J Med Ethics 22:309-313 doi:10.1136/jme.22.5.309
  • Research Article

Buddhism, euthanasia and the sanctity of life.

  1. R W Perrett
  1. Philosophy Department of Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


      Damien and John Keown claim that there is important common ground between Buddhism and Christianity on the issue of euthanasia and that both traditions oppose it for similar reasons in order to espouse a "sanctity of life" position. I argue that the appearance of consensus is partly created by their failure to specify clearly enough certain key notions in the argument: particularly Buddhism, euthanasia and the sanctity of life. Once this is done, the Keowns' central claims can be seen to be either false or only restrictedly true.