Suicide

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Abstract

Suicide is a controversial ethical issue in large part because the reasonings of (a) and (b) above appear plausible but support contradictory conclusions. (a) in effect asks: Why should we be granted an exemption to the prohibition on human killing when the person we kill is ourselves? What makes killing oneself so special? (b) on the other hand starts from the intuition that there is something special or distinctive about the moral relationship we stand in to ourselves, a relationship that can at least sometimes morally justify suicide. The reasoning of (a) and (b) thus establishes the contours of the ethical debate concerning the permissibility of suicide and explains why suicide is one of the most hotly debated issues in bioethics (see Bioethics).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Ethics
EditorsHugh LaFollette
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781444367072
ISBN (Print)9781405186414
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013

Keywords

  • bioethics
  • death
  • medicine
  • mental health
  • practical (applied) ethics

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