Archive for the ‘Suicide’ Category

While traditional moral arguments about euthanasia tend to focus on cases where the condition of the individual is terminal, the recent case of a 23 year old British man commiting suicide in a Swiss euthanasia clinic, after being left paralysed from the neck down from a sporting injury, raises a number of moral and legal questions. Is there […]


British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock has weighed into the current debate on euthanasia inspired by the death of Daniel James with this piece at Guardian Unlimited.  She argues that we must respect the autonomous wishes of others and not place our judgements of the value of another’s life above their own.  The article has provoked […]


Euthanasia: the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. Voluntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed has requested to be killed. Non-voluntary: When the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent. Involuntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed made […]


At the start of his trial in December 2003, Meiwes said his motive for killing and eating his victim, Bernd Juergen Brandes, was born from a desire for this younger brother he never had – “someone to be part of me”. Armin posted an advertisement on the Internet, looking for a willing victim. The post […]


What is the difference between ‘active’ and ‘passive’ euthanasia? How do they differ (if at all) from assisted suicide? Are these differences philosophically significant?


Ludwig Wittgenstein was a higly influential 20th century philosopher. You can find out more about him at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein/ .We’ll be loooking at his work in more detail next term. Here’s what he had to say about suicide: “If suicide is allowed then everything is allowed. If anything is not allowed then suicide is not allowed. […]


Kant discusses the morality of suicide in Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals: “A man feels sick of life as the result of a series of misfortunes that has mounted to the point of despair, but he is still so far in possession of his reason to ask himself whether taking his own life may […]


Are there any crimes for which only a death sentence could be an acceptable or just punishment? Could this be used as a justification for suicide?


Are there any circumstances where we could reasonably say that someone might owe it to other people to kill themselves?


Is it ever rational to commit suicide?


Since we are looking at philosophical responses to suicide, it might be interesting to note that a number of well-known philosophers have taken their own lives. Here is a brief list… 435 B.C.E. According to legend, Empedocles leapt to his death into the crater of Etna. 399 B.C.E. Socrates, condemned to death for corrupting the […]


There are a number of philosophical resources dealing with the ethical problems posed by suicide at http://comp.uark.edu/~mpianal/suicide.htm.