This paper re-evaluates euthanasia and assisted suicide from the perspective of eudaimonia, the ancient Greek conception of happiness across one’s whole life. It is argued that one cannot be said to have fully flourished or had a truly happy life if one’s death is preceded by a period of unbearable pain or suffering that one cannot avoid without assistance in ending one’s life. While death is to be accepted as part of life, it should not be left to nature to dictate the way we die, and it is fundamentally unjust to grant people liberal latitude in how they live their lives while granting them little control over the conclusion of their life narratives. Three objections to this position are considered and rejected; the paper also offers an explanation of why we think killing can be a benefit. Ultimately, euthanasia may be necessary in some cases in order to achieve eudaimonia.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Mario Monicelli's Grande Guerra: the right of living and the choice of dying
- A case for justified non-voluntary active euthanasia: exploring the ethics of the Groningen Protocol
- Assisted suicide and the killing of people? Maybe. Physician-assisted suicide and the killing of patients? No: the rejection of Shaw's new perspective on euthanasia
- Mr Marty’s muddle: a superficial and selective case for euthanasia in Europe
- Canadian French and English newspapers’ portrayals of physicians’ role and medical assistance in dying (MAiD) from 1972 to 2016: a qualitative textual analysis
- Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy. An Argument Against Legislation
- Assisted suicide organisation opens branch in Germany
- Moral duties and euthanasia: why to kill is not necessarily the same as to let die
- Assisted suicide and euthanasia in Switzerland: allowing a role for non-physicians
- Neonatal euthanasia: moral considerations and criminal liability