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Suicide booths and assistance without moral expression: a response to Braun
  1. Thomas Donaldson
  1. School of Law, University of Manchester Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Thomas Donaldson, School of Law, University of Manchester Manchester School of Law, Manchester M13 9PL, UK; thomas.donaldson-2{at}


In a recent paper, Braun argued for an autonomy-based approach to assisted suicide as a way to avoid the expressivist objection to assisted dying laws. In this paper, I will argue that an autonomy-based approach actually extends the expressivist objection to assisted dying because it is not possible for one agent to assist another in pursuit of a goal without expressing that it would be good for that goal to come about. Braun argued that assisted dying should be viewed purely as an individual’s autonomous action, but this requires the assistance of the medical professional to be understood as that of a non-moral automaton, such as a suicide booth. Instead, it will be argued that a beneficent motivation to promote human flourishing provides moral reasons for both non-interference in the actions, for example, suicide, of competent agents and for considering whether assisting another agent with their goal will promote their flourishing.

  • ethics- medical
  • informed consent
  • personal autonomy
  • right to die
  • suicide

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  • Contributors TD is the sole author of this manuscript.

  • Funding This study was funded by University of Manchester (School of Law Studentship).

  • Competing interests TD receives a School of Law Studentship from the University of Manchester.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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