Physicians, Assisted Suicide, and Christian Virtues

Christian Bioethics 27 (1):50-68 (2021)
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Abstract

The debate about physician-assisted suicide has long been entwined with the nature of the doctor–patient relationship. Opponents of physician-assisted suicide insist that the traditional goals of medicine do not and should not include intentionally bringing about or hastening a patient’s death, whereas proponents of physician-assisted suicide argue that this practice is an appropriate tool for doctors to relieve a patient’s suffering. In this article, I discuss these issues in light of the relevance of a Christian account of the doctor–patient relationship. I argue that Christians typically object to assist suicide independently of the doctor–patient relationship. I argue that a focus on the Christian virtues of charity, compassion, and humility helps to explain why doctors should not assist their patients in suicide.

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Philip Reed
Canisius College

References found in this work

Intellectual Humility: Owning Our Limitations.Dennis Whitcomb, Heather Battaly, Jason Baehr & Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):509-539.
Virtue Ethics: A Pluralistic View.Christine Swanton - 2003 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 68 (1):209-210.
Compassion: The Basic Social Emotion.Martha Nussbaum - 1996 - Social Philosophy and Policy 13 (1):27.
Review: On Virtue Ethics.Julia Driver - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (1):122.
Compassion: The basic social emotion*: Martha Nussbaum.Martha Nussbaum - 1996 - Social Philosophy and Policy 13 (1):27-58.

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