What is a death with dignity?

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (4):461 – 487 (2003)
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Abstract

Proponents of the legalization of assisted suicide often appeal to our supposed right to "die with dignity" to defend their case. I examine and assess different notions of "dignity" that are operating in many arguments for the legalization of assisted suicide, and I find them all to be deficient. I then consider an alternative conception of dignity that is based on Aristotle's conception of the conditions on the best life. I conclude that, while such a conception of dignity fits best with our intuitions about the conditions under which a life has dignity, it supports the legalization of assisted suicide only under very limited circumstances.

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Jyl Gentzler
Amherst College

Citations of this work

A Kantian Defense of Prudential Suicide.Michael Cholbi - 2010 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (4):489-515.
Is dignity a useless concept in medical ethics?Peter Schaber - 2012 - Ethik in der Medizin 24 (4):297-306.
Dignity and Assisted Dying: What Kant Got Right (and Wrong).Michael Cholbi - 2017 - In Sebastian Muders (ed.), Human Dignity and Assisted Death. New York, NY: Oup Usa. pp. 143-160.

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References found in this work

The nature and value of rights.Joel Feinberg & Jan Narveson - 1970 - Journal of Value Inquiry 4 (4):243-260.
Non‐Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach.Martha Craven Nussbaum - 1988 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 13 (1):32-53.
Aristotle on the Human Good.Richard Kraut - 1989 - Princeton University Press.
Life's Dominion.Melissa Lane & Ronald Dworkin - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (176):413.

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