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Euthanasia Might be Morally Permissible

e., a right to assisted suicide) (Wennberg 180).

Wennberg, unlike the AMA, defines assisted suicide as one in which the assistant not the patient performs the act, consistent with voluntary passive euthanasia. He discusses "the right to kill oneself through the agency of another," which could imply only knowledge and means but not the deed.

The right to die is also connected to the terms death with dignity and rational suicide, which imply active mental competence rather than a living-will directive and which have arisen since 1980 owing to the AIDS epidemic (Cox, passim; Dangelantonio, 57-62). Battin (300-302) identifies aspects of the right-to-die decision as a "rational structure" for the terminally ill: actively assuming control over one's death; waiting for cure, timing death during a predictable period of terminal decline, especially in AIDS cases; and the interests of others. Battin, who favors acceptance of a patient-directed right to die, suggests that physicians, mental-health counselors, and significant others can either reinforce (good) or disrupt (bad) the rational construct of the decision at every level of choice.

Rational suicide involves a direct decision on the part of a patient. Voluntary passive or active euthanasia can involve advance directive on the part of a patient who brings others, either physicians or loved ones or both, into the decision for death. Each category of euthanasia involves the patient's considerations of the value of life and anticipates the prospect of decline in extremis into irrationality or incompetence. However, where others are brought into the equation, there is evidence of moral anguish. Humphry and Wickett (296) cite the belief of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who does not "necessarily regard suicide as abnormal behavior" and who acknowledges the extent of personal control that suicides exercise, but who also is said to declare that advocates of active voluntary euthanasia or PAS are real...

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Euthanasia Might be Morally Permissible. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:40, July 22, 2017, from
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