suicide.Michael Cholbi - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Life, Meaning of.Thaddeus Metz - 2015 - In Henk ten Have (ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics. Springer. pp. 1-6.
The Rationality of Suicide and the Meaningfulness of Life.Michael Cholbi - 2022 - In Iddo Landau (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Meaning in Life. Oxford University Press. pp. 445-460.
Meaning and Medicine: An Underexplored Bioethical Value.Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - Ethik in der Medizin 33 (4):439-453.

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References found in this work

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Moral saints.Susan Wolf - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (8):419-439.
Active and passive euthanasia.James Rachels - 1975 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press.

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