Suicide and the question of rationality

Right to die

For the Ancients and Stoics such as Cato or Seneca, obviously suicide presents no moral problem. It could be a purely probabilistic calculus. On this view, our relationship to our bodies is like that of our relationship to other items over which we enjoy property rights: Suicide, Camus contends, tempts us with the promise of an illusory freedom from the absurdity of our existence, but is in the end an abdication of our responsibility to confront or defy that absurdity head on Campbell and Collinson61— Schizophrenia, mental capacity, and rational suicide.

In addition to the entry on voluntary euthanasia, Dworkin et al. Euthanasia in the United States The term right to die has been interpreted in a number of ways, including issues of suicide, passive euthanasia, active euthanasia, assisted suicide, and physician-assisted suicide.

Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, and Colorado passed legislation in, andrespectively, that provides a protocol for the practice of physician assisted suicide. The suicidally depressed can also exhibit romanticized and grandiose beliefs about the likely effects of their deaths delusions of martyrdom, revenge, etc.

Suicide: Rationality and Responsibility for Life

Suicide is a possibility for rational beings only. One general form such arguments take is that because a community depends on the economic and social productivity of its members, its members have an obligation to contribute to their society, an obligation clearly violated by suicide Pabst Battin70—78, Cholbi58— This possibility is directly related to physician-assisted suicide and the larger question of whether the right to suicide is a claim right.

Assuming all lives are of equal value, the utility of suicide in the second case is easy to figure out.

Though this position is often associated with religious thinkers, especially Catholics, Ronald Dworkin points out that atheists may appeal to this claim as well.

To this point, we have addressed arguments that concern whether a moral permission to engage in suicidal behavior exists, and indeed, it is this question that has dominated ethical discussion of suicide.

Epub ahead of print. In considering broader societal examples, people may pose harm to themselves by participating in dangerous extreme sports, making poor health choices, or self-harming.

Though this position is often associated with religious thinkers, especially Catholics, Ronald Dworkin points out that atheists may appeal to this claim as well.

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Still, some of these reactions may be due to the strong stigma and shame associated with suicide, in which case these reactions cannot, without logical circularity, be invoked in arguments that suicide is wrong because it produces these psychological reactions Pabst Battin68— Again, this line of argument appears to show at most only that suicide is sometimes wrong, namely, when the benefit in terms of future harm not suffered the individual gains by dying is less than the benefits she would deny to society by dying.

This analogy seems weak on several fronts. These natural law arguments are no longer the main focus of philosophical discussion, as they have been subjected to strenuous criticism by Hume and others though see Gay-Williams Thus, in cases where suicide may harm others, we may be morally required to refrain from suicide.

Several important historical answers to 1 have already been mentioned. Furthermore, for those moral theories that emphasize rational autonomy, whether an individual has rationally chosen to take her own life may settle all four questions. Indeed, the fact that certain ways of treating ordinary property are not available to us as ways of treating our bodies we cannot give away or sell our bodies in any literal sense suggests that self-ownership may be only a metaphor meant to capture a deeper moral relationship Kluge It does not therefore seem to be the case that individuals are morally required to benefit society in whatever way they are capable, regardless of the harms to themselves.

Philosophy of suicide

The Oregon death with dignity act: Parliament of Canada; It does not of course follow that suicide is necessarily rational or prudent. First, its proponents must be willing to apply the position consistently, which would also morally forbid controversial forms of killing such as capital punishment or killing in wartime.

Libertarianism typically asserts that the right to suicide is a right of noninterference, to wit, that others are morally barred from interfering with suicidal behavior.

A British Columbia civil liberties lawsuit is representing six plaintiffs and challenges the laws that make it a criminal offence to assist seriously and incurably ill individuals to die with dignity.

See Hayry for discussion. American Psychiatric Press; Malpractice risks in the treatment of dangerous patients. In addition, there is a less recognized undercurrent of religious thought that favors suicide. It is a possibility that arises only for the rational being.

One utilitarian response to these objections is to reject a duty to die on rule utilitarian grounds: Conclusion As the foregoing discussion indicates, suicide has been and continues to be a rich field of philosophical investigation.

Contemporary proponents of "rational suicide" or the "right to die" usually demand by "rationality" that the decision to kill oneself be both the autonomous choice of the agent (i.e., not due to the physician or the family pressuring them to "do the right thing" and commit suicide) and a "best option under the circumstances" choice desired by.

Do people really have the right to a rational suicide? but most continue to see contemporary reasons to question rational suicide, as an assessment of rationality is difficult to make.

Suicide: A Rational Choice?

I came across a story about a kid who committed suicide after carefully calculating the benefits of life and deciding it was not worth living. I am wondering if any philosopher has considered the. Suicide: A Rational Choice? January, ; III/5. The Question. When discussing ethical issues surrounding suicide, our main question is not, “Should people who commit suicide be criticized morally?”.

May 18,  · Throughout history, suicide has evoked an astonishingly wide range of reactions—bafflement, dismissal, heroic glorification, sympathy, anger, moral or religious condemnation—but it is never uncontroversial. The rationality of suicide is going to hinge on two main features. First, it will hinge on the basic moral framework that we operate under.

Second, it will hinge on (assuming such a framework allows suicide) whether or not the person in question actually did "carefully calculate" whether their action was licit under the framework.

Suicide and the question of rationality
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Philosophy of suicide - Wikipedia